I’m in the process of reading The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, the Teacher, Healer and Visionary, by Angeles Arrien, PhD. It explores paths to wholeness and empowerment from the perspectives of indigenous societies and shamanic traditions.
In her research, Arrien discovered a pattern of human archetypes that are consistent across cultures, seemingly universally embedded in the mythic structure of societies. When we learn to live these archetypes within ourselves, we can tap into their wisdom and begin to heal ourselves and our fragmented world.
The principles of the Four-Fold Way, based on the four archetypes, are:
1. Show up, or choose to be present. Being present allows us to access the human resources of power, presence, and communication. This is the way of the Warrior.
2. Pay attention to what has heart and meaning. Paying attention opens us to the human resources of love, gratitude, acknowledgment, and validation. This is the way of the Healer.
3. Tell the truth without blame or judgment. Nonjudmental truthfulness maintains our authenticity, and develops our inner vision and intuition. This is the way of the Visionary.
4. Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome. Openness and nonattachment help us recover the human resources of wisdom and objectivity. This is the way of the Teacher.
The first archetype explored in the book is that of the Warrior. The theme is about accessing the quality of courage, and to claim full leadership. She says:
The principle that guides the Warrior is showing up and choosing to be present. The developed Warrior shows honor and respect for all things, employs judicious communication, sets limits and boundaries, is responsible and disciplined, demonstrates right use of power, and understands the three universal powers.
As I read through the descriptions of the expressions of the Warrior, I could clearly see the places where I’m struggling to claim those things within myself.
Phi Beta Iota: Never too late to learn — this applies not only to rebels outside, but also to recalcitrants inside.