39 — Thought, Thinking, and Tribes


I am not my thoughts. I am not thought.
I am not the thinker of thoughts.
I am the observer of thought.
I am a sovereign being.

~Sri Bhagavan

The Collective Consciousness

The collective consciousness (“collective” in the following) is of the little self/ego. It is not of the higher self/soul. The higher self is the observer of the collective, but not of it.

The collective is comprised of all thoughts, beliefs, values, positions, decisions, choices, traumas, and memories that humans and proto-humans (pre-consciousness humans) have ever had or experienced.

Or will have?


A tribe (in the collective) is an energetic “bundle” of thoughts, beliefs, values, positions, decisions, choices, and memories associated with a “common denominator.” Common tribes are Slovakians, Irish, Chinese, Blackfoot, or Apache. Others are 49ers fans, Republicans, Catholics, “born again” Christians, Evangelicals, ISIS, African Americans, Jews, Israelites, Muslims. There are also tribes that reflect what we believe about ourselves or the careers we’ve chosen. For example, “I’m getting old,” or “I’m a scientist.” Men and women (the little self masculine or feminine energy) are also “tribes.”

Tribe Membership

How does one become the member of a tribe? What does it mean to be a “member” of a tribe?

For many of the tribes to which you belong, you are not consciously aware you are a member of those tribes, or you may not be aware of how you became a member of those tribes.

You become a member of some tribes by birth. For example, you are a Norwegian by virtue of being born (most likely in Norway) to parents of Norwegian heritage. The deeper the heritage, the more strongly you belong to the Norwegian tribe.

You become a member of some tribes by socialization. If your parents are devout Baptists, you are of the Baptist tribe. You can become a member of a tribe by your ethnicity or lineage (DNA). You may become a member of the tribe of strong defenders of Article II of the Constitution if your family heritage embraces hunting, for example.

You can also become a member of a tribe by choice or a decision you make. You aren’t born a Warriors fan, but you can strongly embrace the Warriors as “your team.” Or you decide to become a member of the Proud Boys tribe.

You can become a member of a tribe by psychological manipulation; for example, Jonestown or the Stockholm Syndrome.

When you are a member of a tribe, whether or not you are consciously aware that you are a member, there is a set of thoughts, beliefs, values, positions, decisions, choices, traumas, and memories that you subconsciously “inherit” as a member of that tribe. They underlie your beliefs, speech, and actions to a greater or lesser degree depending on how strongly you associate yourself with that tribe. And you most likely are not aware that you have been “programmed” with all these thoughts, beliefs, values, positions, decisions, choices, traumas, and memories.

Impact of Tribe Membership

The more strongly you identify with a tribe, the greater the (mostly subconscious) influence that the thoughts, beliefs, values, positions, decisions, choices, traumas, and memories associated with that tribe have on you. This unconscious programming of your little self determines how you respond to life and all that you encounter. If some of the memories associated with your tribe are from traumatic events, you may carry even more emotionally-laden responses to things that, at some level, restimulate memories or feelings or emotions of these events. For example, the Holocaust may carry particularly strong emotions for many Jews, and slavery may carry particularly strong emotions for African Americans.

Because tribal programming is mostly subconscious, we are not aware of how this programming prevents us from making conscious choices about how we speak, act or otherwise respond in certain situations. It can rob us of rationality in these situations.

On the other hand, tribal beliefs, values, choices, etc. can also be uplifting and positive, and can have a very positive effect in how you view and respond to life, the world, and your fellow human beings. Islam has a tradition of welcoming strangers into their homes, for example.

Separating From Your Tribe

Why is it important to know what tribes you might belong to? The programming of tribal thoughts, beliefs, values, positions, decisions, choices, traumas, and memories cloud your ability to be completely present in the moment.

Why would I want to sever the ties that bond me with my tribe? Sovereignty! Your sovereignty as a master, as a fully realized being on this planet.

What do you not do when you separate from a tribe? You don’t lose your heritage as a German, for example, but you do lose the influence that this heritage may have on you—Nazism, for example.

Notes & Observations

Clearing all ties, linkages, bondages, etc. to a tribe clears all the programming of that tribe at once! My feeling is that this has big implications for clearing work—such as Access Consciousness or The Sedona Method, for example—because you can potentially clear much more at once! See Tribe-Wide Clearing Statements, below.

