Hierophant Publishing

The Five Levels of Attachment


The Five Levels of Attachment:               

Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World    

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Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you?

“In The Five Levels of Attachment, Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. explains how what we believe becomes intimately connected to our identity, or who we think we are. This belief of what the truth is in turn creates all our attachments and all our emotional responses.”

Don Miguel Ruiz, Sr., author of The Four Agreements


After decades of apprenticeship with his father, Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. has penned:

The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World,

where he builds on the Toltec principals found in his father’s book, The Four Agreements.


We have all unwittingly made agreements about how we choose to live our lives and what we believe our personal truths are.

But what we may not realize is that each one of these agreements represents an attachment, a limiting filter on who we think we are, and what the future could hold.

We call these attachments “knowledge” without ever questioning if that knowledge is necessarily true for us.

The Five Levels of Attachment provides a guide to understanding how we have developed our belief structures and how to go about re-evaluating or even severing these harmful attachments.

Drawing on Toltec wisdom from his father and grandmother, Madre Sarita, Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. shows readers that:

In this groundbreaking work, Ruiz defines each of the Five Levels of Attachment and invites us to reclaim our true freedom by becoming aware of our belief structures, realizing that they exist only through our agreements.

Level One, The Authentic Self:

We are living beings regardless of our knowledge, which exists only because we exist. The Authentic Self is a name given to that living being that is the full potential of life. It is the name that describes the force that not only animates our body, but also gives life to our mind and our soul. The Authentic Self is always present, and it is only our attachment that keeps us from remembering this is who we really are.

Level Two, Preference:

We use knowledge as the tool by which we engage our preferences in life. At the second level of attachment, we move with the awareness of the Authentic Self and recognize our ability to invest ourselves in something the form of an attachment as we engage in the present moment. We are still able to let go of the attachment when the moment has passed. Seeing ourselves as a reflection of life in the Dream of the Planet, we attach ourselves with ease, and detachment is simply recognizing and letting go of that reflection.

Level Three, Identity:

We identify myself with our knowledge; we use it to see and understand the world. Identity is the grounding sense of self that allows us to have our place in the Dream of the Planet, giving us a point of reference by which we engage other people. But this identity is a mask that blurs our awareness of the Authentic Self, and attachment at this level means we identify ourselves with our knowledge and forget that it is a mask.

Level Four, Internalization:

Our identity, in the form of knowledge, gives us the rules and guidelines by which we live our lives. In the Toltec tradition, this is known as Domestication. This level of attachment to knowledge means our identity has become the model by which we accept ourselves. Our sense of self comes directly from our beliefs. Our will is subjugated by the need to fit in with our Personal Dream and the Dream of the Planet, and though our mask may not be in the form of our passion, we will wear whatever mask we think we need to be accepted.

Level Five, Fanaticism:

Our knowledge controls our every action. We hold beliefs as more important than human life. Fanaticism describes a rigid attachment to knowledge with an excessive intolerance of opposing views. Anything that contradicts or puts into question a fanatic’s beliefs is a direct threat—and they will defend the belief at any cost. Prejudice, intolerance, and violence are the instruments by which the belief is imposed onto the Dream of the Planet.

Ruiz says that most people in the world find themselves at levels three or four.

With the wisdom in this book, readers will learn how to stave off Fanaticism and move away from Identity Internalization to reside in Level One, our true Authentic Selves.



With Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.’s help, you will:

  • Become aware of how you confuse what you know for who you are
  • Gain awareness of how your attachments have created your reality
  • Stop creating your identity based on the opinions and judgments of others around you
  • Let go of the fear of what you are without your beliefs
  • Take back your power
  • Make new Agreements that are more in line with your true Authentic Self


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