Gems of Wisdom – Eight Universal Principles of Healing

Practices of Peace To Awaken Mind and Heart

Angeles Arrien, Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, has done extensive research into values and beliefs in all the major cultures of the world. She identified the following eight universal principles of healing:


Belief in the supernatural and presence of faith

Purpose/Creative Purpose


Diet (mental, emotional, and spiritual in addition to physical)

Exercise (again not just physical, but also mental and spiritual)



Angeles combined these eight universal aspects of healing with her work as a mediator in the South African Truth and Reconciliation process to create the following outline of seven steps needed to create breakthrough in conflict resolution which she teaches as a course: “Thresholds of Collective Wisdom”.

  • Knowing our PURPOSE (to serve and improve lives)
  • Knowing our RESPONSIBILITIES: committed to be voices of universal conscience (within our own mind and without, in our words and actions)
  • Building TRUST regardless of divisions and obstacles
  • Being INTIMATE/HONEST: honoring the sacred heart, saying what is most important, staying in trust and respect
  • Creating MUTUALITY: Doing what is right and what is best for all
  • Fostering CREATIVITY/HEALING: being solutions oriented (no tolerance of chronic complaining or emphasizing what is not working)
  • COLLECTIVE WISDOM : Honoring diversity and the talents of each individual present as a gift to greater wholeness and new possibilities.

These are what bond us as members of different faith communities and as a human family. Hope, Compassion and Truth.

What we believe in, our faith, love and music, what we feed our minds and spirits as well as our bodies, matters significantly. In fact, it defines our health and wellbeing.

  • Positive thought and Prayer as a mental diet.
  • Trust, Respect, Forgiveness, and Compassion as emotional diet.
  • Vision, Hope and Love as spiritual diet.
  • Beauty of all of these forming the physical diet.

All of which contributes to our sense of wellbeing, our sense of belonging, knowing our place in the world and our sense of guidance for right direction.

From The I Ching translated by Wilhelm/Baynes

“In a resolute struggle of the good against evil, there are, however, definite rules that must not be disregarded, if it is to succeed.

First, resolution must be based on a union of strength and friendliness.

Second, a compromise with evil is not possible; and must under all circumstances be openly discredited. Nor must our own passions and shortcomings be glossed over.

Third, the struggle must not be carried on by force. If evil, is branded, it thinks of weapons, and if we do it the favor of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose in the end because we ourselves get entangled in hate and passion.

Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons against the faults we have branded. In this way, finding no opponent, the sharp edges of the weapon of evil become dulled. For the same reasons we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.”.