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  • markthemysticactiv


Updated: May 11, 2023

What does it mean to ´be a tribe´?

It means to share a feeling.

It´s a feeling of connection with each other, a feeling of unity.

It´s how I imagine birds feel when they fly as a flock!

It´s the feeling of knowing and accepting each other, with all of our quirks - and being known and accepted.

It´s the feeling of being united in a commitment, of being united in creativity, of sharing a common aim.

Sounds great! Why don´t we co-create tribes then?

Yes, there´s the fact we´re all so busy - that we have no time.

Yes, there´s the fact that we moved away to get a better job, and that we lost touch with our childhood friends.

Yes, there´s the fact that we don´t get on with our family, or that we don´t even know our neighbours´ names...

But, in my opinion, the greatest and most fundamental obstacle to co-creating tribes is that we have forgotten The Feeling of Tribe. We have become so accustomed to social fragmentation, so accustomed to individualisation - that we just don´t miss it. We don´t long for it. We don´t long for each other. We don´t long to be close to each other, and travel together through life... We have been dull and disconnected for so long, for so many generations, that we are used to it - we don´t even dream of the happiness of deep connection with each other and the earth and the sky any more.

This is the greatest obstacle to the revolutionary impulse so many of us agree on - the impulse towards decentralised, nature-based, conscious, caring community: we agree on everything intellectually, but we don´t FEEL it! Our guts aren´t churning with longing. We are not desperate for it. And revolutions aren´t driven by the intellect, they are driven by guts that churn!

We can visualise disenfranchised, indigenous peoples, addicted to this and that - uprooted from the deep soulfulness of their ancestral traditions - rotting on reservations. We don´t understand that we are those indigenous peoples, and that the cities are our reservations. We don´t miss the birdsong at dawn, because we haven´t heard it for generations. We don´t miss the unbreakable bond of brotherhood and sisterhood, because it´s been shattered for generations. We don´t feel the need to make a passionate stand for all that says "yes!" to life, because we´ve been living comfortably numb, half dead, for generations.

And yet, and yet - despite it all... Despite the disastrousness of our collective situation - echoes of The Feeling of Tribe reach us nonetheless. Odd, familiar, long-forgotten scents waft across our consciousness...

Sometimes it´s on the dance-floor... Sometimes we feel the music moving us all - and for a while, we know we are one. Sometimes it´s in the locker room, getting changed for a sport - we feel part of the team, we belong - and we feel united in a common aim.

Sometimes - haunted by the loss of self - we attend a self-development workshop. The people there are vulnerable. We see ourselves in each other - and we are a community, a tribe, for a weekend.

I´m sure, if you take a moment to let your heart remember, you´ll come up with your own moments of remembering - times when you too, for a while, touched and knew The Feeling of Tribe...

And yes, there are terrible tribes - there are fundamentalist tribes, and fascist tribes, and tribes of all sorts - and we have to carefully consider the quality of the tribes we now craft. But this is where it starts: with the remembering. With the longing. With feeling the need.

That tribe is the way - many, many of us already agree. But very, very few of us actually gather and focus and unite and embark on the path of becoming a tribe... We aren´t motivated. We have forgotten the beauty of belonging. We have forgotten the gloriousness, the freedom. We have forgotten the comfort, the sense of security, the love. We have forgotten the joyous feeling of shared meaning and purpose - of how enlivening that is...

So what to do?

Do it!

Form a tribe. Co-create a tribe. Become a tribe.

That, as far as I can see, (dare I say it) is the only way to truly reawaken The Feeling of Tribe: to be in one. That´s the way to bring the memories in the collective heart back to life. It´s not by talking about the importance of tribe. It´s by acting on those small echoes, those short flashes of homecoming - those intuitions of our birthright of belonging, and togetherness, and joy!

Mark the Mystic Activist Autumn/Fall 2022, Cataluña.

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