Human Action & The Four Agreements


2 months ago by SeanBallard

How do we value anything?

I’d argue, at its core, it’s measured by how we “feel” about something.

What formulates how we feel about something?

Nature + Nurture.

I think the order here is important. Nature, THEN nurture.

Often times we value what the ENVIRONMENT/CULTURE/SOCIETY values, over what we value.

Becoming honest with what we value, nature-wise, in the face of what society values, is how we can begin to live a “successful” life. One where we actualize our preferences. Manifest a life we desire, are happy about, and proud about. A life that will give us peace of mind in its finality.

The problem is, our ego is SO strong, that we fool ourselves into thinking that what we actually value is what society values. But in reality, we value something different, and we fool ourselves into thinking we value what society values, in order to fit in & not be excommunicated. This is a strong survival tendency. Ancestrally, excommunication was as good as a death sentence, given we are so heavily reliant on society for basic survival needs.

This is addressed beautifully, and succinctly, in the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

In libertarian circles, it is a frequent prompt; “What are the BEST books to read for liberty?”

You get all the classics. Economics in One Lesson. Human Action. Road to Serfdom. The Law. etc. etc.

I love adding The Four Agreements into the mix.

It is very popular amongst spiritual communities, but not at all in libertarian and academic communities. Yet, I’ve found it to be one of the most important books on freedom in liberty from my readings.

It hits much more to the core of the human essence. Of life. And it does it in a very non-threatening, loving, succinct, and practical way.

The other bigs have a tendency to be very political charged. Held in high esteem. Filled with academic rigor. There is RIGHT! and there is WRONG!

That frame can turn off many.

The subtitle of The Four Agreements is A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.

It can’t get any clearer than that. Isn’t that what all libertarians want? And is it not want we want for everybody?

I think that this book should be more prevalent amongst the libertarian community. Most other books are intimidating to non libertarian types. And besides, the Four Agreements probably is, in many ways, better than the other books by substance to begin with, let alone the fact that it is better because it is the book that most people will ACTUALLY READ!!

the best book is the one you’ll actually read.

don’t let the best be the enemy of the good. -Voltaire

the perfect plan you don’t follow, is worse than an imperfect plan you do follow.

the habit is more important than the immediate outcome.

Now, what I would LOVE to do, is get those non-libertarians who have read the Four Agreements to read these other hot libertarian books.

Freedom speaks for itself. Freedom forces you to be HONEST with who you ACTUALLY are, and allows you to navigate reality much better. This is what Four Agreements is great at. THEN, after that, economics framework can orient you towards how to most optimally attain what you value, instead of optimizing value for “values” sake. AKA being efficient, instead of being effective.

And that’s it for my little rant.

If you have read The Four Agreements, please hmu!


-Sean Ballard