This is a bit like shadow work: If you uncover a tribe in which you belong, then you can clear all the programming associated with that tribe with appropriately constructed tribal clearing statements! In some cases, these can be really big shifts. If you belong to a tribe such as Proud Boys, you are going to potentially adopt harmful beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors to varying degrees. If you belong to a tribe such as Rotary, none of the beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors are likely to be harmful. In both cases, though, you have been programmed!

I’m looking at putting together something like the shadow work, except that it’s based on a different premise. In shadow work, when you have an upset it’s a clue to a part of yourself that you rejected, repressed, denied, etc. In tribe work, it may be indicators similar to those for detecting shadows:

  • Anything that pushes your buttons implies that there’s a shadow there underneath.
  • Anytime you find yourself being reactive to someone or something, or a situation.
  • Anytime you argue or protest is an indication that there’s a shadow beneath it.
  • Anything that drives you crazy in someone else.
  • When you judge someone or something or a situation harshly.
  • Addictions are another way you can detect a shadow.
  • Whenever you’re in a compulsive or reactive or resistant state, there’s a shadow beneath.

But tribe programming is different than shadow programming. Tribe programming is exclusively in the collective consciousness and may not/does not result from a hurt or a trauma—as do shadows, but rather from a “belonging.” When you are born a Norwegian, you inherit characteristics of the Norwegian tribe in the collective and all that goes with that: thoughts, beliefs, values, positions, decisions, choices, traumas, and memories—some of which may be more influential than others, but all of which cloud presence of the higher self/soul to a greater or lesser degree.

It seems to me the ideal is to have no programming because you lose clarity and choice when you do. My sense is that tribe programming is not based at all on what happens to you. It’s not a trauma that is to be cleared. Rather, it’s programming because of what you belong to, either consciously or subconsciously, either by happenstance or by choice. For example, for some reason you decide to become a Republican. Then, the more you see yourself that way, the more you embrace it, the more you associate with others of the Republican tribe, the more “Republican” programming your little self unconsciously accepts as its own.

How Do You Know Which Tribes You Belong To?

The tribes you belong to comprise your (little self) identity. You are not any of these (at the soul/quantum self level), but your ego/little self adopts one or many of these to show itself to other egos in constructed ways. Some of the adoptions are subconscious; for example, at the ego level, you didn’t choose to be born in Lithuania if, in fact, that’s where you were born.

Categories of tribes:

  • Nationality: Irish, Norwegian, Mongolian, etc.
  • Career(s): teacher, policewoman/man, scientist, coach, massage therapist, farmer, Catholic priest, etc.
  • Anything for which you’ve been certified: real estate agent, insurance agent, financial planner, attorney, marriage and family therapist, etc.
  • Political organizations: Republican, Democrat, Green Party, Libertarian, etc.
  • Activist groups and organizations: Sierra Club, NOW, Proud Boys, etc.
  • Clubs: Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.
  • Ethnic groups: (maybe, maybe not—these are artificially created)
  • Religions: Muslim, Catholic, Baptist, Jew (ethnic?)
  • Gender: male, female, LGBTQ, “they”/”them”, etc.—not quite sure here.
  • Other identities: father, mother, homemaker, stay-at-home mom, soccer mom, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, etc.
  • Any other way you’ve chosen (consciously or subconsciously) to present yourself to other egos or to just see yourself as. How you want to be thought of, or do think of yourself: wealthy, successful, a failure, lost, abandoned, poor, old, leader, etc.
  • Associated with major periods: Holocaust, U.S. slavery, Killing Fields survivors, etc.

Tribe-Wide Clearing Statements

The following clearing statement is based on the work that Ed Oakley is doing. More about Ed’s work can be found at:

Ed Oakley, Founder & CEO, MS, CSP
Enlightened Leadership Solutions, Inc.
featuring Life’s New Game

“I release, heal, and send to the light all ties, linkages, affiliations, and programming of any type to XXX tribe in the collective consciousness, for myself and for all others.”

Note: Ed’s most recent work goes much further—and is greatly more effective—than this simple releasing statement implies. More information is available here.