Our Experiment in Tribal Living

heart-of-the-communitySince most of us have never lived in a tribal community before (at least in this lifetime), we only have the guidance of our own heart and the hearts of others who yearn for community. This article is an attempt to identify what we feel and have learned so far are the main elements for successful tribal living. To learn how tribal living can offer true financial FREEdom and reclaim individual sovereignty, see the Intentional Community/Ecovillage page.

Tribe as Family Concept

family-together-quoteA tribe is not just any community, it is a community in which its members actually see each other and treat each other as family members whether blood-related or soul-related. As family members there is a deeper bond between them and a deeper commitment to stay together through good times and bad times. Once a family member is always a family member. This deeper commitment or bond we feel is what many desire deep down inside and it is the key to keeping a community intact and strong. Without this understanding or level of commitment, the tendency to want to leave the community upon the first disagreement, argument, or misunderstanding is greater and a broken community is no community at all. Disagreements or conflicts are wonderful opportunities for spiritual growth. It is an amazing opportunity to obtain insight into yourself and heal from your own past emotional wounds as well as the perfect opportunity to realize and experience what Love, Compassion, Understanding, and Forgiveness is really all about. These are values that most people share, yet seldom really fight for. If there is anything really worth fighting for (and in certain cases even worth dying for), it should be for the experience and embodiment of Unconditional Love on this planet.

Goal of Freedom From Our Own ‘Prison’

your-shadowAll conflicts occur when we do not feel “whole” or “complete” that we are somehow missing a part of our self or a part of our life force energy. This happens when we have emotional wounds from our past that have not completely healed due to the lack of forgiveness or Love, the lack of knowing, understanding and experiencing ourselves as the Oneness we really are (i.e., we bought into the illusion of separation or the ego). These unhealed wounds become our own ‘prison’ or form of slavery since they control or affect us on an unconscious level, making us behave in ways that we do not feel proud of or do not want. Any part of us that is unconscious or disowned gets projected onto others so that the very part of us that we want to avoid is now seen in others so that it can remain unconscious within us. We are actually mirrors for each other (holograms) but we think it is the other person and not us. It is therefore very important that each person be very aware of their past emotional wounds (unforgiveness or lack of Love) and how it affects them and others and be deeply committed to healing them and actually go through the forgiveness (Unconditional Love) process which includes the Reconnecting Your Holy Trinity method detailed in the Beyond the Earth Matrix: Soul-Harvesting in the Cosmic Matrix & How to Free Yourself blog article. It is not necessary that the tribe member be completely healed, but at least be very conscious of it and be willing to do the necessary actions to evolve and improve over time.

divine-graceOnce our shadow disappears in the Light (i.e., Unconditional Love), we can more easily become our Higher/Larger Self which has a very high level of Emotional Intelligence and naturally knows how to communicate peacefully and compassionately, thereby helping others heal (forgive). For this reason, it is not necessary that all tribe members be completely healed from their emotional wounds. It just takes one or two members who have become Whole or One again to help others in the tribe become One again, too. To help facilitate the process of healing, we offer the holistic healing modalities listed on the Holistic Healing Services menu above as well as Holistic Healing Internships (personal healing retreats). Also see Unconditional Love: The Only Thing Worth Fighting For to learn the most powerful and most effective healing technique of all.

Honoring Free Will

Everyone has a right to exercise their free will. As we learned in Our ‘Fall’ From Grace & Our Return to Eden, it is one of the most important gifts from God and therefore should be valued and honored as on as an individual’s free will choices does not infringe upon another individual’s free will choices. With this in mind, there may be circumstances in which a tribe member leaves the tribe due to their own free will choice or due to the free will choice of the tribe. In the rare case that it is the free will choice of the tribe, it can be justified if the individual that is being asked to leave has caused serious physical and emotional damage to another tribe member(s) that is extremely difficult for the tribe to heal. In the case of physical violence, the physical safety of tribe members would be a valid concern. Other valid reasons include a tribe member’s unwillingness to fulfill their own duties or agreements as a tribe member.

