The Four Worlds International Institute

The Fourth Way: Guiding Principles for Building a Sustainable and Harmonious World





The Four Worlds Guiding Principles for Building a Sustainable and Harmonious World

The Sixteen Principles for building a sustainable and harmonious world community emerged from a 36-year process of reflection, consultation and action within Indigenous communities across the Americas. They are rooted in the concerns of hundreds of aboriginal elders and leaders and thinkers, as well as in the best thinking of many non-aboriginal scholars, researchers and human and community development practitioners.

These guiding principles constitute the foundation for the process of healing and developing ourselves (mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually), our human relationships (personal, social, political, economic, and cultural) and our relationship with Mother Earth. They describe the way we must work and what we must protect and cherish.
We offer these principles as a gift to all who seek to build a sustainable and harmonious world community.

PREAMBLE

We speak as one, guided by the sacred teachings and spiritual traditions of the four Directions that uplift, guide, protect, warn, inspire and challenge the entire human family to live in ways that sustain and enhance human life and the lives of all who dwell on Mother Earth, and hereby dedicate our lives and energies to healing and developing ourselves, the web of relationships that make our world, and the way we live with Mother Earth.

THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Starting from within, working in a circle, in a sacred manner, we heal ourselves, our relationships and our world.


STARTING FROM WITHIN

Human Beings Can Transform Their Worlds
The web of our relationships with others and the natural world, which has given rise to the problems we face as a human family, can be changed.

Development Comes From Within
The process of human and community development unfolds from within each person, relationship, family organization, community or nation.

No Vision, No Development
A vision of who we can become and what a sustainable world would be like, works as a powerful magnet, drawing us to our potential.

Healing Is A Necessary Part Of Development
Healing the past, closing up old wounds and learning healthy habits of thought and action to replace dysfunctional thinking and disruptive patterns of human relations is a necessary part of the process of sustainable development.


WORKING IN A CIRCLE

Interconnectedness
Everything is connected to everything else; therefore, any aspect of our healing and development is related to all the others (personal, social, cultural, political, economic, etc.). When we work on any one part, the whole circle is affected.

No Unity, No Development
Unity means oneness. Without unity, the common oneness that makes (seemingly) separate human beings into ‘community’ is impossible. Disunity is the primary disease of community.

No Participation, No Development
Participation is the active engagement of the minds, hearts and energy of the people in the process of their own healing and development.

Justice
Every person (regardless of gender, race, age, culture, religion, sexual orientation) must be accorded equal opportunity to participate in the process of healing and development, and to receive a fair share of the benefits.


IN A SACRED MANNER

Spirit
Human beings are both material and spiritual in nature. It is therefore inconceivable that human community could become whole and sustainable without bringing our lives into balance with the requirements of our spiritual nature.

Morals and Ethics
Sustainable human and community development requires a moral foundation centered in the wisdom of the heart. When this foundation is lost, morals and ethical principles decline and development stops.

The Hurt of One Is the Hurt of All: The Honor of One Is the Honor Of All
The basic fact of our oneness as a human family means that development for some at the expense of well being for others is not acceptable or sustainable.

Authentic Development Is Culturally Based
Healing and development must be rooted in the wisdom, knowledge and living processes of the culture of the people.


WE HEAL AND DEVELOP OURSELVES, OUR RELATIONSHIPS AND OUR WORLD

Learning
Human beings are learning beings. We begin learning while we are still in our mother’s wombs, and unless something happens to close off our minds and paralyze our capacities, we keep learning throughout our entire lives. Learning is at the core of healing and development.

Sustainability
To sustain something means to enable it to continue for a long time. Authentic development does not use up or undermine what it needs to keep on going.

Move to the Positive
Solving the critical problems in our lives and communities is best approached by visualizing and moving into the positive alternative that we wish to create, and by building on the strengths we already have, rather than on giving away our energy fighting the negative.

Be the Change You Want To See
The most powerful strategies for change always involve positive role modeling and the creation of living examples of the solutions we are proposing. By walking the path, we make the path visible.

