The Four-Fold Way

[found on and]

Universal Aspects of Healing

by Angeles Arrien

What are the perennial Wisdoms? What are the roots beyond our cultural imprinting or family conditioning? What is the glue? What are the global “10 commandments”–the Universal Values?

I have “uncovered” or “recovered” or “discovered” (from the vast pool of everything that has always been there, just waiting to be “remembered”), four global Universal Values:

  1. Universal Value of a deep regard for life. (Thou shalt not murder.)
  2. Universal Value to honor and respect what one has created for themselves. (Thou shalt not steal.)
  3. Universal Value for Truth. (Thou shalt not lie.)
  4. Universal Value for honoring established emotional relationship lines. (Thou shalt not rape.)

Among the Basque people and among the majority of Native People of this land there is what is called the “Four-Fold Way,” and they say that life will be very simple if you just follow these four guidelines:

  1. Show Up.
  2. Pay Attention.
  3. Tell the Truth, without blame or judgment.
  4. Don’t be Attached to outcome, but open to outcome.

These four Principles and the four Universal Values reveal in all mythology four ways of “Be-ing.”

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Showing Up –The Way of the Warrior

This is the capacity to Honor and Respect our Self in equal proportion to how we Honor and Respect other people, the way of Honoring our limits and boundaries and also Respecting other people’s limits and boundaries is an unlimited resource within. Respect means the willingness to look back with care.

The way of the Warrior Honors three Universal Powers:

  1. The Power of Presence–Charisma and magnetism.
  2. The Power of Communication
  3. The Willingness to take a stand –to stand up for oneself–to know what it is we can stand up for.

We could say that Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King and Gandhi had all three powers. The actual archetype of the Warrior is to honor and respect–not to kill! If we develop our concepts of Honor and Respect, there would not be the warrior that needs to protect and defend — with “peacekeeper” missiles.

Paying Attention–The Way of the Healer

We need to pay attention to what needs to be done in the moment to heal our own wounds and extend Healing to other people. There are eight Universal Ways that we can extend Healing:

  1. Diet–Diet sustains the body. More than just the food we eat, we must consider the diet of the Mind (What is, the quality of my thinking?), diet of the Heart (What is the quality of my emotions?), diet of the Spirit (What is the quality of my Vision, my Feelings, my Intention and my Action?). The formula for Healing is, “I Observe, I Feel, I Want and I am Willing “
  2. Music–Music soothes the savage beast, “Sing for your life.”
  3. Humor–The capacity to Play and bring Joy in our life. “Beware the man who laughs and his belly does not jiggle.” –Confucius
  4. Love–Our willingness to receive and extend Gratitude, Acknowledgment, Validation, Appreciation and Acceptance.
  5. Environment–Outer (Nature), Internal (Our Home), Deep Internal (Our Self-Worth and Self-Esteem). How do we Honor the three ingredients of Self Esteem: Self Love, Self-Trust and Self-Respect?
  6. Creative Purpose–The sense of contribution we make Personally, Professionally, Culturally and Globally.
  7. Belief in the Super-Natural–Faith in the Mystery of that which we don’t under stand, that which is above our nature. The capacity to see with the eyes closed, to walk the Mystical Path with practical feet.
  8. Exercise–How we face Change (that which puts us through our movements). The four Universal Changes are Birth, Initiation (our current test or challenge), Marriage (to merge–what is coming together, falling into place) and Death (the capacity to let go).

Telling the Truth, without blame or judgment–The Way of the Visionary

The visionary honors Dreams, Visions, Insights and the Inner Voice. The Way of the Visionary recognizes that there are four Universal Healing Actions:

  1. Dancing–The Way of the Warrior
  2. Story Telling–The Way of the Healer
  3. Singing–The Way of the Visionary
  4. Silence–The Way of the Teacher

“And if I see you, I will laugh out loud (with delight). Or I will fall silent (because I’ve been so deeply moved). Or I will explode into a thousand pieces (because I’ve been so inspired). And if I don’t, I will be caught in the cement and stone of my own prison.” –Rumi, poet

Don’t be attached to outcome, but open to outcome–The Way of the Teacher

As the Rumi poet said, “Beyond Ideas of Wrong doing and Right doing, there’s a field. I’ll meet you there.”

The old Wisdoms are coming forward, asking us to remember the deep inheritance and heritage of who we are. Asking us to remember not only our Divinity, but our Vision, our Heart, our Intention of why we’re here. Asking us to remember the Actions that we want to take. What is the action that is needed at this point in Time? It is not the action of separation, but the action of inclusion– that’s the Healing.

Transcript from talk by Angeles Arrien at “Dreaming the New Dream Conference”, Sun Valley, Idaho 1988; Originally presented in Baltimore Resource Journal, Vol 9, No. 3, Fall 1995, Baltimore Maryland.

3 thoughts on “The Four-Fold Way

  1. Hi Vincent! Would your blog name because you live in the Pacific? I’ve only began following your blog. Like Hawaii??

    I ask because I’ve been reading and rereading this book, Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber Hawkeye and he resides in Hawaii. The things you posted here, though came from another source, but nonetheless syncs with the book. I seriously can not put it down. And when you come across something oddly familiar, why not meet at the intersection? Considering you would not post this without believing in it… maybe you can look him up and who knows what may spin ball no? Just a thought. =)

  2. Hi Maia,
    Thanks for reading so carefully and mindfully. I haven’t been aware of Timber Hawkeye and his Buddhist Boot Camp. I’ll look more deeply. I briefly checked out his website and see that he’s now somewhere in Southern California.
    The blog name ViewPacific is sort of a play on words. First, yes, I live on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and these are my views. Second, I like to believe the views I share are peaceful and support peace, along with loving kindness. It’s an aspiration.
    Back to Timber Hawkeye…thanks, yes, I will look him up and who knows!?

  3. Haha! I didn’t know he’s in Cali. Duh.

    His book was published last year and he spoke of Hawaii as where he had began his new path after immersing in various monasteries, and finally getting all confused with all the different dogma. Until he concluded his own truth (a dash of this dogma, a dash of that) that works for him and now he shares with other people.

    Anyways, the book is a good easy read. I’m on my fourth reading since end of September. 😉

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