EPOCH I (LEVEL II)
The second loop manifests “Tribalistic Existence.”
At this level, humans seek stability in mysterious but vigorously defended ways of life. Bands of individuals, recently emerging from hand to mouth (SURVIVOR) existence, now have tightly knit social circles. For early humans, tribal existence lacks broad perspective, deep thought, and/or general purpose. Members believe their ways are, “….inherent in the nature of things (Graves, 1970)”. This notion of inherence explains why members of the TRIBE loop hold tenaciously to their ways. According to Dr. Graves, TRIBE(s), “…strive desperately to propitiate the world for their continuance.” They live in a, “…primeval world of no separation between subject and object, a world where phenomena possess no clear contours, and things have no particular identity (Graves, 1970).”
Through the TRIBal lens, one form of being can be transmuted into another, due to the perceived correspondence between all things. For TRIBal loopers, a seasonal, or naturally based concept of time prevails, and space is seen in atomistic fashion. Causality is, “…not yet understood because humans perceive the forces at work to be inherent, thus linking human consciousness at the deepest level (Graves, 1970).” Here, according to Dr. Graves, a form of existence based on myth and tradition arises, and being is, “…a mystical phenomenon full of spirits, magic, and superstition (Graves, 1970).” Here, the task of existence is simply to continue what seems to have enabled the tribe to be. But here, more by chance than by design, some achieve relative control of their spirit world through a non-explainable, elder administered, tradition-based way of life, “…a way of life which continues relatively unchanged until disturbed from within or without (Graves, 1970).”
When the safe tribal way of life assures continuance with minimal effort, it triggers movement to a different steady state of being. It produces excess energy in the system propelling a state of readiness for change. But unless another factor, such as dissonance or challenge, comes into the field, the evolution does not move in a progressive direction. Instead, it runs toward maximum entropy or demise due to an overloading of more and more tradition and ritual. If/when the state of readiness is achieved, dissonance enters, then this steady state of being is precipitated toward a different kind of change. This dissonance usually arises in youth, or within individual minds not troubled by memories of the past, capable of newer and more lasting insights. It can, however, occur to these same minds when outsiders disturb the tribal way of life.
When such dissonance occurs, it does not immediately produce movement to the next state of being. Instead, it tends to regress, searching through older ways before new insights come to be.
This is a crisis phase for any established way of existence and is always the premonitor of a new state, provided three other conditions come to exist. The first of these three conditions is insight. The capable minds in any system must be able to produce new insights or be able to perceive the significance of different insights brought to the system’s attention from outside sources (Graves, 1970).
However, insight alone does not make for change since “…full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its freshness on the desert air.” According to Graves, removal of barriers to the implementation of the insight must occur. This is a matter not easy to achieve when periods of confrontation arise. If the idea can be effectuated, through the removal of barriers, the consolidating factors come into play enabling a new steady-state of being to be born.
When tribal individuals are ready for the change, insight into individual existence is triggered. Insight into being as separate and distinct from others, and from tribal compatriots as well. The struggle becomes intentional since the operant or instrumental conditioning systems are opening, the individual perceives that others, other humans, other animals, and even the spirits in the physical world fight back. So the individual’s need for agency becomes prominent.
With this change in consciousness, humans become aware that they are aligned against predatory animals, a threatening physical universe, other humans who are predatory or driven to protect the status-quo.
Former TRIBE members aren’t one-with-all because they struggle alone against “dragonic” forces of the universe. They set out heroically, through the emergent operant automatic system, to build a life of individual primacy, and so emerges the “MONARCH.”
Tribal individuals generally follow strong leaders or symbols. In today’s society, TRIBEs can be seen as somewhat diluted with familial or fraternal units (mafia/gangs), sports fans, and/or highly competitive corporate teams. Core values include safety and security. It is not hard to imagine how tribal individuals see those from different tribes or those operating on different primary loops altogether.
TRIBE POINT OF VIEW:
For instance, one can imagine seeing other TRIBE individuals as either “one of us” or “one of them;” Individuals on the MONARCH loop might be seen as strong leaders to be obeyed (or not); MONOLITH loopers as local, state, federal, or global agents of government, or some other form of social authority; Individuals from the MATERIALIST loop could be seen as saviors (from poverty) or masters of the socio/economic game; GREEN might be seen as helpful “do-gooders;” WIZARD and/or FEDERATION loopers might be unseen except when exceptional, beneficial, or sustainable intervention occurs, in which case they might be seen as agents from the MATERIALIST or GREEN loops.
Gravesian Epoch I reached its peak in the closing decades of the 20th century. As we progress into the second decade of the 21st, the first two loops of Epoch II have begun to take shape… they are briefly described below in the WIZARD and FEDERATION loops:
- LEVEL I (SURVIVOR)
- LEVEL II (TRIBE)
- LEVEL III (MONARCH)
- LEVEL IV (MONOLITH)
- LEVEL V (MATERIALIST)
- LEVEL VI (GREEN)