Values That Unite Us All

Conceptual symbol of multiracial human hands surrounding the Earth globe. Unity, world peace, humanity concept.

Many conflicts between people also arise from having different belief systems or values which instead of bringing people together, end up separating people into cliques that discriminate against others (e.g., religious discrimination such as Christian-only communities, or discrimination based on diet, such as raw vegan-only communities — see Why We Cannot Exclude Non-Vegans section below for a detailed explanation). Our collective dream is to have a tribal community in which these different beliefs, values, or personal choices (including people of all ages, cultures, sexual orientation, religions, diets, and physical abilities) can coexist in harmony and provide valuable opportunities for personal growth, appreciation, and even transformation. However, we do know that there are certain values or beliefs that must be held in common in order to provide a reasonable level of physical health and emotional well-being. The line must be drawn when certain beliefs or values lead to substantial physical or emotional harm to others. To avoid crossing this line, there needs to be some core values that are fundamental enough that most human beings can agree to such as the following:

  1. Nonviolence in Speech & Actions – We are given only one physical body in this lifetime so we must cherish and protect it at all costs. Emotional wounds can be even harder to heal than physical wounds and may even last a lifetime.
  2. Sanctity of Marriage & Family – Sex is the most abused and misunderstood human element because it is the key to our creativity, physical and emotional health and vitality, and our spiritual enlightenment. The sacred union (vow of fidelity) between two unique souls is vital to one’s own spiritual growth. It is this nuclear relationship that will become the spiritual foundation for all other relationships (e.g., friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, yourself, your children, etc). What makes this nuclear relationship different from the other types of relationship is sex. This is why sex is actually the most sacred and holy human element (see Monogamy: The Ultimate Path to Spiritual Enlightenment to learn more). Unfortunately our current society has exploited the naked human body excessively (unlike indigenous people) because of the direct instinctual connection between a naked body and sex. For this reason and to avoid any misunderstandings with unsuspecting neighbors, nudity should be kept private (e.g., in our own personal space or another area where you can have privacy).

Why We Cannot Exclude Non-Vegans

Segregation all over again...

Segregation all over again…

Though about 80% of the tribe is vegan and the other 20% is vegetarian, Ngoc, Max, Renzi, and Allegra have only recently changed their diet to vegan (from a meat-dairy-eggs diet). Most of us have family members who still eat meat, dairy and eggs. We cannot say “no” to family members (such as husband, wife, children, mother, father, or anyone else) who sincerely wants to join our community just because they eat meat, dairy and eggs and therefore don’t live the vegan lifestyle or see ethics in the same way. We must not forget our past and the process of awakening we had to go through in order to make that life-changing decision about our diet.

As for vegans who feel that eating meat, dairy and eggs is simply murder and exploitation, the problem is that technically, it is not murder and exploitation because non-vegans really see it as something natural because we have all been taught that we are omnivores like other animals that eat meat and vegetation. In order to be convicted of murder and exploitation, one has to actually have knowledge that it is murder and exploitation. That is why we have the insanity plea in murder cases for example. Unfortunately, the extremely harsh, judgmental attitude, superiority complex, and cliquish behavior of many vegans (as perceived by non-vegans) have hurt the vegan movement and cause and have made vegans look like fanatics rather than spiritual, compassionate, and understanding people they claim to be. In their efforts to do what is RIGHT and MORAL, vegans end up forsaking what we are really here to express and that is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for both humans and animals. We must have compassion for both animals and humans. It cannot be one or the other.

