Presented by Phil Lane Jr., Chairman of the Four Worlds International Institute to Former UN Secretary General, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar and the World Commission On Culture and Development, at United Nations Headquarters, New York City, April, 1995
Very Respected Friends and Relatives,
As always, it is my hope and prayer that you and the many loved ones who surround you are in the very best of health and happiness.
With the heartfelt understanding that each one of us is the spiritual representative of all those beloved relatives who have gone before us, I have complete faith that, together, we will be able to build a New World Civilization. Drawing on the collective consciousness of countless previous generations, we have the divine capacity to resolve and heal all past grief, fear, hatred and broken trust, while building a just, sustainable and harmonious world that will fully realize the unlimited potential of the human family, both individually and collectively.
We are living in the days of the fulfillment of sacred prophecies. An Elder once told me, “Grandson, the longest road you will ever have to walk in your life is the sacred journey from your head to your heart.” Another wise Elder said, “We will never solve the many critical and life threatening issues before us solely through the intellect, for every problem the intellect solves, it creates ten more.” Unto itself the intellect is a sacred gift of the Creator, but equally, without an open, visionary and creative heart there is no wisdom. Both the mind and heart are sacred. Both are inseparably connected.
Countless centuries before the birth of our generations, the Ancient Ones gave us prophecies that clearly foretold these very days that we are living. This is the new Divine Springtime, that is unfolding around us with ever-increasing clarity. It is toward actualizing this long held vision of a new world civilization, founded in spiritual principles and values that I wish to share with you the innermost feelings and thoughts of my heart and mind.
In December 1982, on the high plains of Alberta, forty wise, respected and dedicated elders, spiritual leaders and community members from different tribal societies across North America came together for four days and nights of in-depth purposeful consultation. Our common purpose was to develop a holistic model of human and community development, inspired and guided by organizing principles, values, strategies and processes of sustainable change, healing and development rooted deep in the Natural Laws that are at the inmost heart and core of tribal cultures throughout Mother Earth.
Through this prayerful, elder-guided, consultation process emerged the spiritual guidance, understanding, wisdom, strength, vision and faith that the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and beyond that were committed and dedicated to do so, had the potential to develop sustainable, healthy, creative and spiritually balanced communities free of abuse!
From this humble beginning, perfectly synchronized with a full eclipse of the moon, and empowered, guided and sustained by an ever-deepening understanding of the natural laws, prophecies, spiritual values, wisdom and prayers formally shared with us over the past years by many tribal elders, spiritual leaders and communities who have patiently and faithfully assisted our humble efforts, we have steadfastly continued our healing journey into our long awaited future.
With the unfailing guidance and assistance from those beloved elders that are walking the path before us, it has become very clear that the long spiritual wintertime of our Indigenous Peoples is over and the long-awaited springtime is unfolding, slowly, but steadily, with every-increasing beauty and healing in every direction. It is, also, very clear that as we heal ourselves and our communities that Indigenous Peoples, everywhere, will have a greater and greater role to play in the positive and dynamic change that is unfolding throughout Mother Earth.
Before outlining the Guiding Principles for Building a Sustainable World that have emerged from the ongoing consultative process of many years, it is important that we reflect deeply on the critical and pressing challenges that must be addressed in our predestined journey to our spiritual maturity as noble, just, compassionate, truthful and forgiving human beings and societies. This spiritual pathway we are slowly but surely walking is forging in the crucible of Global change and transformation the New World Civilization long promised by the Ancient Ones and the Ancient of Days!
(1)Environmental destruction is increasing everywhere on our beloved Mother Earth. Along with this increasing destruction, Indigenous peoples and their way of life are rapidly disappearing. Until there is a dramatic change in our actions and behavior towards our sacred Mother Earth, humanity’s ultimate destiny will not be actualized as promised by the Ancient Ones and the Ancient of Days.
During the early years of North American’s “new” ecological consciousness, my grandfather had a conversation with an old friend at his home on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. His old friend asked my grandfather to explain to him what ecology was all about. “Well” my grandfather said, “you know, Tahanshi, my beloved cousin, we have these places of the Whiteman’s education where you can go and learn to read and study books. Then they learn how to write about what they have read about. Finally they learn to talk about what you have learned to read and write about!
This is how the young people of today learn about life. Some people learn this way for many, many years. After they have read enough books, written about what they have read about and talked about what they have written about, they are given a piece of paper that say’s they are a Doctor or a Wise Person of Life. These Doctors and Wise People of Life then get jobs where they earn a lot of money, so they can read, write, and talk some more. They have even have invented machines that can look at things that are very small and make them look big. There are other machines they have invented that can look at things far away and make them look close.
