If you have lived without friends, you know the value of friendship. If you lose your health and then regain it, you know the truth of the old saying, “if you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” And if you have lived a good part of your life without having a community of like-minded others who understand what you understand, and value what you value, you know the value of community.
My community primarily centers on The Monroe Institute. Those others who are drawn there are, I often say, my tribe.
A tribe is not a cult, and it isn’t even cohesive, necessarily. It’s more like an extended family. Families quarrel; sometimes they feud. At one moment, what they have in common may unite them. At another, they may be overwhelmed by their awareness of difference. (What child has never felt that it had somehow gotten placed in the wrong family? Since that is a common element of many fairy tales, it must reflect a deep psychological truth.) But just as Robert Frost said that home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in, so your tribe are those people with whom you are at home.
What I would have given to have had such a tribe in my lonesome 20s and 30s!
Long intro to saying, what I thought I would say in just a few words, how much I enjoyed talking to a TMI Guidelines group last night. It’s something I get to do only a few times a year, and every time is different and every time is similar. I went up and had supper with them, and then we talked – well, at first, and mostly, I talked and they listened, God help them 🙂 – for about three hours.
Three hours? Talked about what? Not trivialities; not politics or ideologies; not “what do you do for a living.” We talked about the skills they were learning, and possible obstacles on the way to learning it. I told them parts of my own story, mostly as illustration. I talked about Rita Warren and her contribution to the institute that began more than 30 years ago, and talked about what she was doing from beyond the grave to continue our education. Participants and trainers told of their own experiences, and posed their own questions, and interacted among themselves, and as usual, it all flowed together.
Wonderful time, as always, and a long late drive home in the residual warmth of the encounter.
TMI thinks it offers programs, and its consciousness-development tools such as Hemi-Sync, and SAM and the exercises built around them. And that is true enough, in its way. But to me, what it really offers is community. I never cease to be grateful that my life has been a part of it.