The vegans in the tribe do care very deeply about the vegan cause, but we want to do it in a way that is natural and with understanding. Telling non-vegans that they are endorsing the slavery of non-humans and are exposing vegans to symbols of violence has not worked for the majority of the non-vegans we know. In fact, language like that tends to backfire and delay our progress. Our focus right now is ending the monetary system of slavery through self-sufficiency. We believe, for example, that when we grow our own food that most people would not be willing to kill animals, milk animals, or kill baby male chicks to have more unfertilized eggs and would naturally connect with animals and Mother Nature again and naturally turn vegan. See The Path to Total FREEdom for ALL article to learn more about our particular plan. Because of the monetary system, most do not have to kill their own animal to eat it which makes it so much easier for humans to eat animals. By removing the monetary system, we theorize that most people would stop eating meat if they had to kill their own animal to eat it. This indicates true human nature. We have empathy and higher consciousness and therefore would not enjoy the experience of killing the animal. Animals, unlike plants, scream in pain, bleed, or try to run away or fight for their survival. That cannot be something we enjoy. It is no wonder that slaughterhouse workers have one of the highest turnover rates in the world and are increasingly being treated for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). Saying a prayer over the animal or giving thanks can be one way of alleviating our guilt, but if we really do not need to eat animal meat or byproducts to thrive and be healthy, why should we put these animals through this or put slaughterhouse workers through this?

Another reason why we feel we need to be as inclusive as possible is that there cannot be an opportunity for true change or transformation if we do not educate and expose people who still eat meat to more gentler and healthier ways of eating. What would be a better way to do this than to prepare meals and eat together side by side and be a shining, healthy, spiritual example of veganism in action. Thanks to Trey (a raw vegan Ardent Light tribe member) and all his fruitarian friends he introduced to Ngoc, Ngoc was educated and inspired to go raw vegan and did. Remember that Jesus Christ (whether you believe he is real or not, his teachings are what matters) did not hang around just the spiritual folks, but he hung around the people that needed him the most and that’s what our community will do when it comes to spreading healthier and more humane diets.

Forgive them, for they do not know what they do. ~ Jesus, Luke 23:24

See Humanity’s Evolution to Vegetarianism, Veganism, & Breatharianism to learn more.

Greater Level of Sharing: Land, Its Resources, Possessions, Skills/Labor & Money

Another difference with a tribal community is that the level of sharing is a lot greater than in other types of communities. Similar to how a family shares possessions, living space, household chores, and money, a tribal family also shares possessions, the land and its resources, skills/labor, and money. This level of sharing is key to making it very economically feasible to live together. Buying in bulk or volume for the tribe, for example, should enable the tribe to receive volume discounts thereby lowering each member’s expense.

Sharing of personal possessions with other members or for the benefit of the tribe is encouraged if it does not incur additional cost, liability, or regular maintenance by the owner (e.g., tools, appliances). Members are encouraged to donate items they may already have to the communal areas of the village if they have items that can or will be useful in these areas. Sharing a car or boat, however, does incur additional cost in terms of fuel, maintenance, insurance, related taxes, and liability so the owner may consider sharing the additional cost with others or just restrict the car or boat to the owner’s own personal use.

Together with the goal of self-sufficiency, real and enduring financial FREEdom (a gift economy) can be more easily achieved within the tribe and between tribes.

Goal of Self-Sufficiency: True Financial FREEdom from the Monetary System of Slavery

In addition to freeing oneself from one’s own internal ‘prison’ or form of slavery (i.e., past emotional wounds), the tribe needs to free itself from the monetary system of slavery (external prison) so that each member can truly be free to be who they really are. To understand how the monetary system is the most successful mind control program in human history, see The Most Successful Mind Control Program in Human HistoryA successful tribe consists of people with complementary skills and skills that are necessary for self-sufficiency such as:

