Categories

Mission Statement and By-laws

Earth’s Joy

Mission Statement and By-laws

Version 1.2 2014 by Dragon Li

 

Using and Distributing the Mission Statement and By-Laws

Those who wish use the name of Earth’s Joy in their path must add the Mission Statement, By-laws, and the Earth’s Joy Principles to their website, books, journals, or Group Code. It may be freely distributed for these purposes but may not be modified without express permission. This is to protect our name and our members. If you need to modify these documents, you may do so with Dragon Li’s or another elder’s permission (you can then add to your amended documents that it has our approval.) Contact information can be found on our website. If you choose not to do that, you may use the amended documents in your personal files but they may not be reproduced in any electronic or printed form.

The Mission Statement:

I, Dragon Li, founder of Earth’s Joy, put this forth as Earth’s Joy’s Mission Statement:

Earth’s Joy provides tools and teachings to assist an individual in developing his or her personal path of Nature-centric spirituality. It also provides a non-intrusive central hub to help guide individuals in their quest as well as providing companionship in like-minded individuals. Earth’s Joy also aims to restore and preserve the sanctity of Nature so that all beings may live and grow in accordance with their original instructions.

The By-laws of Earth’s Joy:

Earth’s Joy requires no adherence to any particular religion, culture, pantheon, mythology, or tradition. Therefore, Earth’s Joy practices may be adopted by anyone sincerely seeking to develop their own path of spirituality with reverence for Nature. A seeker needn’t give up his or her present religion/spiritual path or culture in order to adopt the tools provided by Earth’s Joy. In fact, Earth’s Joy thrives on what cultural influences and values are brought into it, as long as it is in accordance with our By-laws and Principles.

It is our conviction that Nature is a sacred creation of the Spirit-that-moves-through-all-things. Therefore, most of our reverence and lessons involve the Natural World. We understand that we are one with Nature, not above it. We feel that our high intelligence as humans has been given to us in part to take care of the world, keep it in balance, and protect it from harm. We do not see ourselves as superior to other creatures on this planet, for Nature sees all beings as equals.

It is our conviction that spirituality is an individual practice, and no one should be forced to interact with Spirit in any particular way. Earth’s Joy allows us to be individuals but also have a common ground to connect to when needed. We hold our beliefs as truth but only in regards to ourselves. Those interested in our particular truths are welcome to explore them, but we will never force those truths upon another. Though others may not hold our truths as valid, we do not seek battle with them as they are entitled to their own beliefs.

It is our conviction that since we are all “Of the Earth,” no particular group is better than another based solely on label. We do not look down upon others of a different sex, race, culture, sexual orientation, lifestyle, or religion. However, we do look down upon those who cause intentional and take pleasure in harm to humans, animals, plants, and insects except in cases of survival or defense, including defense of one’s property or territory. We do not take kindly to those who are racist, sexist, or who harm or abuse humans, animals, plants, and insects, nor do we take kindly to those who attack others based on religious or sexual preference or are interested in cultural or religious purification, an act that has caused many human rights atrocities throughout the world.

It is our conviction that it is within our hands to improve our lives. At Earth’s Joy, we work toward self-improvement, taking our time to heal and accepting our faults, realizing that we are human. We understand that quick fixes rarely work and that in order to be strong, we have to rebuild ourselves with a strong foundation if necessary. This can take years, but the goal of an Earth’s Joy practice is not to be “fixed.” The goal is to be healthy and whole which requires constant attention and effort. We also accept that no one can “fix” us, take care of our problems, or defeat our inner demons. It is solely our responsibility; however, it is also our responsibility to help others who are sincerely trying to improve themselves. Earth’s Joy is not a “cure-all” or substitute for psychological or medical counseling. Though we try to heal the whole person through incorporation of spiritual principles, unless specified, we are not licensed counselors and should not be sought as such.

It is our conviction that our spiritual path is a lifetime change and goal. Though you may change your spiritual path at any time without retaliation or repercussions, Earth’s Joy should not be viewed as a fad or be taken lightly as a hobby. You are welcome to explore Earth’s Joy any time without commitments, but we want to stress that this isn’t a “game” or something to take up out of boredom. Our elders are willing to expend their energy if they know it is going toward the growth of another. Therefore, it is unfair to those who work hard for us to give up his or her energy for someone who isn’t serious.

