September 2011: The Seven Laws of the Great Spirit
(another article in the series: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times)
The Seven Laws of the Great Spirit
I, like many of you, watch the news on television and on June 29th, it was revealed that 39% of the people of America believe that American Culture is in permanent decline and that our deepening financial crisis will never be resolved. In response, I recalled the words of Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson from their book The Cultural Creatives published in the year 2000:
"We should take hope for we are traveling in the company of an enormous number of allies…"
Ray and Anderson revealed ten years ago that the number of people in the Transformational Community — those that they call the Cultural Creatives — then numbered between 50-60 million people in the US alone with another 90-100 million in Britain and Europe. These are not small numbers and they have grown considerably. A mutual friend revealed to me recently that Ray now feels that the transformationals now represent about 40% of the American people… or around 80 to 90 million souls.
This, in my opinion, is very good news.
We all know that we live in perilous times. Considering the issues, I might observe (dispassionately) that the moment has truly come for us to create a new cultural mythos — one that will redefine who we are, who we can be, as well as who we wish to become. This includes creating a new world that we wish to pass on to our grandchildren… and to their grandchildren.
Every thought that we think, every word that we speak, each relationship that we engage in and every action that we take must be considered in this light, for what we think, speak, feel and do is the first step to creating that new world… or not.
If I were to draw upon the observations of Hale Makua, my great Hawaiian friend, this new world will be determined by where we, as individuals and as a culture, choose to sink our anchor.
From Makua’s perspective, most of us have been anchored in the negative polarity over the last several decades. But what does it mean?
In his words: "When love moves out, fear moves in…" and in response to this, we have experienced the negative polarity at its best: economic bondage; political deception and coercion; mendacity from our business leadership and from the media; massive and collective greed from the wealthy; misguided religious zeal and terrorist attacks; and tyranny from our leaders who have been controlling the populace through manipulation and fear.
Now… how would this all change if we as individuals and as a culture were to lift anchor and re-sink it into the positive polarity? And how would this affect the quality of our lives as well as the quality of our leadership at all levels?
Allow me to share some thoughts that come to us from the indigenous peoples — specifically from the Cherokee medicine man and shaman who was known to us as Rolling Thunder.
1. Respect for proper authority
This sacred directive is not about doing what you’re told. It’s not about being coerced by some centralized authority system or family member or some political or religious leader, nor is it about being in fear of some supernatural god-father who lives off-planet and who has good days and bad days.
So what is proper authority? We will know it when we see it… and we will offer our respect for that authority, as well as our support, only when it reveals itself as coming from a place of truth, of authenticity and from a foundation based in the positive polarity devoted to the greater good of all.
2. Preserve and promote the beauties of Nature
This sacred guideline of living and thriving in the beauty of Nature was embraced and practiced by the traditional peoples everywhere before Western Civilization happened to them. If we were to consider the Aboriginal peoples of Australia, for example, their indigenous life ways and perceptions kept them and their societies alive and well for tens of thousands of years longer than Western Civilization has existed.
During this time, they have built no great monuments nor have they produced any glittering new gadgets to distract and delight us, although they have created great art. Rather they have lived in balance and harmony with Nature for more than 40,000 years during which time they have destroyed no land nor diminished its spirit. That is their monument and in the end, this may be the only one that really matters.
3. Judge with kindness and wisdom
In August, 2001, I remember hearing the religious
scholar and acclaimed author and Professor Huston Smith say at a conference in
4. Moderation in all things
Dr. Benjamin Franklin — one of the architects of the newly forming United Sates of America over 200 years ago — proclaimed himself ‘An extreme moderate.’ As a result, he emerged as one of the most interesting and balanced of the many founding fathers of the US… and one of the most successful as a human being.
If we were to consider the moderates in our own time from a spiritual perspective, we might describe them as secular humanists who perceive an immanent and omnipresent creative force or principle found within everything and everyone, whose sole expression is love… a perspective that is now being embraced by increasing numbers of well-informed and well-educated people, most of whom hold the belief in some form of universal god-like being or consciousness of which we are all manifested aspects.
These folks are not god-fearing, they are god-loving; and as awakened citizens of the world, they know that the spiritual patriarchs — Zoroaster and Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, as well as Lao Tzu, Krishna and the Buddha — are all important spiritual teachers whether or not we are psychologically Jewish or Christian, Muslim or Hindu, Taoist or Buddhist.
In other words, the time has come for all those religious extremists and fundamentalists deeply anchored in the negative polarity to reconsider what their beliefs have brought down from the Dark Ages and into our the world.
For in response to them, perhaps, here is a new spiritual complex coming into being in our time, one that is life-affirming and life-sustaining, one that is based in the principle of Aloha, providing us all with an opportunity to achieve a level of spiritual freedom and growth that has not been experienced in the Western world for 2000 years.
5. Play fair in the game of life
The further we progress along the path of power, the more vulnerable we become to the flaws in our own character. And this is where most of our leaders — political, economic, social, military and religious — have stumbled.
To acquire and wield great power comes with great responsibility, a fact that implies that power must always be used with integrity, with fairness and with honor. This leads us to the next Law…
6. A person’s word of honor is sacred
As the actor Liam Neeson said to his young son in the film Rob Roy: ‘Honor is a gift that a man gives to himself. No one else can give it to you and no one can take it away.’
7. Respect for differences
Most of the transformationals who attend our mystical seminars and workshops express a strong sense of social justice and they seem to be deeply concerned about the quality of human life at all levels of society. They feel strong support for women’s issues as well as those of minorities. They are concerned for the safety and well being of both children and the elderly and human relationships are clearly seen as more important than material gain. Social and religious tolerance, personal individualism and spiritual freedom are highly valued ideals… and the reweaving of the social fabric through the rebuilding of families, neighborhoods and communities are major areas of concern.
I personally find these values to be deeply reassuring for it quickly becomes apparent that they have little to do with being a liberal or a conservative, a Christian or a Jew, a Hindu or a Muslim or even a patriot. Yet, they have everything to do with being a humanist in the evolved sense of the word.
Although the Western world continues to be driven by greed and fueled by denial, motivated by fear and dominated by competition, members of the transformational community are oriented toward democratic, humanistic ideals and we tend to favor cooperative endeavors that benefit the many.
The importance of balance and harmony lies right at the core of our values and in this respect, we, like the indigenous peoples, have grasped that humans must strive to live their lives in ways that contribute to the greater good of all rather than following lifestyles and pursuing goals that create its opposite.
The time has come for all of us, including our leadership, to turn toward our higher nature, to bring out the best in ourselves in order to shift our anchor into the positive polarity so that we may work together to create connection with each other and with an enhanced sense of purpose.
To quote a Hawaiian saying…
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Page updated: October 16, 2023
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