Tribal Underneath


– Judeo-Islamic-Christian … Capitalist Values.

by Liam Scheff

I get the feeling when I write about sex, that everyone in the audience is squirming backwards to try to find a safe place in their own un-examined philosophy, so as to not have to fully engage the topic. I write about sex because sex is the primary fascination of every post-adolescent human I’ve ever met.  Everyone flirts, or everyone wants to. Everyone dreams of sensual contact and loving embraces. Everyone is attracted to someone they meet on most active days of the week.

More than that though is the reality that we are social creatures, and despite Christian (and perhaps Muslim) admonitions to the contrary – we are social mammals. Both social; that is, interacting with each other by nature, not in pairs, but in clans, groups or tribal communities. And Mammal – by which I mean a type of creature on this earth.

If this is a contradiction to something your local neighborhood priest or imam has drilled into your soft and malleable skull…well, you can take it up with your nipples and uterus – because that’s what “mammal” is referring to above all.

We are social mammals. Creatures. Life. Warm blooded. A species with a particular nature. A nature of play, of eating, of sharing, of a slight (and sometimes very slight) hierarchical bent – perhaps we have our chosen kings and queens for a season; but mostly we like to live in vaguely equal groups…or at least, groups in which sharing of duties falls to natural skill, ability and comfort level, given our variable talent sets.

We interact, we play, we sing, we dance. Dancing simulates sex; sexual desire initiates dancing. Life initiates hunger, hunger draws us into group activities of foraging and hunting; these create language and communication; words breed concepts; concepts birth poetry; the world gives us sunrises and sunsets, and violet and purple dusk; night breeds togetherness for cold demands insulating warmth; biology births nervous systems; nerves express deep psychological needs; our hearts require proximity for psychological steadiness. We need our tribes.

We are tribal. We are a mammal. We are a tribal species.

This simple fact, evidentially, empirically, demonstrably and in every way matter-of-factually true… is the most disputed, disguised, denigrated, belittled, suppressed, isolated, brutalized, interrogated, dissected, butchered, raped, strangled and murdered…fact…that exists in all the world.

We don’t accept this, even though we cannot deny it is true. We claim to need to rise above it. To be “evolving” into something… well… more Christian? More Hindu? More.. no.. less.. mammalian. Less human. Less earthy. Less alive. More constrained and manageable.

(The clever observer might be prompted to ask the question: who does this containment serve? It serves consumerism – but hold that thought.)

Indeed, we hate our animal nature. We hate our tribal biology. We want to fit into clean plastic capsules in which nothing can ever hurt and we do not age. We simply refuse to listen to the world sing her eternal song in our inner ears anymore, so bury it beneath a series of avalanches and tsunamis – of bleating digital electromagnetic noise; of mountains of plastic petroleum product; and most importantly, of shame and humiliation – for being that loving, lovable mammal that we are deep down and forever. (No matter how much we try to bleach and wax and Jesus and Mohamed it away…it can’t be destroyed. It’s only our sanity that dies a hard death.)

Because we are a tribal mammal.

Once we lived in tribes, in arrangements dictated by local habitats, environments, geographies; worshiping our distant ancestors as demi-gods, as local deities; combining them with the eternal powers of sun and moon, wind and rain, lightning and storm, sea and river…all the things that flow that are larger than anything we can ever understand.

In that world, we had no need of rules pairing one person with another for any conceptualization of time so far-ranging as “till death do you part.” We did not need to partition all the tribe into tiny and isolated groups of two, whose lives would be spent separated from all the rest, who needed to make factory wheels turn all day in order to increase their allotment of numbers on a sheet that could then be used to trade with someone else for a fish, or a packaged frozen fish-cake…or for a dehydrated weight loss vitamin meal replacement powder containing essential fatty acids, which doctors now think should be part of your approved, individualized, safely sterilized and pre-packaged diet plan. (Just add water. Eat it on the go. Never stop working. Never be human.)

No one needed to pledge to be married, because everyone was already married – to the tribe. You couldn’t unmarry it. Your “faithfulness” was measured by your participation in feeding and clothing everyone by participating in the acts that everyone had always done. Growing food, catching fish, beating flax into fiber – to make sure all were warm and fed and sheltered – the same as everyone else did.

The relative ease of semi-tropical tribal life, in terms of the duties that so perplex and stress us today, is something we moderns don’t even achieve on vacation. A few hours per day spent on gaining the food supply or turning abundant roots into paste or bread – and the rest of the day to … well… be human. No cars, no driving, no voting, no faceless bureaucracy to deny or approve your benefits or investigate your desire to not have your child injected with mercury.

Of course, there were challenges from nature. There were rains and droughts. And life was, as it is, hard at times. As always, there was sickness and death; and treating illness was imperfect; as it all is today.

On the other hand, you didn’t have bills to pay, except duties above mentioned; perhaps you had millet to thresh or cassava to grate and ferment.

No one ever had to wonder or worry “where the children are.” They were always in the boundaries of tribal lands; on the hunt, or playing the games that always occupy children – playing heroes and gods, inventing out of imagination; learning to tie knots and make rope, to catch fish and animals; to thresh grain and make tools; in other words, playing at being adults, but enjoying it. (Unlike our “no child left behind” programs, which teach absolutely fuck-all that is of any real-world value to anyone – except in the mind of those damned bureaucrats. We’re so Soviet – and we don’t even see it.)

In the tribe, you had issues to be sorted out. You had squabbles. You appealed to the older and wiser to split the differences; and mostly you agreed with the verdict; or you didn’t and you stopped spending time with someone – much like we do in high school.

You ate, drank, made merry; consumed intoxicating plants for mind-altering psychic quests; you had coming of age and after-the-hunt and spring and harvest festivals; and days when games prevailed. You might have a dispute with another tribe; you might have a mock battle; someone might get hurt. Life was imperfect.

