The Quest for Community (Work
In Progress Started 9/28/03)
My most significant sense of dis-ease or personal unmet need is community.
My sense is that there are
some very fundamental and basic attributes of society that we are biologically
adapted to much as our genome is biologically adapted for a diet or
environment. Take us out of our natural environment and we become
sick. If we go into space without gravity our bones become weak and
brittle. Without the Day/Night cycle and Sunlight our hormonal balance and
rhythms will fail to preserve our health.
Much the same I seek clues as to what sort of social environment we are best adapted to as a clue to understand the internal forces inside myself that need resolution in order for me to be my healthiest and happiest.
Prior to the advent of agriculture some 8,000-10,000 years ago we were hunter-gatherers. I am amazed that we still are fortunate enough to have remaining hunter-gatherer cultures on the planet. The very property I own is on the Etowah (Hightower) Indian trail and my house is located where Creek Indians camped a mere 200 years ago. When I was exploring my territory I walked out over a bluff overlooking an island in the Yellow river and my spirit said "This Is Where I Build My House!" I wonder how many Indians before me must have reached the same conclusion?
In our native groups of 30-40 individuals our place within our group would move from baby to child to adolescent to adult to middle and old age (if we were fortunate enough to reach old age). This was a highly interdependent form of life where your survival was just as dependant upon the group it was your own survival skills. A creature as puny and defenseless as man could not hunt the large animal prey individually. Cooperation was far more critical for your survival than competition.