Building on the principles found in his father’s best-selling book The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., invites us to gauge how attached we are to our own point of view. In The Five Levels of Attachment, he will help you gain awareness of the agreements you have been implicitly making all these years that shape your reality and affect your future and show you how to release the attachments which no longer reflect who you really are.
This method is 20 years in the making. When don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., began his apprenticeship into his family’s Toltec tradition, he was just 14 years old. His first task was translating his grandmother’s talks from Spanish into English. One day, as he struggled to keep up with her, she asked him: Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you? Finding the answer to this question would shape the destiny of his life. In this groundbreaking work, Ruiz explains each of the Five Levels of Attachment in detail and shows that as our level of attachment to a belief or idea increases, “who we are” becomes directly linked to “what we know”.
Our attachment to beliefs – our own and the beliefs of others – manifests as a mask we don’t realize we can take off. But with don Miguel Ruiz’s help, and some Toltec wisdom along the way, we can return to our True, Authentic Selves, unhindered by judgment and free to pursue our true life’s calling.
Five Levels of Attachment reminded me of a satirical piece I wrote in 2016 called Religion because the five levels of attachment range from being essentially detached at the first level through to fanatical attachment at the fifth level and I had also structured the 5 levels from essentially detached to fanatical from my own observation. However, Don Miguel Ruiz explains each level of attachment with clarity and examples we can relate to. This is no satire and contains valuable Toltec knowledge.
The early part of the book is a recap of some key points from The Four Agreements and follow-up book, The Fifth Agreement and there is a good section on how to address any attachments you may have and move from the lower levels to the higher, less conflicted levels if you so choose.
One excellent exercise that was included in the book was The Labyrinth; a mental exercise of forgiveness which leads you on a journey from your outer world to your inner world to face your own Smokey Mirror you will need to read the books to understand what that is). The Labyrinth reminded me of the Zhal Makh from an episode of Picard which is a Romulan meditation performed in a closed room along a winding pathway with the goal being to journey into the centre of the mind’s most intimate space and uncover the deepest truths. Unlike the Zhal Makh, The Labyrinth is an exercise you can do just by closing your eyes but has a similar goal to ultimately confront yourself after you have addressed each of the outer layers where your attachments reside.
You don’t need to have read the other books I mentioned above, though they will elaborate on the themes discussed in this book. As I am personally interested in the wisdom and practices of ancient cultures in relation to our self, I find all of the books in this series fascinating and packed with insight and profound wisdom.