They even put different parts of Mother Earth in containers and pour them back and forth so they can find out more about the truth of Mother Earth. Anyway, Tahanshi, they have spent a lot of time and money and studied Mother Earth for many, many years. From all this work they have made a new discovery. They found out that everything is interrelated. They found out that when you pollute the air which all living things breathe and pollute the water which all living things drink, you pollute all living things.
What do you think about that, Tahanshi?”
My Grandfather’s old friend smiled knowingly and shook his head. “I was wondering when they would get around to this understanding of Life! Just look at what we do to our beloved Mother Earth. We cut her hair where it should not be cut and rip up her skin where it should not be ripped up, and then we drill holes inside her and suck all of her blood out and put things inside of her and blow her bones up.”
This wise elder then looked deeply into the eyes of my grandfather, shook his finger and said, “And what would happen if you did that to your mother? She would die! And this is exactly what is going to happen to all of us if we do not learn to respect and understand the Spirit and Sacred Teachings of our Mother.”
(2) Along with the dramatic increase in environmental destruction, natural disasters are synergistically and simultaneously increasing everywhere on Mother Earth. These natural disasters include; earth quakes, droughts, floods, hurricanes, weather changes, incurable diseases, air, soil and water pollution, , tornadoes, insect infestations, and the destruction of the ozone layer and polar ice caps.
The Western medical complex is just beginning to realize that their world-wide war on disease is failing on many fronts. Super drugs have created super diseases that are beginning to break through every line of defense that has been created by Western Science, with little hope that more expensive and powerful drugs will prevent these super diseases from having rapid, deadly, and widespread global impact. In their desperation to find new “cures”, the Western medical complex is currently spending millions of dollars to research plants and herbs that were developed and utilized for countless centuries by Indigenous science systems, in an effort to find alternative ways to deal with these new, deadly, human-created strains of disease.
(3) The world’s population is increasing by more than 92,000,000 human beings every year. In fact, if every human being who now lives on Mother Earth were able to experience the average economic status found in middle income homes in Canada and the US, we would need three more entire planets. Soon our Human Family will reach more than 7 Million human Beings.
Until we thoroughly understand the true meaning of respect for all life, the sacred relationship between women and men, and the spiritual purpose of our physical existence, we will continue to move towards worldwide disaster. This will happen much sooner than we expect!
(4) Global economic competition is increasing with every passing day! The current world economic system is spinning out of control despite the best efforts of our nation states to stabilize a system that no longer serves the needs of the human family. Instead of sovereignty, in its truest meaning, financial institutions of this world are manipulating and controlling the economic and social destiny of the Human Family for selfish purposes.
Global economic markets are increasingly being de-stabilized by financial speculators whose primary motive is their unquenchable thirst for material riches, at whatever the cost to future generations. Though hidden at this time, this greed will be fully exposed as we move into the “Shift of the Ages!” This organic change in the consciousness of the Human Family has long been prophesized by the Ancient Ones and The Ancient of Days!
More economic theories and external controls will not solve this deepening crisis. Only when our hearts experience the divine reality that there is only one Human Family, one Human Race, and that all Mother Earth is the common spiritual heritage of all beings, will we be able to develop a global economic system that is life preserving and life sustaining. As a wise Elder once told me, “Whenever we make economic gain on the weakness of others or unfairly exploit others for our own selfish purposes, we will pay a very high price. In essence, the hurt of one is the hurt of all, and the honor of one is the honor of all.” It’s only a matter of time when global economic convulsions will impact every nation on Mother Earth.
(5) The social and cultural disintegration of growing numbers of human beings, their communities and their cultures are increasing with every passing day. Divorce, child sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, family violence, abuse of women, gang growth and violence, violent crimes, suicide and other distinct signs of the increasing spiritual sickness of the Human Family are becoming as clear as the midday sun. Only when we are able to understand and embrace one another as members of the same human family and fully become aware we are One Human Family will we have the everlasting spiritual foundation for rebuilding our communities and the world. The Ancient of Day’s has called the emergence of this new World Civilization, as the, “Day that will not be followed by night!”
As one of my grandfathers said to me, “You know grandson, the Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka, has given all people wisdom. To every living being he has given something special. Some people receive their knowledge and understanding through books. In your life grandson, you too must read and study every book that you can read! But always remember to take with you on your spiritual journey only those things that bring more unity within yourself and others, that bring goodness and understanding and help us to serve one another in better ways.
Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, has also given our Indigenous peoples, and all other human beings who live close to Mother Earth, knowledge and wisdom through dreams, visions, fasting, prayer, and the ability to see the lessons the Creator has put in every part of creation.
