19 Ways to a Viable Future for All Beings

This is one guide to how we change our minds sufficiently to live differently and act in ways that will preserve the future and protect the earth and all beings. When we incorporate these ways of thinking, we will no longer be people who do harm. But again, we have to change our minds as we won’t fully know what to do or how to do it until we respond instinctively with different minds, values and reflexes. These 19 Ways indicate the areas where transformation can occur.

The changes required are systemic and cellular. Too often these days, the very framing of the issues limit the possibilities. How will we survive? How will we thrive? How will we prosper? may no longer be the questions, if the WE refers only to humans. We have to free ourselves from the programming, at the least, of the last century. It is a huge task and it is possible. We have allies. They are not all human. The future is possible BUT we have to offer ourselves to it, unconditionally. When we do, guidance occurs. Spirit speaks to us when we open to it.


The changes we are called to make so that the earth and all beings might survive are extensive and extreme. They require comprehensive and global shifts of consciousness and activity. No one is exempt from such a challenge. As extreme, at this time, as are the dangers to all, are the signs of possibility we witness and experience each day. These are 19 ways that have been communicated to me over the years. They are certainly not the only ways but it seems that each one is essential. They represent a significant change in consciousness from seeking development or vision for oneself to seeking out the precise offering one is being asked to make on behalf of the future. It could take a lifetime to apprentice oneself to even one such way of transformation. We are called to meet each one of them – and perhaps more. We are called to commit ourselves to recognizing and understanding the nature of each one of these, as best as we can, as quickly as is possible. Each day we have less time to enter these sacred ways. As indicated, these are Ways that can best be realized in community, that is with each other and also through a direct and true relationship with Spirit.  Basic to entering and securing a 5th World are alliances with all beings and following the teachings of Spirit.

19 Ways to a Viable Future for All Beings

1. THE NATURAL WORLD, EARTH, is the primary source of life and intelligence. We are called to re-integrate human life into the net of all beings. Disconnection from the natural world and human centric and egocentric thinking have brought us to ecological disaster and looming extinction. To save our lives, to save all life, to save Life, is to find all the ways to restore the original relationships with the natural world, the beings of the natural world and the elementals as kin.

2. SPIRIT EXISTS.  Spirit speaks to each of us in a particular and shared language.  Entering into a dialogue with the divine. Developing and living according to a spiritual practice that develops from a real relationship with spirit.

3. COMMUNITY. Recognizing and living aligned with community as an essential vessel and means of transformation.

4. COUNCIL.  Entering and trusting the ways of Council, Dare’ and Mandlovu mind.  In Council, we seek to access wisdom that we do not carry individually by what arises among us. Listening to each other is more important than speaking. Speaking in Council is commitment. It is truth telling.  We speak from our deepest selves and stand by and  live by what we say. 

5. STORY.  Story is a pattern of events and also a path. Learning to listen, to recognize, understand and attend the way of Story and the particular path of healing and transformation it reveals for each one.

6. THE PATHLESS PATH.  Recognizing the path that one has traveled and seeing where one has been taken and the dynamic path that emerges from the journey. Attuning to, developing and being faithful to a spiritual practice on the pathless path.

7. BEARING WITNESS. Bearing witness to the horror and corruption of our history and these times and scrutinizing our lives accordingly.

8. DISENGAGEMENT.  Consciously ceasing our involvement with those forms and values that we,  individually,  believe do harm to human and non-human beings, the earth and the future.  Entering the long and exacting practice of bringing our lives into alignment with our beliefs and understanding.

9. HEALING WAR, PEACEMAKING and THE NO ENEMY WAY.  Committing ourselves to healing war within us and in the world.  Understanding and incorporating the No Enemy Way into our daily private and public ways as best as we can.  Committing ourselves to our transformation from war-traumatized people to peacemakers and visionaries.

10. REVISIONING. Revisioning public institutions of thought and action.  Imagining and aligning ourselves with ReVisioned Medicine, Science, Law, Education, Economic and Social systems.  For example, a ReVisioned Medicine practices the No Enemy Way, does no harm and integrates the combined wisdom of medical people and medicine people.  Assuming the equal relevance of indigenous, earth centered, spirit centered wisdom in all reasoning and thinking processes.  Changing one’s mind.

11. INDIGENOUS WISDOM TRADITIONS.  Studying, respecting, honoring, preserving, supporting, allying with indigenous wisdom traditions.  Changing the activities and forms of our lives accordingly from respecting and honoring elders to living prayerfully.

12. DREAMS AND DIVINATION.  Living by Dream, Intuition and Divination.  Reading the signs and then following  other spirit centered ways of knowing.  Yielding to initiation and living accordingly.

13. HEALING.  Recognizing the presence of healing.  Learning the ways of healing.  Seeking out healing.  Becoming a healing presence.

