Restoring a Tribal Social Structure

One of the more unfortunate consequences of the course taken by social evolution in the West was the dissolution of, first, the tribal structure and then the extended family with the eventual creation some two hundred years ago of the monogamous nuclear family as the basic unit of society. This is a most unnatural arrangement, demanded by the factory system of the industrial revolution to produce isolated and dependent workers, and it is my studied belief that this development underlies most of the problems encountered by our society. We must take dramatic action to change that as the first step toward a sane humanity that is once again progressing on its course of spiritual evolution.

Far back in the history of human evolution the interaction of humans was confined to forms that were fairly stable. Some indigenous groups have maintained aspects of that stability and by studying them we can gain some insight into creating a new tribal community.

One that survived for at least 100,000 years as a stable cultural reminder of how men and women can live together are those people known to us collectively as the aboriginal people of Australia. Traditional Aborigines lived in a complex tribal structure. One of the distinguishing characteristics of that traditional lifestyle is the fact that the men maintained a separate camp away from the women and children, where they slept and carried on their ritual activities. This represents an aboriginal attitude that can be expressed as "women are born from nature, men are made by culture" and " the making of a man is the work of a lifetime." This is not some sort of sexual discrimination but expresses the belief that the male role is primarily involved not with the physical plane but with the spiritual plane and that men have important spiritual work to carry on that the women are not part of and, in some cases, are not allowed to even witness. This is not because men are spiritually superior to women but simply recognizes the fact that men and women have different sorts of spiritual work to do. Men are particularly concerned with the rituals involved with maintaining the Dreamtime whereas women's rituals are more concerned with the things of the earth.

Other societies that are worthy of study are the native people of the Americas that have survived into modern times. These include the Toltecs and Maya of Central America as well some of the tribes in South America. Few of the tribal people in North America have survived the genocidal tsunami of European contact and there is not as much to be gleaned from them; a notable exception being the Hopi of Arizona.

We cannot simply adopt the lifestyle of other cultures wholesale, but we can evolve our own version of those lifestyles by forming ourselves into communities with a tribal structure and committing ourselves to becoming the very best that we can be. I believe that part of that community structure must be adopting these attitudes and practices that encourage men to achieve their full growth.

In Australia the Aboriginal elders have announced that they have completed their guardianship of the planet; after tens of thousands of years of tireless work as caretakers they are tired and wish to rest. They have turned the responsibility for the preservation of our world over to us in the West. This is an awesome challenge for a culture that is so spiritually immature and we can waste no time in preparing for it. The re-creation of a tribal society is but one of the numerous things we can undertake to aid us at this juncture in our evolution as a civilization. The main point to be made is that the process must begin - the visionaries must present their inspirations for consideration; the thinkers must contribute their ideas and criticisms; the daring and courageous must be prepared to lead the way.

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