  1. Sustainable Energy (off-the-grid electricity, water, gas, biofuels)
  2. PermacultureBiodynamic Organic Farming
  3. Sustainable Building Design & Construction
  4. Animal Communicator
  5. Master Herbalist/Botanist/Plant Communicator
  6. Hemp Products (e.g., hempcrete, hemp plastics, paper, clothing, medicine, food, etc.)
  7. Raw Food Chef (and other types of food preparation)
  8. Emergency Room Nurse/Doctor
  9. Car Mechanic
  10. Appliance Repair
  11. Heavy Machinery Engineer
  12. Electrician, Plumber, Handyman
  13. 3D Printing
  14. Wood Working (furniture, construction), Welding
  15. Making Personal Care & Household Cleaning Items
  16. Clay Pottery, Glass Blowing
  17. Cotton/Wool Spinning, Weaving, Knitting, Tailoring
  18. Essential Oils, Alcohol & Vinegar Distillation
  19. Lawyer
  20. Holistic Healing Modalities
  21. Teaching, Instructional Design, Curriculum Development, Knowledge Management
  22. Water Birth Midwifery, Childcare, Child Development, Homeschooling (“unschooling”)
  23. Web Content Development & Design, Social Media
  24. High Tech Engineers (firmware, control systems, embedded systems)
  25. Artists (e.g., painters, sculptors, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, comedians, etc.)

See The Path to Total FREEdom for ALL for more inspiration and ideas on how to achieve total self-sufficiency.

Sharing Business Profits

profit-sharingUntil the tribe becomes self-sufficient, there will be living expenses (e.g., food, utilities, personal care items, household cleaning items, housing construction, and interim rental expenses until house is constructed, etc.) that each tribe member will continue to be responsible for as well as sharing the costs of the infrastructure development, utilities, tools, machinery, equipment, appliances, and maintenance costs of the land (e.g., property tax, corporation tax if land is under a legal holding corporation, etc.), communal areas, and raw materials production areas for the tribe.

If the tribe does not already have enough money to pay for all these expenses, they will need to operate a business or set of businesses to generate the income it needs until it is truly financially FREE. The advantage the tribe will have over other types of business organizations is that they will have much lower operating costs for the business since labor is shared freely among the tribe so there will be more profits to be shared and they can be more competitively priced. Since the tribe will become more self-sufficient over time, their costs will also further reduce over time making them even more competitive and therefore more affordable to more people. Another difference with a tribe is that tribe members no longer work for someone else to make others rich. Instead, they are working for themselves and their children and all their future generations to achieve their financial independence. Thus the work should be much more enjoyable (and therefore higher quality) because it actually takes them closer to their own FREEdom and eventually everyone else’s FREEdom.

Eliminating an Expense is Equivalent to ‘Making’ Money & More

There are two ways to make money: directly (the masculine approach) and indirectly (the feminine approach). Most people know about the masculine approach to making money and that is to work directly for money. The only problem with this approach is that it keeps you enslaved in the monetary system if this is all you do to ‘make’ money because you will constantly have to ‘make’ money in order to survive as your expenses do not change and actually increase over time due to inflation. The feminine approach to making money is by taking the opposite approach and that is to eliminate the expense all together thereby saving money or the need to have money. Becoming self-sufficient will eliminate your expenses permanently so when you consider potential tribe members do not only look at how much money they can contribute or how much money they can make for the tribe, but also look at their ability to eliminate real expenses for you. Both are equally valuable and the feminine approach may be more valuable due to its more permanent nature of ‘making’ money.

Leadership & Decision Making

Participatory Leadership

Participatory Leadership

The truth is that leadership is highly dependent on the situation in question. If a situation requires someone with a specific knowledge, skill, experience, or understanding, then that person would naturally be the leader in that situation. This is just being practical about the situation. For a tribe to be successful, we should avoid hierarchies and giving all power to one person or a group of people for all decision making. Not everyone needs to be involved in every decision as not everyone will have the level of knowledge, skill, experience, understanding, or wisdom needed for the decision and it may not even concern them or affect them. Unless the decision affects everyone (like in tribe member selection), then most decisions can be made with those who are qualified and those who are affected by the decision that needs to be made. The most recommended, non-violent, decision-making process is consent decision making.

