Power and Integrity

Personal power and integrity

One of the principles of Native Wisdom is to find, accumulate and express your own personal power. This is the power of your soul, which is part of the power of Great Spirit. It is the power of knowledge, the power of love, and the power of creative artistic ability or the ability to unfold beauty and harmony in life. The reason this power is personal is because we need to protect this power from being dominated by others. Also, the power must come through our own being and out into the world.

Consider these four basic powers that are potential in each person: our power of self-integrity, our power of choice, our power of self-expression, and our power of sensitivity.

The power of choice is fundamental to the other three, because we need to make our own choices, rather than let others make choices for us. We can adapt to others and go along with the decisions of others, but this should be by our own choice. All four powers need to be strong in the person and also balanced.

Wisdom is a balance between our own individual needs and our sensitivity to the needs of others. As these two come into balance, through a growing recognition of their interdependency, our lives become more in harmony and there is fulfillment for oneself and others. So the Way of Wisdom teaches us to respect our own needs and develop our own power.

The power of self-integrity has a few facets. First it is knowing the truth in oneself. Secondly, it is respecting what we need and hope for. This is the power of our self-honesty, self-integrity, and self-respect. We also need to develop our own power of self expression, which is the power to be an artist in our own way. We must discover our own inherent unique talents and gifts, and express these in the world.

Having individual integrity, self-respect, and personal power is important. But personal power does not have to be selfish or egotistical. Without personal power we are too vulnerable to outside forces and to the conditionings of an imbalanced society. Power is strength inside ourselves and the ability to give of our inherent talents and gifts. So if we want to give to life, we must have the power to do so.

Spiritual power is knowing oneself, loving oneself, having a preserved sacred space of integrity, and being free and able to express one’s creative potentials for the good of the whole. It is the power to express in the world the unique potentials of one's spiritual soul, which are the creative qualities of Great Spirit. And though we acknowledge that this power comes from Great Spirit, it still needs to be personally felt and experienced, and it needs to be expressed from our personal center.

Yet this power of self-integrity and spiritual expressiveness is neither pushy nor manipulating, nor is it allowing oneself to be pushed around, nor allowing our space to be influenced by the negativity or manipulations of others.

Power is often seen as negative, because we think of this as the power to dominate others. But power need not be used to manipulate others. Without love and spiritual connectiveness, any power can be harmful, but if the power comes from love and the wisdom of unity, then this power brings love and wisdom into the world.

Power is needed to manifest love and wisdom in the world. And power is also needed to protect ourselves from being manipulated or negatively influenced by others. The spiritual warrior needs personal power to be protected from negative influences and also to bring forth spiritual love into the world.

Our integrity of understanding

One aspect of personal power is the integrity of our own understanding and experience, which we might refer to as our integrity of truth. This means having the power to stand for what you know and believe is true and right. This is the power of the mind to learn from self-experience and reasoning, and to fearlessly and clearly state what one believes is true, rather than merely letting others speak for you or just believing what other’s believe. This is the warrior power of truth and self-honesty. It is also the self-power in believing in our own intelligence and intuition, rather than insecurely having to believe only in what others tell us is true.

We need to have our own firm sense of truth and the strength to stand in this truth, then live by this truth. We must find the truth and stand firm on the rock of our truth. So we stand in our integrity with the truth as we know it. This does not mean, though, that we should become overly dogmatic or fixed in our beliefs. It just means that we need to hold a self-power that can stand by the truth – as we know it at this time. If our fundamental integrity is strong, then we will be able to change our beliefs as based on new ideas or new evidences, rather than be so insecure that we resist any confrontations to our beliefs. Thus, with strong self-integrity and self-confidence we will not resist confrontations to our beliefs, nor crumble if a previous belief is found to be false. And yet, we are able to not merely be a follower of every truth-doctrine we encounter, for we are able and confident to think for ourselves and to find what is true by our own means.

The person with this self-integrity of truth is not easily gullible or easily manipulated by the opinions of others, but rather is strong in one’s own convictions, which are based on personal experience and inner reasoning. Yet, the person with this mental integrity is not closed-minded nor arrogant in their beliefs. It is only the insecure who are arrogant or need to be closed-minded out of fear of being proven wrong. So the man or woman of this power is strong in how they see things, yet open to new ideas, to new experiences, and can listen to and consider the truth-value of what others have to say.

So this aspect of personal power is the power of a strong and clear mind, which has at least some definite beliefs that have been gained by personal experience and intuition. The person with this power can say, “I believe”, or “I know this is right”, and will live by those convictions.