Look at those trees standing over there; the alder tree does not tell the pine tree to move over; the pine tree does not tell the fir tree to move over; each tree stands together in unity, with their mouth pressed toward the breast of the same Mother Earth, refreshed by the same breeze, warmed by the same sun, with their arms upraised in prayer and thanksgiving, protecting one another. If we are to have peace in the world, we too must learn to live and be like those trees.
Look, my beloved grandson, at the beautiful teachings the Creator has put in that little stream. Feel the gentle water and see how gently and lovingly it touches your hands. It travels through deserts and mountains and many places, but it never turns its back on anyone or anything. Even though water gives life to all living things, it is very humble, and always seeks the very lowest spot. But the spirit of water, also, has great faith, power and patience. Even if a great mountain stands in its path, it keeps moving and moving until finally that mountain is washed into the ocean and is no more. These are spiritual gifts and capacities that the Creator has given each one of us. If we are to be happy within ourselves, with one another, and fulfill the Sacred Prophecies we must always do the best we can to develop these sacred spiritual qualities and capacities.”
(6) As the old and dying world order becomes more and more unstable, many governments, in an effort to try and control the social and political disintegration process will increasingly violate human rights, abuse our Human Family and create conflicts between others to try to justify and protect themselves and their actions! As these abuses and injustices increase, an ever greater number of Human Beings will react to this growing injustice with greater, greater social unrest and violence! These Global Movements for Social Justice and Freedom and, at times, acts of increasing terror and violence will not only be against governments. There will also be greater and greater conflict created between ethnic, religious and racial groups, as well.
The spiritual reality that must be realized is that the Old World Order based in greed, materialism and economic elitism is no longer able to meet the needs of the growing Spiritual Consciousness of the Peoples of Mother Earth. Only by fully realizing the Oneness of the Human Family and by providing positive alternatives to the current destructive and inharmonious patterns of living will we rebuild our Families, Communities and Nations.
Only unconditional love and forgiveness for ourselves and others we will heal the age old fear, revenge, mistrust, greed, selfishness and hatred that is destroying the innermost heart of the human family. External control, War, Terrorism and the Repression of the Human Spirit will not end the increasing devastation of our worldwide social order. Only self discipline and penetrating vision in the service of the Creator, others and ourselves, will enable us to be victorious over all the abuse of the Human Spirit that surrounds and is within every Human Being and every Human Community. This spiritual sickness is destined to increase over the next coming generations. The death cries of an old, outworn Global Civilization will be intense, but for those who are listening, feeling and seeing with spiritual ears, hearts and eyes the birth pangs of a New World Civilization will only continue to increase with every passing day!
(7) As many governments become more rigid, abusive and uncompromising, in a last ditch effort to save the predestined disintegration of an Old World Order, terrorism and random acts of violence against individuals and society will increase dramatically. Despite vast amounts of money and lives that are destined to be expended in a War against Terrorism and maintaining the “status quo”, the economic and political fortunes of the East and the West will continue to diminish! Their diplomacy, however well planned, to resolve humanities increasing crises and threats of war will, in the end, prove to be impotent!
This movement of global disintegration and related movements toward social and environmental justice will continue until the ancient teachings found at the heart of all living cultures and spiritual traditions that teach us how to live in harmony and balance with all life are once again alive and at the centre of all human endeavors. In this Global process of regeneration Indigenous Peoples have a key spiritual leadership role to play!
We have a critical decision before us. Will we choose to walk the path of hatred, disunity and revenge or will we choose to walk the path of healing, reconciliation and forgiveness? Each path has clear consequences.
As the spiritual greatness of our Indigenous Peoples and our age-old realization of the Prior Unity and Oneness of the Human Family returns with greater and greater strength, it is clear to see that we and many other members of the Human Family are choosing the Red Road, the sacred path of healing, reconciliation and forgiveness, long foretold by the Ancient Ones and the Ancient of Days!.
Each one of these seven challenges that I have outlined that are before us are each monumental in scope and severity. It is very clear to see that we are beginning to experience a growing series of global catastrophes as the inevitable crossroads of these collective challenges cross and amplify. The degree and depth of the severity of these deepening global challenges is fully in each of our hands.
It will take bold, courageous, unified and selfless action to mediate the depth and degree of the global destruction that each one of us and our beloved ones are facing! The choice to step into a New World Civilization based in the full consciousness of the Oneness of the Human Family is ours and ours alone, and that life-changing decision is ultimately a spiritual one.