Tags: devlopment, elders, holistic, indigenous, peace, peoples, principles, profecies, spiritual, unity

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Wow.,,that is a wonderful and healthy way to proceed...I hear the echos of so many who support you in these guiding principles. I am delighted to be a part of this-Lalo
Hi Karma
I happen to be on the skype phone with Phil who is in Bangkok right now when your comment came in. We are about to launch the four worlds site and we happy that you are here. He sends his warmest regards. We encourage to make this site your own and make any suggestions you think appropriate for making it more meaningful and easy to understand and use.

Karma Chodzin Lalo said:
Wow.,,that is a wonderful and healthy way to proceed...I hear the echos of so many who support you in these guiding principles. I am delighted to be a part of this-Lalo
These are thoughtful, respectful and important facets captured herein as "guiding principles". (Does the Four Worlds International Institute have a Mission Statement against which these principles are being measured?)

I have been attending, and hosting, circles and many different types of ceremonies for over 30 years, and have been working personally "for peace" for almost 40 years. (I still recall the heartfelt sunrise meditations many of my friends and I participated in during what has become known as "the Harmonic Convergence" over 20 years ago now. Thank goodness dedicated folks started that long ago, as I really wonder what our World would be like now without that effort.)

I have recently felt somewhat dismayed, since moving from Haida territory to "the City" a little over a year ago ... with how many people seem to be hosting circles, doing spiritual work or offering spiritual teachings for which (sometimes) huge dollar values are being charged in order for people to attend or participate. (The week-long International Indigenous Leadership Gathering in Lillooet went a long way to restoring some of my faith that the way it is meant to be shared is still being done "the right way"! Haaw'a Lillooet!!) The teachings I have received, over and over, have always underlined that money should never be the driving force when doing or offering "spirit work". In fact, when doing ceremonies such as Sweat Lodges and the like, beware if money is being charged or asked for! There are ancient protocols around this! I don't mean to say practitioners or others should not charge for offering workshops, which they have usually worked very hard to be qualified to share or teach ... we all need some money to survive! I just feel strongly that the type of "spirit work" guiding principles such as yours outlines should never come with a dollar "price tag", or at least should not exclude those unable to pay in money, and felt led to share that here. Too much of our global problems, I believe, are rooted in the monetary "system".

Thank you for the opportunity to express these thoughts. I am honored to be a small part of this blossoming effort. I look forward to following these efforts, and supporting in any ways I can, as time goes along. Aho
What I hear is the teachings of our Ancestors before the arrival of the socio-economic, political and religious systems that has attemped our assimilation. For thousands of years we lived on this continent and it remained much as it was in the beginning of things under our care giving and that knowledge passed down from our Ancestors. We are trying to address conditions that have developed in the past 250 years that continues to pollute every level of the Universe. Our greatest responsibility is to the Creator. In occupying that responsibility we must address these conditions and the perpetrations that continue to erode the environment around us. We are responsible to the next seven generations that they might enjoy life and enjoy it more abundantly. The greatest damage that has been done is spiritual. We once knew what it was to walk in harmony and balance respecting life and all life giving things. Our young people are committing suicide in unprecedented numbers because they are disconnected and they see no promise in what they have been assimilated into. They do not know that freedom is not a condition created with guns and military force, but a condition of the heart when one is connected to life and life giving things. In this consciousness individual environments are healed and as a result the greater, outside environment is improved. We can teach those to touch the earth with comprehension and conscientiousness. Mitakye Oyasin
To all of you my family I say thank you. For many years I was lost I can blame many things for this taken place but most of all I have to blame me. Things take place for a reason we don't always understand while we are yet going through it but it is for our own good. As I read the statements on this page my eyes fill with tears, tears of joy. We are at a great time in this world. We will see peace we will see all people restored to their rightful place. We must focus on love and on the fact that we are far more greater than we know. I have been through a great change in my life and for that I give thanks for all that I have been through. A great change is taken place with all of us and we must give thanks for all we have been through. It is with great joy that I speak with all of you, you all mean more to me than I can ever explain. We will overcome and be the beings that we are meant to be. With much love and thanks.
As you already know I believe in what you say, Brother. We must say these words and these ways everyday of our lives, letting others know that they are not alone and lost in the wilderness.