It is our conviction that in order to have a healthy spirit, our body, emotions, and mind must be healthy as well. Therefore, we aim to eat properly for our body type and activity level, exercise, reduce unnecessary stress, and keep our emotions in balance. However, we realize that no one is perfect and that it’s hard to undo years of conditioning. Therefore, health is a goal to work toward, not a requirement. We also realize that there are those who, through no fault of their own, are not healthy of body, emotions, and/or mind, or whom have a particular physical/mental challenge. These people are also accepted into Earth’s Joy as long as they do not use this spiritual path as a substitute for proper medical and/or psychological care. Although it is at the discretion of individual groups to accommodate a person with an illness or physical/mental challenge, Earth’s Joy itself accepts all who sincerely seek spiritual fulfillment. Earth’s Joy groups shall do their best to accommodate others with an illness or physical/mental challenge as long as there is no danger being posed (such as in cases of highly communicable diseases or un-medicated/uncontrolled mental illnesses that may cause harm to others.)

It is our conviction that although we strive for a common goal, we may not always get along with each other. Groups should be formed of like-minds and have the sole discretion of taking in or rejecting members. However, no group can deny anyone of the path of Earth’s Joy. Only a person who acts in a manner that intentionally goes against our By-laws or the Principles can deny their own self of the Path. On the same note, those who intentionally act against the Principles of the path may not continue to use the name of Earth’s Joy. If they continue to use the name, an Earth’s Joy elder shall make a public comment that said person “does not represent Earth’s Joy.” Beyond this, no other recourse should be taken unless there is threatened or actual harm to any persons, creatures, buildings, websites, or any other valid Earth’s Joy or personal property. At that point, legal action can be pursued, but the opinion of Earth’s Joy is that the person is no longer considered or accepted as part of the Earth’s Joy path. Those who act against Earth’s Joy and its beings or property may in the future be accepted again on the sole condition that he or she follow the By-laws and Principles. Though not mandated, it is expected that they act to repent for their actions either by apologizing and offering to genuinely assist those that this person wronged in the past or, if those of the past are unavailable or unreachable, the person may genuinely assist others by volunteering or making donations. A group is not obligated to take a rejected member back. If repentance has been served but the person again acts against the Earth’s Joy principles, they again will not be allowed to use the name of Earth’s Joy. There is no permanent banning from the path, but individual groups may act as they need to as long as it is within
the By-laws and Principles.

It is our conviction that it is our duty to protect others and ourselves. Though we do not actively search for battles to partake in, nor do we condone unnecessary violence, we are generally not pacifists. However, if we do engage in battle, whether it be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, it will be done in defense only and conducted with utmost restraint. Defense does not include preemptive self-defense, nor should it be based on assumptions. That said, Earth’s Joy does not need your defense; helpless people, animals, and other beings do. No holy war shall be waged in the name of Earth’s Joy as well as any other type of war. Defense shall be to restore peace and health, not to conquer or punish.

It is our conviction that, as mortal beings, we are not above the laws of the Spirit or Nature. Nor are we above the laws of our chosen homeland. If you choose to break the laws of your homeland, you are entitled to the same punishment as any other person of that land. No more, no less. Being of Earth’s Joy does not absolve you of responsibility, but nor should you suffer because of your chosen Spiritual Path. Because we are not above the laws of Nature or Spirit, no mortal shall be deified in life. No living being is any more or less a Child of Nature than anyone else. Therefore, those who make the claim to be “God” or the like shall not use the name of Earth’s Joy. Those who consider themselves to be a Child of Nature must consider the same of every other living being or they will not be allowed to use the name of Earth’s Joy.

It is our conviction that one’s Spiritual Path is a sacred part of our lives. Therefore, we shall not cheapen it by turning it into a moneymaking scheme. Those of the Earth’s Joy practice are fully allowed to sell their wares or perform acts for compensation, but the spirituality must take precedence over the business. In other words, the purpose of becoming a part of Earth’s Joy should not be to make a profit or become rich off of its name or teachings. However, it is fully understood that we need to pay our bills and make a living. Basically, the sole purpose of becoming a member of Earth’s Joy is to obtain spiritual wholeness, but you are permitted to use its tools or teachings to help pay bills or live comfortably. What we don’t want to see is a line of Earth’s Joy action figures, for example, put out by someone with no interest in the spirituality of this path.

What we want most of all is a community that strives for balance and works hard to make this world a better place. We want to be there for each other in problems and in celebration. We want to become strong individuals that are able to accept and work with the differences of others. We want to become and remain one with Nature, and therefore, one with the Spirit-that-moves-through-all-things.