Episode 69 – Being Skeptical and Willing to Listen

 In Podcast

In 2010, The Fifth Agreement, a sequel to The Four Agreements, was published. In this episode we take on the last new agreement, “Be Skeptical but Learn to Listen.” Here we share our insights on the power of doubt and how asking, “Is it true?” about everything we hear supports the process of un-domestication of the planet, ultimately leading us to Truth. This one can upend our entire belief system, but through it we can find complete acceptance of ourselves and others just the way we are.

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Underlying premise

The Four Agreements are presented as new agreements – to free us from the “Book of Law” or society’s dream

The Four Agreements are presented as new agreements – for Freedom

The Fifth Agreement:

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The power of doubt:

We’ve all been taught the dream of the planet

We live in a world of our own perceptions

All agreements are worthy of a dose of healthy skepticism

Apply this to the outer world and inner world

Question what you hear (what you disagree with and what you agree with), what you’ve been taught, what you believe about others, the world and yourself

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Key Insights

Be skeptical because most of what you hear isn’t true

Don’t believe every message and put your faith in the symbols you have learned

When our faith is not in symbols, your faith is in yourself

‘Un-domestication’ is the process of unlearning lies and relearning how to follow the Truth by following your own heart

The power of doubt supports this process

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All of us tell lies in one way or another – not  because we want to lie, but because we believe what we’ve learned

We can understand others by learning to listen – we don’t have  to believe them

Don’t have to agree, disagree, compare and contrast, rebut with our own views, or judge

Be respectful of other people’s stories, perceptions, movies

They are just letting us know what is going on in their virtual world

NOTE: During Rev. Carol’s opening comments, she speaks about the TV show, The Chi, as an example of learning to listen. For those who are interested, it is broadcast on Showtime. Here is more information in The Chi: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6294706/

Belief vs Truth

The Truth doesn’t need belief

It simply is and will survive whether it is believed or not

Lies need to be believed

We don’t need to believe what we already know

The Truth doesn’t come with words; it is silent



a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing

something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion something believed

conviction of the truth of some statement or reality 

Belief in the Bible

Greek: pisteuo (believe) means to “be convinced of something” or “give credence to”

Also Trust


the body of real things, events, and facts ACTUALITY

the state of being the case FACT

a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality

Dialogue Questions:

Share your reaction to all this.

What do you believe?

What do you know is True?

What do you think about the idea that Truth doesn’t require belief? How do you see the difference between belief and Truth?

Share your experience of the power of doubt – a time when you were skeptical about a story or ‘agreement’ and made a new choice that was true for you.

Share a time when you listened to another’s story and either reacted/judged/counter-punched, or saw it for what it was – their own story.

How will this new agreement free you?


My spiritual path is one of continual awakening. As I grow, I recognize that many of my beliefs and opinions aren’t choices that I made. They were taught to me by other people and the culture at large. As I listen to the voice in my head and the voices of those around me, I ask myself, “Is it true?” I stay in this inquiry and allow the power of doubt to bring Clarity and Light. I listen to the stories of others with non-attachment, and make my own choices. I find Truth and am born anew.

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