This is power, Grandfather's.

White-Bear
Thank you Isaiah for your beautiful sharing!

Isaiah Carter said:
To all of you my family I say thank you. For many years I was lost I can blame many things for this taken place but most of all I have to blame me. Things take place for a reason we don't always understand while we are yet going through it but it is for our own good. As I read the statements on this page my eyes fill with tears, tears of joy. We are at a great time in this world. We will see peace we will see all people restored to their rightful place. We must focus on love and on the fact that we are far more greater than we know. I have been through a great change in my life and for that I give thanks for all that I have been through. A great change is taken place with all of us and we must give thanks for all we have been through. It is with great joy that I speak with all of you, you all mean more to me than I can ever explain. We will overcome and be the beings that we are meant to be. With much love and thanks.
I am inspired in a myriad of ways by these propositions. I am most interested in finding People who are wanting to implement these ways...and get very specific in terms of this being reflected piece by piece, as we can, in time, in our everyday lives. Change is always uncomfortable. You have to give things up in order to make room for new things to have a place in your life. These are good things to have in my mind as I go about my life. It is good to be a leader for yourself by acting on the words of those you admire and respect...I don't think it's enough to just know. I do understand that Change does not happen all at once-and we need to take things step by step.
I believe that the tribal way is a good way...that way includes bio-regional economies and de-centralized governance. It means cradle to grave care...it means all are valued for their skills and talents...it means we will work it out because there is nowhere to hide.
I have started the Council "Citizens of Earth" for a few reasons-one is so that we can see who we are, what we are doing...and how that is different from our visions of where we want to be. Hope and desire are sadly not enough...yes we will get what we truly wish for...yes our dreams come true...but we must closely examine ourselves and determine if our true intent is in alignment with the wisdom we accept in our minds. Intent is followed by movement, action...this occurs. We can mentally agree-but is our intention to act as well? That intention is something deep deep within us...something we are not even aware of sometimes.
I am here to motivate us to examine our inner intent-and see if it lines up with our outer acceptance of these great and wonderful ideas and concepts on how to bring about a Peaceful World.
I am FeelingWoman...and so I must express that I feel a great and exspansive love for all of Humankind when I come here...a sense of being truly understood. I think one aspect of love is to be able to see through another eyes...I can see through the eyes of our Wisdom keepers here...and it looks good!!!...makes me feel great...and helps me to be true to my inner intent-which is to actualize the Teachings and Wisdom I have found.
Thank-you a hundred million thousand gazillion googles...You have my love,my respect, and my support.
Mitakuye Oyasin
With each and every part and process, here, within, I, we, have much to learn and gain from one another.
Without understanding where it is I've been and dealing with the pain and conflicts, demons, if you will, of my past, how am I to be of use to myself and, I feel, more importantly, others, and Mother Earth.
However many times I have stumbled on my spiritual journey, I pick myself up and dust myself off, move forward. Without mistakes, I would know not of the success.
Each and every time I visit here is spiritual in itself.
I am looking forward to ongoing participation and meeting and making many new friends as I journey forward.
Many Thanks.
Light and Best Blessings,
Kerri
My heart resonates with every word on this page. These are sound, consciously aware, and peace-based principles. My highest context that I live by is "A One World Family Anchored in Cooperation." So here I am. Thank you for welcoming me into this community. It feels like home.

Love and Light ~ Linda
Thank you and Many Blessings for all your efforts and time and clear energy! You sent this to me by e-mail right when I had decided to actively create community with another yoga studio in my small town in Colorado! I was thinking "what are the guidelines for creating community?" And, poof, here they are! I am most grateful! Susan

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Guiding Principles

Starting From Within, Working in a Circle, in a Sacred Manner, We Heal and Develop Ourselves, Our Relationships, and the World.

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