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Your Allies On Life’s Journey

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I found this article at The Daily Om. Joseph Campbell doesn't mention finding your tribe, but I do think it's something important to consider. Here's the article:

Finding Your Tribe

Our tribe members are those people who accept us as we are and gladly accompany us on our journeys of evolution.

Part of being human is the search for an individual identity. Bound to this strong need to establish a unique persona, however, is an equally intense desire for acceptance. It is when we find our individual tribes that both are satisfied. Our tribe members are those people who accept us as we are without reservation and gladly accompany us on our journeys of evolution. Among them, we feel free to be our imperfect selves, to engage unabashedly in the activities we enjoy, and to express our vulnerabilities by relying on our tribe for support. We feel comfortable investing our time and energy in the members of our tribe, and are equally comfortable allowing them to invest their resources in our development.

The individuals who eventually become members of your unique tribe are out there in the wide world waiting for you. You are destined to find them, one by one, as you move through life. Sometimes your own efforts will put you in contact with your future tribe members. At other times, circumstances beyond your control will play a role in helping you connect with your tribe. If you look about you and discover that you are already allied with a wonderful and supportive tribe, remember that there are likely many members of your tribe you have not yet met. On the other hand, if you feel you are still living outside of your tribe, broadening your horizons can help you find your tribe members.

However your life develops after you come together with your tribe, you can be assured that its members will stand at your side. On the surface, your tribe may seem to be nothing more than a loose-knit group of friends and acquaintances to whom you ally yourself. Yet when you look deeper, you will discover that your tribe grounds you and provides you with a sense of community that ultimately fulfills many of your most basic human needs.

And so now I have questions:

I'm wondering if you often lose your tribe when you head off in a new direction... when you leave the comfort of the Shire you also leave behind people and a shared experience. And haven't we all had those experiences of going away maybe to college, or a new city, maybe a different job, or lifestyle, and then finding out that your friends and family no longer know who you are, a change has occured within, your horizons are broader, maybe you grew up - yet they still see you as you were before. Little Johnny went away to college, came home a doctor, but to his family and friends, he's still little Johnnie, not Dr. John.

And isn't it a requirement of the Hero's Journey that he leave the tribe? I know that the article says that our tribe gladly follows us on our journies and our evolution, and yet, I'm not sure that's always the case. Some tribes endeavor to keep us centered, balanced, and always in the same place. When we take off on a search for the grail, it upsets the status quo and we may find ourselves out in the cold.

So, can you really take your tribe with you? And if you can't does that mean you need a new one? And how many people constitute a tribe anyway? Is 2 enough? Shouldn't there be 8 or 12 at the very least?


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