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 to a Viable Future for All Beings

1. 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.

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

3. 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. 

4. 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.

5. 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.

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

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

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

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

14. THE WILD.  Protecting, preserving, sustaining, bringing healing to the wild, the earth and all beings.

15. THE OTHERS – NON HUMAN BEINGS.  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 understanding and assumptions. Living faithfully according to the laws of the 5th World that mandate serving Spirit and the on-going future.


  1. joey claytree August 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Beautiful. So much written here and so much to think about, remember, absorb, get right, act for, strive to help, align with, learn, love…
    time is running out and we can only save the animals and earth by doing the best for them. We can’t pretend we don’t know that the earth is dying, that we are a violent species that has done harm to all through colonialism and greed. It can be easy to forget when the world is buzzing so quickly and so many egos are sparring all around us.
    A young woman I know committed suicide last week. It was so sad. It reminded me to hold tight what I love and go deeper in my purpose.
    I have been “clearing the path” as I remember from Dec. when I was with you on the mountain. Clearing the path and readying….writing, thinking, dreaming. Thanks for your writing Deena, It always gives so much and reminds. love, joey claytree

  2. Vivienne Whale Temple Grace August 18, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Dear Deena,
    I simply and truly resonate with every word. It is the work I am doing in my own community at Coming Home hEARTH Temenos and a place I was just called to open in the village, where I live that I call The Portal. In our Sacred Fire Circle work we open to the five elements and very much Vision and intend of what you speak. Deep gratitude to you for putting it in such a comprehensive yet succinct form, I will be sharing it widely as we all make our individual choice as to pass through that Portal to the 5th dimension or not. love & light Vivienne Whale Temple Grace

  3. Suzanna Alexander August 18, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Your passionate messages arrive in my inbox and through a touch of my index finger, as in Michelangelo’s painting, I am in touch with a divine source. May you continue to walk in beauty. Suzanna Alexander

  4. gardengirll September 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    You speak to my heart, Deena. I am doing much of this work already and it is a wonderful confirmation of being on my path.

    Thank you. With gratitude, Ellen Bicheler

  5. Casey Hayden January 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Excellent. I have just been visited by the importance of my story….and The Story…But .what is the 5th world?

  6. Deena Metzger January 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Different prophecies from different traditions – for example the Mayan prophecies – specious or not – about 2012, consider that this world may be coming to an end as it is and new world beginning. For myself, it seems useful to see that the trajectory toward destruction that we are on can be altered, and a new way of living – the 5th world — can come to be. Astrophysics considers the possibility of co-existing distinct universes. The laws, even the physical laws of each universe may well be different. So, too, the ways of the 5th world, what allow life to cohere and thrive may well be different from the current ways of the 4th world that are taking life down. So here I am trying to present ways of thinking, values, living that are fundamental to sustaining life in all its dimensions – the laws, let’s say of the 5th world – that are intrinsically life giving. In order to bring the 5th world into being, we have to align with life. in ecological balance, all species co-exist and no species has set itself against the others. Current human activity is otherwise. The life style we have manufactured, against the order of all things – is an artificial life and it has become a destroyer. So we have to change our minds, our assuptions, our instinctive ways and reconnect and reintegrate ourselves into the net of all beings, into co-existence, the net of Indra, all my relations, mitakye oyasin, call it what you will. There was a sacred order – we separated ourselves – to our detriment and the detriment of all beings. When we align again with the life force truly, we will be moving toward the 5th world.

  7. Steven K. Carter January 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    When all is said and done there comes the recognition and acknowledgement that through love comes salvation. I find myself more and more before acting, even before thinking, asking myself the simple question, “What would Love have me think and do?” Then quieting my mind into the moment the answer always comes. Whether I choose to respond in a loving way is not always assured as my egoic self wants control. And with control comes mental anguish which has led to the world we currently experience. To change means I must let go and allow myself to be guided by the most powerful of all guides – Love. And change we must to free our consciousness and allow it to ascend to ever higher levels. Not to do so ensures continued hell on earth and within. The choice, the change of mind, seems so simple. So what am I waiting for? What are we waiting for ?

  8. James Wells May 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    This is hard stuff, Deena. And beautiful and necessary. Thank you for stretching us.

  9. Deena Metzger May 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm


    i have been working with this material across the country this past year as well as leading a training group for the last year+ and they are striking a deep cord. It is one thing to read it, another to study and more importantly, work with it. The aim is to change our minds – substantially. These ways, which were given to me over the years, are entirely transformative and restorative and though it may take a lifetime to shift our minds, and who knows how long for the culture of our time to return to these old ways, they carry the possibilities for the future. Than you for your note.

  10. Moso December 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    What is the 5th World?
    Where can I read about it?

  11. Deena Metzger December 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Many indigenous people have myths about a next world, a fifth world, perhaps. For some peoples, this is the fourth world and a fifth world may emerge. For others, this may be the third world, and it is the fourth world that we might enter. Let us not be distracted by numbers. We may have the opportunity to enter or create such a world if /when we learn to live according to its laws which are earth centered and spirit centered. 2012 is an opportunity to shift one’s thinking, lifestyle, actions to ways that sustain all life. As we look at the trajectory we are on – war, violence, materialism, dogma, environmental devastation, exploitation of the earth and all its creatures, we can see that it leads to the destruction of all life. But if we change consciousness – and live accordingly – truly, then there is a possibility for the future.
    Here is a link to a poem by Native American poet, Joy Harjo where she speaks of the 5th world.

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