Without a doubt, we will eventually enter the Day that will not be followed by night! That has long been assured by the Ancient Ones and the Ancient of Days! The choice is in each of our hands as to how severe the birth pains will be in the unfolding of a New World Civilization whose hallmark will be Justice and Unity.
The following Sixteen Principles for Building a Sustainable and Harmonious World Community emerged from a 14 year process of reflection, consultation and action within Indigenous communities across the Americas. They are rooted in the concerns of hundreds of Indigenous elders and spiritual leaders, as well as in the best thinking of many non-aboriginal scholars, researchers, and human and community development practitioners. These principles describe the way we must work together, and what we must protect and cherish. We offer then as a gift to all those who seek to build a sustainable and harmonious world, and as a foundation for a worldwide consultation process for co-creating a New World Civilization!
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 life 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.
FOUR WORLDS PRINCIPLES FOR BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE AND HARMONIOUS WORLD
“Starting from within, working in a circle, in a sacred manner, we heal ourselves, our relationships and our world".
‘STARTING FROM WITHIN”
Development Comes From Within
The process of healing and development unfolds from within each person, relationship, family, community or nation.
No Vision, No Development
A vision of who we can become is like a magnet drawing us to our potential. Where there is no vision, there can be no development.
Development is Culturally Based
Healing and development must be rooted in the wisdom, knowledge and living processes of our cultures.
Because everything is connected to everything else, any aspect of our healing and development is related to all the others (personal, social, cultural, political, economic, etc.). When we work on any part, the whole circle is affected.
“WORKING IN A CIRCLE”
Working at one level of development without attending to the other is not enough. Personal, holistic, social, and economic development as well as top-down and bottom-up approaches must be balanced Personal growth and healing and the healing and development of our families and communities must go hand in hand.
No Unity, No Development
We need the love, support and caring of others to heal and develop ourselves. Unity is the starting point for development, and as development unfolds, unity deepens.
No Participation, No Development
People have to be actively engaged in the process of their own healing and development. Without participation, there can be no development.
Every person must be treated with respected as a human being and a child of the Creator, regardless of gender, race, culture, religion or any other reason. Every human being should be accorded the opportunity to fully participate in the processes of healing and development, and to receive a share of the benefits.
“IN A SACRED MANNER”
Spirituality is at the heart of healing and development. Connection with the Creator brings life, unity, love and purpose to the process, and is expressed through a heart-centred approach to all that we do.
Harmonizing With Natural Law
Growth is a process of uncovering who we truly are as human beings in harmony with the natural laws of the Universe.
Walking In Balance
Codes of morality, ethics and protocol teach us how to walk the road of life in a good way. Violating moral and ethical boundaries can destroy the process of healing and development.
Working from Principle
Our plans and actions are founded on our deepest understanding of the principles that describe how the universe is ordered and how healing and development unfolds.
“WE HEAL AND DEVELOP OURSELVES,
OUR RELATIONSHIPS AND OUR WORLD”
Learning to live in ways that promote life and health is the essence of our development. Our primary strategy is therefore the promotion of this type of learning.
When we take actions to improve our lives or the lives of others, it is critical to avoid undermining the natural systems upon which all life depends and to work in ways that enhance the capacity of people to continue in the path of their own healing and development.
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 crate, as well as building on the strengths we already have, rather than giving away our energy fighting the negative.
Be the Change You Want To See
In all of our actions, we seek to be living examples of the changes we wish to see in the world. By walking the path, we make the path visible.
With the courage and dedication to utilize the wisdom and guiding spiritual principles of our elders on the path to a peaceful and equitable future, we will find that we have the power and ability to carefully and lovingly remove any barriers that have limited the development of our full potential as human beings and communities. The greater the difficulty in our path, the even greater opportunity for our growth and ultimate victory! We can always become more than we have ever been before!
We know from our ancient teachings that the Sacred Eagle of Humanity has two perfectly balanced and harmonious wings; one representing woman, and one representing man. In our relationships as women and men, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, we must join together to eliminate all forms of disrespect, mistreatment, or lack of sharing in the responsibility of raising the world’s children. It is my deepest prayer that with every new sunrise, we can recognize more and more that the most sacred and holy of all the wonderful ceremonies and gifts that the Creator has given us is the birth of child, and that everything we can do to provide our children and communities the best possible future is a sacred gift and responsibility.
For is not the moment long, long overdue by Beloved Relatives, through the unfailing power and love of our Creator, for us to fully free ourselves from the hurt and pain , past and present, so we may soar like majestic eagles to the promised greatness of our sacred destiny and future.
With Warm and Loving Greetings,
Phil Lane Jr. Chairman
Four Worlds International Institute