Take some time to meditate on what you truly believe. What do you believe is true about the world and about yourself? Knowing what you believe is mental and moral strength. And yet the strong mind will not fear considering other ideas or admitting that there is always more to learn. So the power of mind is also the power to learn and the power to be awake to the many lessons of life. Thus, the conscious and inquisitive mind is the powerful mind. It is a mind full of light and ready to receive more light. It is mind which is fully awake and able to collect itself and concentrate on whatever it chooses.

Our emotional self-integrity

Self-integrity is the strength to stand firm in one’s known truth and personal intention, and collected in one’s own aura of life-energy and love consciousness. This aura of integrity can be expansive, but does not force or manipulate others. This integrity can be sensitive to the feelings of others, but does not allow itself to be hurt by the feelings and opinions of others. We can be open to other’s feelings and learn from others, but our own feelings and our own understanding and our own choices are our own responsibility. This is the power of self-integrity.

This could also be understood as the power of emotional integrity. This is the power of accepting and owning one’s feelings or emotions. This means not letting anyone else tell you what you feel or what you should feel. A person having this power of emotional integrity will be able to clearly say “This is me and this is what I feel and this is what I want”, and that person can also respect the emotional integrity of another.

Emotional-integrity is accepting your feelings for what they are, and knowing the difference between your feelings and those of others. It is having a good sense of your own emotional space, and having a sense of the sacred boundary between your own emotions and the emotions of those around you. In other words, your emotional energy is self-collected and not disturbed or influenced by others.

Of course you still have the power to feel what others feel, or sympathize with others, but this opening of your boundaries is by your own conscious choice. This power of emotional collectivity is very important, because most people are extremely influenced and reactive to the emotional energies of their surroundings, and this uncontrolled openness or leakage of the emotional energy can sometimes be harmful or depleting.

Having this kind of personal power also means that you are not dependent on others for your emotional well-being or for your self-esteem. Of course, we all need love and togetherness in some way or another, but we do not need to be dependent on any one person or group. Once you feel dependent in this way, you virtually give away your emotional integrity and then you may allow yourself to be emotionally dominated by another or by a group.

So to collect and protect your emotional integrity, you must feel your own independence and feel your own self-esteem, regardless of others or what they think of you. This means being ultimately fulfilled by the love within you, and loving yourself for just who you are. You are then creating your own self-esteem, so that you will not have to rely on others to give you love and self-esteem. Then, once you have this power of independence, self-esteem, and emotional self-security, you will be able to receive and enjoy the love given by others, without becoming attached or possibly manipulated.

Everyone has an emotional aura. But our spiritual work is to transform our emotional aura energy field into a higher, more positive vibration, and consciously radiate the good, rather than the not so good.

Remember that people unconsciously share their energy and vibrations in the surrounding space. So there is often an unconscious sharing of emotional stress, anger, fear, self-embarrassment, and many other distresses of the emotional and mental life, and these energies or vibrations circulate in the spaces we all share. Some of these unconscious auras are rather large and many are small. Of course, there are many people, as well, who unconsciously share uplifting and joyful emotions.

The fact that many people unconsciously radiate stressful or angry emotions, means that we need protection. There are many ways to protect oneself, but the most important fundamental principle of protection is to feel strong in yourself and trust in the power of Spirit Goodness. Ultimately we need to develop fearlessness and trust.

Native Peoples and Shamans often protect themselves with the aide of an animal spirit or ally, or a Spirit Protector. Special crystals or rocks or sacred tokens can also give protection. A protective shield can be made with certain power objects or symbols, either held near the body or held in the mind. The secret of using physical or psychic objects for protection is to discover through a vision, dream or meditation, what object or symbol signifies to you protective power.

You can journey up to the Sky World and ask for a Spirit Helper to give you a psychic power object, such as a staff, a tomahawk or a mandala, which can be used for psychic protection. Or you can become conscious of a Spirit Ally who you feel is protective of you. Another method of protection, which is very simple yet most effective, is to realize yourself in the center of the Medicine Wheel, with the great powers of the four directions protecting the circle around you.

Balancing active and receptive Power

Recognize two great powers within you. One is the power of personal decision and creative expression, and the other is the power of sensitivity and receptivity to the gifts of life. The first is the power of your freedom and self-integrity. Let this power grow strong within you. Self-integrity is your protection and right to be your natural and true self. This is your own energy-field of self-power and self-truth. Nurture and accept your own self-integrity, your power to be uniquely You. And walk within the integrity of self-power. Also realize your power of decision.