14. MITAKUYE OYASIN. Living according to All Our Relations.

15. THE WILD and THE OTHERS – NON HUMAN BEINGS.  Protecting, preserving, sustaining, bringing healing to the wild, the earth and all beings while recognizing the intelligence and agency of non-human beings and living among them accordingly.

16. BEAUTY AND CEREMONY.  Living according to Beauty, Creativity, Intuition, Prayer, Ritual, Ceremony, Loving kindness and Compassion as essential forms.  Recognizing that Joy is Praise.

17. SILENCE.  Valuing and engaging in silence, solitude, formless forms and not knowing.

18. SANCTUARY.  Honoring, providing, becoming sanctuary for all beings by learning the way of the land.

19. HEART MIND.  Thinking with the heart.  Speaking from the heart. Listening with the heart.  Living and responding in heartfelt ways. Meeting the world and all situations with the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of the heart.  Heartstorming with others.

THEN COMMITMENT and stepping through the portal into a different field of relationships, understanding and assumptions. Living faithfully according to the 19 Ways that mandate serving Spirit and the on-going future.


Several of these books, read together, begin to transmit the mind we are trying to attain. They create the foundation for the work we are doing.  Please begin with Columbus and Other Cannibals and Deena’s books, A Rain of Night Birds and Entering the Ghost River. Then proceed as inclined paying particular attention to those books which are *.  


*Arkan Lushwala Deer and Thunder

Barry Lopez Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World

Barry Lopez Horizon

Barry Lopez Resistance

Barry Lopez Winter Count

Calvin Luther Martin The Way of the Human Being 

Doris Lessing Shikasta

Derrick Jensen A Language Older Than Words

Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, Max Wilbert Bright Green Lies

F. David Peat and John Briggs Seven Lessons of Chaos

*F. David Peat Blackfoot Physics 

Françoise Malty-Anthony An Elephant in My Kitchen: What the Herd Taught Me About Love, Courage and Survival 

Gay Bradshaw Carnivore Minds: Who These Fearsome Animals Really Are

*Gay Bradshaw Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us About Humanity 

*Gregory Cajete Native Science 

**Jack Forbes Columbus & Other Cannibals 

**James Bridle New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future

Katy Payne Silent Thunder

Kent Nerburn Neither Wolf Nor Dog

Kent Nerburn The Wolf at Twilight

Kent Nerburn The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo (Preferably read Nerburn in order above) 

**Kim Stanley Robinson The Ministry For the Future

Lee Irwin The Dream Seekers: Native American Visionary Traditions of the Great Plains 

Leslie Marmon Silko Ceremony 

Lewis Mehl-Madrona Coyote Medicine: Lessons From Native American Healing

Lewis Mehl-Madrona Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process

*Linda Hogan People of the Whale (Deena recommends all of Hogan’s books)

Linda Hogan Power

Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger, Brenda Peterson, Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals

*Martin Prechtel Secrets of the Talking Jaguar 

Martin Prechtel Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic 

Martin Prechtel The Mare and The Mouse: Stories of My Horses, Volume 1

Merlin Sheldrake Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

Morris West Clowns of God

*Nora Jamieson Deranged 

Peter Nabokov Where Lightning Strikes 

Richard Katz Indigenous Healing Psychology: Honoring the Wisdom of the First Peoples 

Richard Powers The Overstory

Robin Wall Kimmerer Braiding Sweetgrass

Rosita Arvigo Sastun

Rupa Marya & Raj Patel Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice 

*Rupert Ross Indigenous Healing: Exploring Traditional Paths

Rupert Ross Returning to the Teachings: Exploring Aboriginal Justice 

*Stan Rushworth Going to Water 

Stan Rushworth Sam Woods: American Healing 

Stan Rushworth and Dahr Jamail We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth

Stephen Harrod Buhner Plant Intelligence & the Imaginable Realm: Into the Dreaming of Earth

Stephen Jenkinson Die Wise 

**Stephen Karcher Total I Ching: Myths for Change

Suzanne Simard Finding The Mother Tree

Vine Deloria Jr. God Is Red

William Powers Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream 

* * * 

PODCAST: Larry Merculieff, Aleut Elder  (Click this link or paste into browser:) https://soundcloud.com/michaelstoneconversations/larry-merculieff-wisdom-of-the-elders

Lewis Mehl-Madrona on healthcare – Kodiak, Alaska 2019   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S0cyw3cBok

* * * 

The Burden of Light, poetry

A Rain of Night Birds, a novel

Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing

From Grief into Vision: A Council

Feral, a novel

La Negra y Blanca, a novel

La Vieja: A Journal of Fire, a novel

Tree: Essays and Pieces

The Other Hand, a novel

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