Another group to consult in decision making where appropriate are children. Since children are fresher from Source, they are purer and more untainted by past programming or conditioning and therefore can offer very imaginative, creative, insightful, inventive, and no hidden-agenda solutions that most adults would have a hard time coming up with because of their limiting belief systems (or own personal biases) on what is possible and what is not possible. So when a decision requires a creative, brand-new, out-of-the-box, unbiased type of thinking, enlist the help of children.

Settling Disputes & Legal Representation of the Tribe

Council of Elrond, "Lord of the Rings"

Council of Elrond, “Lord of the Rings”

A self-governing tribe needs to settle its own disputes internally whenever possible. In order to do this, a small subset of people in the tribe needs to be elected by the tribe to represent each tribe member fairly in cases of dispute. This is a common practice in tribal communities in which a Council of Elders is appointed by the tribe based on their years of experience in life and therefore accumulated wisdom. In our tribe, we recognize that wisdom can come from all ages so physical age should not be the deciding factor for appointment to the Council of Elders. Instead, we should focus on soul age which is a much more accurate indicator of accumulated lifetimes of experience and therefore wisdom. You can get a sense of soul age simply by how wisely a tribe member speaks, makes decisions, conducts their own life, and how they interact with others. If disputes between tribe members cannot be resolved amongst the tribe members having the dispute, then they may bring the matter up to the Council of Elders to be resolved. Other tribe members may be brought into the discussion as witnesses or to help bring new light to the dispute.

In cases where the tribe needs legal representation to the outside world, the Council of Elders is also tasked with managing outside relations and defending the tribe’s rights to self-governance and personal freedoms. They may consult with qualified lawyers if they need the expertise.

Joining a Tribe & Tribe Member Selection

The decision to have blood-related family members join a tribe is usually much easier to make because both parties already know each other. Friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and strangers are more difficult depending on how long you have known them or interacted with them before. Unless it is an instant soul-connection or recognition, it is probably a good idea to allow time to get to know each other, establish trust, and prove value as a tribe member before making a commitment to join a tribe. A good way to do this is to have the potential tribe member join the tribe as an intern living and working side-by-side with other tribe members (see Internships, Retreats, Volunteering page for more information). Tribe members should make their best effort to not give up on anybody accepted into the Tribe. The Tribe must be able to go through the good times and bad times together. However, to honor free will, any Tribe member may voluntarily leave the Tribe.

shadow-projection-carl-jungWhat I have found is that people self-select themselves. People have a tendency to project onto others their own shadows. For example, if person A projects their own shadow onto person B and person B projects a similar shadow onto person A, then person A gets “confirmation” that it is really person B’s shadow and not his own (and person B thinks the same of person A). Then the shadows of both person A and person B remain unconscious or in the dark. However, when you do your own shadow work (i.e., heal your wounds through forgiveness and Unconditional Love), you will eventually become a clear mirror for others so if they do not like what they see in the mirror when they project, they will go away of their own accord. Those who like their own reflection will stay. Those who see someone ugly looking back, will leave, unless they recognize it as themselves and want to change it. I have learned to be that mirror for others. I now have a tendency to love others deeply even with all their faults and insecurities because that is what I project onto others–a self-love that is unconditional. 

Designing the Tribe’s Ecovillage to Encourage Community

cob-outdoor-livingThe more communal areas the tribe can share together, the more daily interactions there will be between tribe members and therefore the deeper the bond and level of understanding with each other. By knowing each other better, there will be less chance for misunderstandings and be a lot more clarity. There is an old adage that states: “a family that eats together stays together”. We know that most social activities center around or involve eating in some way or fashion. Having communal kitchen, dining, greenhouses, gardens, living, laundry, office, and workshop production areas are great ways to foster daily and quality social and productive interactions.