Decision and self-commitment is a great power in life. Firm decision is necessary to direct spiritual energy in the world. Once you make a decision, your own powers are directed in that way, and the powers of Nature and Spirit can then help manifest this decision. If you make a decision to be in attunement with Great Spirit, or to love consciously, or to follow the guidance of intuition, or to manifest your potentials; then, that decision will bring about the aim intended. It all begins with the power of decision.

The other great power within you is the power of sensitivity and receptivity. You have the power to be sensitive and receive from the energies of Nature. You can sense, feel, and receive from the various powers and qualities of nature spirits. You can make an attunement and make friends with the presences and powers of Nature. You can receive into you and assimilate those qualities and powers of the animals, the trees, the flowers, the rocks, and the elements. But first you must develop this power of receptive sensitivity.

The secret to this is becoming empty and just receptive in the mind and heart, and allow this world of Nature and its presences to come to you. Become so empty and purely receptive that the healing energies and beauty of Nature flow and merge through you. The thinking mind disappears and only the surrounding space of Nature remains. So, as you let go of your outgoing will and thinking mind, the consciousness is merged into Nature and there is only Unity, rather than a division between yourself and what’s around you. Let all boundaries disappear, and let go into the Unity.

This experience of complete Unity is possible when you are just receptive and surrender into the Unity of Nature. This Unity is realized when you are in the purely receptive consciousness, and then the fullness of Nature’s powers and qualities are gradually assimilated into you.

There are two basic modes of consciousness. One is active and the other is receptive. The active consciousness reaches out to things, analyzes and thinks about them. This is also the foundation of creativity and manipulating the forces of Nature. This active consciousness is useful and important at times, and most people have developed this quite well.

But we have generally neglected the receptive mode of consciousness. Here, in this mode, you just receive of the world and allow the outer impression and energies to come into you, just as it is, without thought. Just being empty of self, just being conscious, and allowing life to be just what it is. This is how we can receive and understand and assimilate the powers and qualities of the natural world. And this is the secret to sensitivity and attunement with particular nature forms and spirits. And we can also use this power of receptive consciousness to be sensitive to other people and to spiritual guides and teachers.

As we develop both the power of active consciousness and receptive consciousness, a greater spiritual balance is achieved. The active power, which includes the power of decision, commitment, integrity and the creative will, can be seen as the power of the East. While the receptive power, which includes the power of sensitivity and the recognition of Unity, can be seen as the power of the West. As we respect and nurture these two kinds of power, they gradually come into balance and a greater harmony is achieved.

Two other powers can be realized and developed. One is the power of faith and the other is the power of love. Faith, the great power of the North, is a growing recognition and realization that One Great Spirit of Loving Wisdom pervades all of life and is already here within us. This is a faith in the Universal Power of Goodness, which leads all life toward harmony, health, happiness and beauty.

It is also a faith in the goodness of Nature and in the goodness of your own nature. The more we come into the experience of this, the more we are willing to open our hearts and trust in this greater guidance and healing, and the more we open our hearts in trust, the more we experience the Reality of this Great Spirit. Faith unblocks and releases the flow of Great Spirit, which works through the mind and within the life of Nature. The more you trust and the greater your faith in the loving guidance and healing, as this flows through and around you, the more actual and manifest all this becomes.

And the other power, which is love, and the power of the South, is the power within you to help and heal other beings. This is the inspiration to love and be loved, and to live in Unity and enjoyment with all of Life. This is the power within us which wants to serve and give to life, to our friends, to our community, and to the other lives of Nature. This is the Great Spirit of Love within you, and it is the great power of healing in the world. So nurture your love, develop your love and express your love, and live in gratefulness for all that is given. This is how we serve the Great Mystery.

Love is sometimes gentle and sometimes hard. Sometimes love is warm, supportive and gives agreement to the creative expressions of life. But sometimes times love needs to be confrontive and destructive to what is false and wrong in the world. Sometimes love is a warrior in order to protect the beauty of life from those who, in their ignorance, are harming the innocent lives of Nature and the ecological web of life. Sometimes your love must stand firm in the truth, even if others might not like it. This is standing in your integrity of truth. And this warrior stand is sometimes needed, in order to re-establish the true harmony and beauty which is possible on Earth. And then, the gentle love can ultimately prevail.