Younger women were sexual when they wanted to be. Younger men, too; and pregnancy was not a shame on a girl, but a celebration of life gained by the tribe. Women with children refused sex to previous partners as a means of preventing pregnancy. Men and women might be romantically bonded for a season; but the season passed and no shame or infamy was brought upon either for, in time, finding other seasonal romances.

The children were those of the tribe; of the woman’s or man’s household; and would not be abandoned by the group. A woman could insure better treatment of her child by pairing with several men during her fertility, so as to create a group of men who would consider themselves fathers to her child.

Life among wild humans was ruled by the law of tribe, above all.

You didn’t have cars to fill with gas; you had hammocks to rest in to refill your gas tank. You didn’t have marriage vows to create decades of paranoiac self-criticism, and a neurotic head full of anxiety, a chest full of self-criticism and doubting shame…

Because you were always married. You were bound to the tribe; and in that feeling of security, no one would have ever told you to hate yourself for being alive, for living in the moment of your life, for enjoying song, dance, or company.

The Jewish God Versus Human Nature

Of course, tribal life was hard, especially in hard lands. And in the hunter-gatherer tribes we see today: Masai, Yanomami, in tight, contested marginal lands which are not suitable for growing much of anything, the ethos is harder, more Old Testament.

This is so because hard lands produce a hard social structure; just as generous lands produce generosity. The Trobiand, Cooke and Hawaiian islanders had lax sexual laws because the land produced enough food to provide for sexually-active and fertile females and males. The lands of the Old Testament produced strict and ungenerous sexual laws because the land was ungenerous and could easily starve a population if not managed with severe restriction of population.

It is in this apparently simple equation that we find the birthplace for almost every concept of cultural allowance or prohibition in every society in the world.

Abundance tends to equal a generous and undemanding social and sexual code. Paucity produces severity in both.

We in America live in abundance, but worship the Jewish god of scarcity, fear and death. But the Jewish god is a very, very late addition to the human species’ pantheon.

Humans developed in fertile, abundant lands. Our deepest psychology reflects that clearly. We feel most at ease when we don’t have to worry too much about food; when food is abundant. (And it is abundant – if polluted – in America.)

Are we surprised then that our culture’s libido is shot sky-high? That we can’t seem to follow the prohibitions of the angry Hebrew thunder god? That we run to his bloodily murdered son for comfort (to protect us with his bloody emaciated body from his angry father?)

The Rape and Pillage, Cash-Back Culture

And here is where Americans live. In the shadow of a myth that they do not understand, which arises from a culture that they would not want to be part of (those of the ancient near and Middle east), that we today claim is truly barbaric and un-American… but we cling to in our Sunday sermon. And fail every other day of the week.

All because Christianity has made us hate nature. Because we, according to Judaism, are supposed to be the conquerors and over-comers of the natural world, and subject her, like a young woman prisoner in rape and pillage warfare, to our whims; to produce from her servitude those comforts which sate our appetites and derange us from compassion.

To put Christianity in perspective:

You can properly read Christianity as a synthesis of early and late Jewish mythology and philosophy. Which requires some clarification – because early Judaism is in all essence Babylonian; and late or Roman-era Judaism is a mixture of Egyptian (in its Mary and Child/ Isis and Horus worship), and Greek (in its bleeding, dying and resurrecting grain and wine gods).

You can put Islam in perspective by seeing it as a very successful desert spin-off of early Judaism, revamped to fit the hard desert lands of the Middle East in tone and inter-tribal violence.

The western world, originating in the conquering tribe of Romans, rebirthing itself – a devil in sheep’s clothing, in the Catholic church and worldwide Christianity – has given us a mentality of self-hatred and self-shaming that serves one purpose above all. (And feel free to lump in Islam and Hinduism as it’s practiced here, too.)

It is not the redemption of our souls. It is not the improvement of our moral character. It is the creation, in every two-person “till death” pairing, of a perfect consumer pod. Two people who cannot rely on anyone around them for fear of re-awakening that tribal mammal within.

If we truly had to share space; if we had to farm together, forage together, and live together – without the pipeline of petroleum food and energy to keep us from dying – do you really imagine we’d exist like this? In isolated suburban pods separated by walls and cars and roads; with no food growing in sight?

And if this system crumbles – just a little bit – do you imagine that we will be able to survive – to live, grow food, eat, stay warm, protect each other, raise generations to come together – and still live in isolated single-family suburban shacks?

We hate the mammal in us, because western religion told us our actual nature was a “sin.”

They get us coming and going. They send us to Las Vegas to blow off steam. They show us sex, violence and Machiavellian depravity every day and night of the week on our digital mind-control devices. And on Sunday, they drag us into the tax-exempt temples whose histories are records of international and institutional child abuse, sexual abuse, the shaming, abuse and suppression of all females, and the normalization of illogical, anti-historical, and frankly tribal ancient multi-national mysticism.

Annnnddd…. right. You’re stuck here. We all are.

But you can see it now. It will not be hidden from view. You can see the transparent celebration of sex, even in the scandal sheets that ask us to feign shock and surprise at the daily listing of celebrity “infidelity,” and political “scandals,” all relating to our favorite whipping-boy, or girl – Human Sexuality.

God, we hate ourselves.

Fucking hell, I want out of this fucking country. (And double fuck, it’s a hundred times worse in Muslim lands, and Hindu, too.) But the whole world is infected. Because the most efficient way to control people is to tell them to hate themselves for being what they are.

Alive.

Human.

Tribal.

Good luck.
____

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Liam

One Comment

  1. AMAZING!!!!..liam..you are such a wise sage.
    thank you… for all the insightful learning for my heart and mind

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