Harbor Seal

Neural Tribe: chasing its tail of Form, ignoring its Essence

Diaspora is a dispersal, scattering, migration of people away from their ancestral roots, away from their origins.   In modern use, we tend to equate the word “diaspora” with the notion of an ethnic, immigrant community.  For example, a such-and-such diaspora in such-and-such place (say, an Armenian diaspora in US).A diaspora is a new coordinate, a kind of portable homeland, a new address.  And new addresses come with new identities.  We get anchored in the place, we begin to associate ourselves with our current logistical circumstance.  And, inadvertently, we begin to lose sight of where we came from.

Adi Da, in his book Not-Two is Peace, talks about humanity as a diaspora that lost sight of its shared origins and, as a result, fell into tribal antagonisms.  Adi Da is, thus, down on the concept of the tribe.  He sees tribalism as one of the modern-day splits that threaten the human civilization.  I get what he is saying and I am largely on board with his point.  But I’d like to re-own the word “tribe” (as I’ve done so with the “neural tribe” meme).

A neural tribe is a broader kind of diaspora.  A neural tribe is a neural diaspora.  Here’s what I have proposed in my recent writings: wherever you find a neuron, there – as a species – you are.  What this means is that you and I, your cat and my dog, and the flees on them, are all neural colonies of one and the same Neural Tribe that inhabits different animal body-forms.  Put differently, we are the Neural Tribe in a state of extreme dispersal.  We – the Neural Tribe – have set up shop all across the biological real estate.  We – the Neural Tribe – are everywhere.  We are anywhere you find sentience on this Earth.

Adi Da is right: going beyond race and nationality  and culture may solve some global problems.  But what if we tried to go beyond the body-plan, beyond the body-form, beyond this house-of-a-body we live in?  Gender, social status, race, nationality, your favorite thoughts and beliefs, and whether you have a tail or not – all these characteristics are bio-logistics (biological logistics) and information you process.

Why?  Because you are not your tail or where you live.  You can lose your tail, you can migrate/immigrate/move.  Nor are you the information that you process.  If you inhabit the bee-form, then you are in the business of processing information about seasonal pollen in exchange for metabolic support.  if you – the neural colony that you are – you happen to currently inhabit a human-form then you might be right now processing information about the seasonal political football.

I repeat: you are neither the bio-form/body-plan you inhabit nor are you the information that you process.  None of that has anything to do with your neural essence.  All of this situational/contextual nonsense is just your current bio-psycho-social whereabouts.  Whether you are a white elephant or a human red-head, a black widow (of the arthropod persuasion) or a translucent pharaoh ant, an Asian stockbroker or a giant Mekong catfish, you are a neural colony of one and the same Neural Tribe living your information-processing existence at a particular body-plan diaspora.

Why keep chasing the tail of narrow identity? Broaden your radius of identification to broaden your radius of compassion.

Read more on Neural Tribe

Related: Lotus Effect

Related: 360 of Compassion

Creative Commons License photo credit: Travis S.