Many of us who follow paths of alternative spirituality today are dealing with the need to address the question of what the structure of our communities will be. We no longer live in a tribal setting. What used to be roles within the community that were held be real people who we knew and trusted are now performed by extra-communal, non-human entities like "Government," "Law," and "the Bureaucracy."
While we are more individualistic, we still have a strong pull toward a "tribal" sense of community. And there has been a movement of spiritual groups to develop a "neo-tribal" structure to their communities.
At a recent event, Elisheva - Shofet of the Amcha and my long time friend and mentor - offered a workshop on Neo-Tribal ethics. I feel that her input is of great value to the Post-Tribal Shamanic and Sheya communities - as well as anyone else on a similar path. So I will share some of my notes with you.
This is a list of the values held by the Amcha - which is helpful for any neo-tribal group to consider.
• Self reliance - Think for yourself, but maintain good connection with the group; adult competence.
• Cooperation - Helping each other.
• Courage - Think and act with integrity - but open to new ideas. Be willing to speak your truth - even when it is unpopular.
• Respect and encourage the moral courage of others
• Generosity - Give with an open heart. Be generous of mind.
• Honor - Keep your word/commitments, but be open to renegotiating contracts when things change.
• Hospitality - Honor your guests and treat them with respect, but don't invite people who you do not respect.
• Family - Treat your blood family and family of choice with respect. You don't have to like them, but you do have to honor them.
• Frankness - Speak your mind. Say what you mean - mean what you say.
• Friendship - Know how close you are to others and act accordingly. Be aware of the degrees of obligation between acquaintance and friend.
• Moderation - Live with good sense - in balance.
• Simplicity - Use resources only as needed.
• Steadfastness - Honor your commitments.
When considering how these values apply to Sheya, I find that we need to more clearly state and acknowledge our norms - especially to those newly entering the community.