To allow for individual rest, personal study, privacy, or retreat, the places where tribe members sleep, bathe, study, or just rest should be separate and not a communal area (e.g., each member could have their own private cabin with private bedroom, bathroom, and den). There could also be remote private tree houses located strategically next to waterfalls, natural swimming pools, and rivers to allow for private retreats, meditation, yoga, and other holistic healing modalities. These remote tree houses should not have any utilities (e.g., electricity or plumbing) to reduce the human footprint and protect and preserve the natural environment. It will also allow one to experience living a lot more naturally like the rest of Nature which will help in the process of deprogramming from the unnatural “civilized” world that has kept us disconnected us from Nature for so long.

Stability of the Founders

Soulmates JAL and Ngoc

Soulmates JAL and Ngoc

Another important aspect to consider to ensure the success of the community is the stability of the founders. We have seen communities fall apart shortly after the founders (if they were a couple or in a polygamous relationship) divorced, separated or had a serious relationship conflict. Founders who are in their senior years and who are single (or married to a person who is young enough to be their daughter), tend to have problems developing long-term relationships and therefore tend to have problems creating a community in which the ability to develop long-term relationships is critical. As we learned earlier in the Values That Unite Us All section, the marriage between two people is the nuclear relationship that will provide the spiritual foundation for all other relationships in the Tribe. JAL and I have been married for 20 years (as of August 2015) and have dated for more than 2.5 years before that. Our marriage has been tried and tested so many times and has been through things that would have typically made most marriages end in divorce. JAL and I are soulmates which means we are polar opposites of each other. Soulmate relationships are especially designed to accelerate our rate of soul growth or enlightenment. It is the most difficult relationship one can have and if we can survive and even thrive in a soulmate type of relationship in a lifetime, we will have perfected our souls to such levels that will benefit many others. See Unconditional Love: The Only Thing Worth Fighting For to learn more.

Motherlands Are Guaranteed Never To Be Sold

Ardent Light Background originalA Motherland by definition is guaranteed never to be sold because it is the land where one’s spouse, parents, grandparents, or other family members are buried as well as the land that will always give you FREE food, water, electricity, fuel, shelter, furniture, clothing, personal and household care items, household items, etc., and the always available companionship, protection, and support of other family and friends (the Tribe). The Motherland is the Tribe’s kin domain, their own Space of Love that is created after so many generations of loving memories in the space of land. The loving energy imprints left behind have the power to heal just by being in that space. One would have to be insane to give up all these things in order to have a finite sum of money and have to pay for all those things again. This is why all communities or Tribes must make total self-sufficiency their ultimate goal and treat their land as their Motherland (as defined in the Anastasia Ringing Cedars books) so that they will be buried there when they decide to leave their earthly life. Tribe members are buried under the tree that they themselves planted so that their DNA will be absorbed by the tree and provide a wonderful space for their family and future generations to communicate with the spirit of their loved one. All of this will guarantee that the Motherland will never be sold.

Tribe Self-Governance

journey-to-self-governanceA Tribe’s right to govern themselves is a natural right of every human being. A natural right is a right that every person is born with and can never be taken away by any other person or government, corporation, or other organizational entity. Some say they are God-given or Nature-given rights. The problem with most government and organizational entities is that they, by definition, take away or violate the natural right to self-govern because they are either structured that way or the population they govern is too big to allow individuals to self-govern. On the other hand, the size of a tribe tends to be small, usually around 150 people or less, which makes it a lot easier to give each individual more attention and therefore more power and the ability to self-govern. This is why living in tribes is ideal for self-governance.

The tribe’s self-governance document is a document that acts like the tribe’s constitution, their attempt at self-governance. As the tribe’s constitution, it should serve the tribe and not the other way around so it needs input from all potential and existing tribe members before it can be considered final, done or complete. The idea is to provide structure and organization to ensure fairness and meet everyone’s needs at the same time. It is a fine balance between the needs of the collective and the individual. It is also needed in our current state of consciousness since we are not all enlightened beings yet. However, there will be a day in which that will happen and when that day arrives we will no longer need any document to live with each other, just the simple guidance of our collective Heart.

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