“one” world

12 05 2009

There are infinite worlds on this planet. There is the world of high school, the world of college, the world of every different business, the world of every religion, the world of every mountain; and within every world, there are more distinct variations and entirely new and different worlds. Many of us who read this blog are familiar with the worlds of private property, public education, careers, etc., all permeated by pop culture and mass media. For the past week and a half, I’ve experienced a different world, that of The Twelve Tribes of Israel, specifically on a farm in Picton, New South Wales, Australia. I would recommend this world to anyone who is disgusted with consumerism and desires to work close to the land, or in a bakery, grow up among families teeming with children, and sacrifice their individuality for the purpose of doing what “Jesus-The-Son-Of-God” wants (according to the bible), which is living on a commune. Now, you may not have to sacrifice your individuality, but it seems like that happens when a person adopts this lifestyle (and perhaps when a person adopts any “lifestyle”, for that matter). See, according to that bestseller in every hotel night table, the Kingdom of God (a really groovy, happy time) will be realized when The Twelve Tribes of Israel assemble. So, this group (with membership throughout the world in the lower thousands) has proclaimed itself to have that name, lives in the way they believe God wants, and throughout the day and night have a pleasant, gay old time.

Every day, twice a day (7 AM and 7 PM), all the members living on the farm gather in a house to sing songs praising the creator and dance in a circle, then say aloud what they are thankful for. These are the Gatherings. There is no continuity between songs or talks; everything stands alone as its own praise to Yeshuvah (that’s what Jesus is called here). Women cook (aMAZing food) and men perform the more physically-taxing tasks, such as chopping firewood, feeding the animals (although that is exactly what the women do), and construction-type jobs. Everyone teaches and takes care of the children.

I have no problems with their beliefs, and I pray you do not either, as most of our culture does what another somewhat-fictional entity desires; we call it Society (politicians call it The Economy). Regardless of what is true, one thing more important than belief is action. Entering the Farm (without being asked for payment, given a bed and told to stay as long as I like), a young girl, half my age, offered to cook me a meal. Children are trained very well (homeschooled, called Training) and everyone is genuinely warm-hearted, nice, hospitable. Maybe that’s why it seems there is a loss of individuality: individuals are accepted without question. Eventually, everyone can speak for the whole tribe. They speak of abolishing the individual ego, but many replace the ego of the self with the ego of the community. Many individuals lead stagnant lives, cycling families for the will of the creator. Others recognize the stagnation and live merrily, helping the community and allowing the Spirit to manifest and change as the Spirit does. Again, these phenomena may occur in any tribe or culture; I am simply able to see it manifested here, where I am an outsider. 

This lifestyle is much more hospitable to the planet than popular consumerism (granted, they still do certain grocery shopping once a week, and purchase other needs as necessary, but the tribe is only 30 or so years new, sprouting from a rather polluted trunk… or branch). This life touches on the words John Lennon sang about, with the world living as one. 

And yet, outside the farm, cars and trucks speed past on the highway, and the world is not one; The Twelve-Tribes is just one of the world. 

In the end of the day, for me (we are all different), at this stage of my life, this farm feels funny; it doesn’t sit right in my solar plexus. So, I’m off to Sydney, Byron Bay, and warmer climates. I thank The Tribes for everything they have done for me (when I was sick, I was brought peppermint tea and a pretty yellow flower) and all the great Mate I have drank. Sincerely, Genuinely, Thanks. And goodbye.

(no more laptop, i’ll compute when i can).

An elephant awoke from a nightmare: a mosquito asked it it’s name, and the elephant could not remember. Upon awaking, it was comforted by the memory: it has no name.




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