Working with the Four Fold Way is a unique experience for everyone. In this article I’m going to tell you about my relationship with it as a way to demonstrate how it might become a helper to you in your life of remembering, reviving and re-calibrating your integrity, authenticity, heart and power.
This book came to me at a time in my life as I was beginning to experience big disillusionments with the way society is organized, the matrix of belief and agreement within it, the behaviors and states of being it spawns in people, my own condition and my personal walk through the middle of it.
Most people find books and then take them up. In my case it seems like the book found me and took me up. It was my own speech, in particular the terms big medicine and original medicine, that triggered a social worker who knew it to say, “You must be a student of The Four Fold Way.” To which I replied, “What’s that?” Needless to say I got myself a copy of it in short order. Within its pages I found a mirror of me that was nothing like anything I had ever encountered before.
In my livelihood adventures there were a few aspects about my presence and contributions that were appreciated more than others: my authenticity, my creative abilities, and my ways of seeing and sense-making. Not everyone appreciated these abilities, but many did and some would ask if I could teach them to be more like I was. I was stupefied by the request for I couldn’t fathom how I could teach anyone the aspects of my self that were automatic for me.
When I read The Four Fold Way I saw myself in its mirror and understood that my default way of operating was more feral than domesticated, and that what some people appreciated about me and/or desired for themselves was a more natural, empowered and flexible state of being. I see now what I couldn’t see then: many–maybe even most–people in western culture today have been subjected to conditioning via systems and worldviews that mute and overwrite aspects of natural intelligence (NI). This imposter intelligence (II) acts against authenticity, natural four-body health and right living. It makes us unwell. We move into states of being closed, negative, self-deprecating, stingy, competitive, controlling, dramatic, performative or invisible, to name a few. We become unable to discern authenticity from performance and deception to claim our own lifeforce and responsibility to self-author, rely and propel.
Some of the shadow states and patterns I mentioned are natural process of learning and growing up. Embedded sneakily within these states and patterns is the imposter intellect, which amps them up and likes to keep them in place.
When we take on too much II, we become fragmented, confused, lose power, develop illness in our mental, spiritual, emotional and physical bodies and become easy to take from, direct and control. With NI we are immortal independent beings of great power and creativity. NI is the most effective remedy to II, in my opinion, for it doesn’t just bring us closer to our original blueprint and capacity, it spreads through our relations and vocations and into our communities. It is the original operating system for life.
The Four Fold Way is based in Angeles’ research and comparisons of cultures we know today as indigenous. Indigenous cultures are based in natural intelligence. You could call this book natural intelligence psychology, relevant, relatable and alive. It’s very different from modern psychology which is contaminated with imposter intelligence.
If we are human we are indigenous to earth and capable of recalling and operating organically. It isn’t easy, as many of us well know, but surely as the morning turns into afternoon and evening and night, we too are advancing and expanding, finding our way around the wheel in spiralling fashion, on our way home.
Angeles focuses on the person in her book. And from that basis the one engaging can enter into their personal recalibration home to NI with more confidence. Her content and suggestions are whole body – mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. She teaches us about four human resources inherent with us: power, vision, love and wisdom, illuminating their healthy expression and shadow expressions as well as suggesting tools we can use to clear ourselves and stand better in our own power, genius and personal authority.
What this book can trigger, illuminate and support is the heart, soul, needs and abilities in the body and life any reader. It helps us find our way back to a healthy natural state of psyche to become a potent creator and relater in the plane.
I’ve been traveling with this book as my personal reclamation companion for almost 15 years. When I found it I was in turmoil about the state of community and our disconnect from organic life in the plane. What it did for me creatively and vocationally speaking was inspire many diagrams of how the energy and chemistry of these four resources and their corresponding archetypes are a way to focus and flow in creative process and be expressed as architecture and alchemist for community health, where co-operation is easy and opportunity and responsibility are shared. Or, as I like to say, village intelligence.
I am now offering a Transformational Leadership Camp (TLC) for people who want take that full picture in and become forces of nature helping to build bridges between worlds.
Angeles Arrien, born in 1940 in Spain among the Basque people, dropped her robes and left the plane in 2014 in the US. She was an cultural anthropologist and author who embodied the healthy expressions of the four human resources of power, vision, love and wisdom she teaches in this book.
Below I have included two relatively short videos of Angeles sharing the work directly. And also, you can follow this link to read a tribute to her written by her protege Patrick O’Neill if you’d like to learn more about this lovely and intelligent woman of heart and spirit from someone who knew her exceptionally well.
If you want to buy the book, please try to get it from a local seller first. What we need in our economy now are strong local markets where our neighbours and collaborators are benefiting from the ways that we go about life.
Natural & Village Intelligence Camp is an offering by Wild & Salty Healing Company that includes theory, reflections, practice, practical assignments and connecting with others. The Four Fold Way is our foundational guidebook, setting a stage for reclaiming healthy psyches and relations attuning with nature so that together we grow empowered and capable at relationships that co-operate and flourish in every dimension of our lives.