The fourth and final agreement is the one that gets full thumbs up from me. It is the one that resonates in my mind most closely with the Science of Mind philosophy. it is the one that speaks most clearly to one of the most important principles in our teaching, the Creative Process in the Individual.
I think we often make too much of conscious mind and the role that it plays in creating. We make “genius” something rare and exclusive to certain “creative” individuals. When you ask a group of adults if they are creative the majority of them will say no. This is absolutely untrue and impossible for us as humans. Not only is it impossible for any aspect of life to not be creative from cells to galaxies. The very nature of life is creativity. We are born of the essence of Creation itself and, as such, are creativity in expression.
What does this have to do with doing your best? You are never not doing your best! Don Miguel hints at this in the chapter when he says your best will change from moment to moment and be different at different times of the day, when you are ill when you are tired. Your best will look different when you are challenged and you can see that you are not handling yourself very well and are making poor choices, but it will still be your best. You will come across as what the buddhists call “unskillful” and what we call selfish or ungrateful or worse criminal and morally reprehensible.
The worst criminal you can imagine at his darkest moments was still doing his best. That’s a hard idea to accept but in a Universe that is fashioned with one outcome at its core, Good, then everyone always doing their best, always expressing Divine Principle to the best of his or her ability MUST be the Truth. I have found this idea has helped me practice forgiveness of others but especially myself like no other. Some people have argued that I’m just letting myself off the hook for doing a lousy job, being a bad parent, or an ungenerous friend or partner; that Im giving myself permission to be “less than.”
Again not the case! What I’m doing in fact is giving myself a reminder that I can always be more, that my best will never ever be my BEST. Browning said in his poem, Rabbi Ben Ezra “Grow old along with me, for the best is yet to be.”
What that tells me is that my BEST best is always just ahead, ready for me to step into it; that the Creative Process that I am is always there in me and as me to create my best.
To return to the dream and the dreamer at the beginning of the The Four Agreements, Thomas Troward, the celebrated author of “The Creative Process in the Individual” maintains that life has created two classes of dreamers; “those who dream as they must and those who dream as they will.” (p. 86) The first group are caught up in the old way of thinking dragging with them a memory of crimes unpardoned, sins unforgiven. The second have brought over with them the great Truth that conditions are creations of thought and have accustomed themselves to dwell on good, creative and beautiful ideas. Ideas like these ones. There has never been a moment when I wasn’t doing my best, I’m doing it right now and there never will be a moment when I’m not using who and what I am to the best of my ability.” This doing your best rather than being a cop out is the very definition of living intensely. Try it!