"Jesus said to his disciples, 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies: they neither dye their hair nor inject Botox between their eyebrows, ( a great sermon) yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not adorned like one of these.'"
In tribal society there might be periodic shortages, even famine, but the overarching mindset is of a world filled with opportunity for the skilled hunter and gatherer. With no property as a core idea, I cannot fear that you might take my property away from me. In the tribal world, nature is brimming with stuff.
Let's explore this for a while and then look at how these tribal views fit into how modern science now sees the world and how the emerging new economy also fits the tribal model of the Gift.
Tribal people inhabit a world of relationships and energy. With few possessions, things are of little value. Tribal people know that everything that they think or do has an effect on the universe itself! They know that they are integrated into the world.
So every thought and act ripples out every where and has the potential to effect everything and everyone. When a hunter kills an animal for food, he sees the act as a "gift". In his mind, the animal allows itself to be killed by him. No matter what his skill - the hunter works hard to be grateful. The act of killing for food is a sacred ritual. The animals must be propitiated before, during and after the hunt.He knows that his energy and his relationship to the animal are critical to his success and hence to the survival of his tribe.
In a tribal setting, the bottom line for the survival of the individual is the survival of the tribe. This is why hunters and gatherers share what they hunt and find. Your reputation as hunter is dependent on two aspects: your success in hunting and your generosity in sharing. As a gatherer you share your wisdom about where food may be found and how all material brought into the camp can be converted into food, tools and clothing. Women in tribal life are responsible for the manufacturing side of the economy. Men for tools, for protein and for defence. The survival of the tribe depends on the skills being passed on well to the next generation.
So, at the heart of tribal life then is the social interaction that transfers all this knowledge into doctrine and onto the next generation. tribal survival depends as much on the sharing of knowledge as in the sharing of food. Sharing is not a fantasy about being nice, as we teach kids in kindergarten to share their toys, but is a survival strategy enabling a small and physically weak primate compete with all other animals and all the varied environmental conditions that nature can inflict. TBA