Soul Families: our 21st century renaissance

These grim years of the attempted Great Reset are also a time of hope beyond hope.

In the ruins of crumbled certainties and deserted, discredited dogmas, we have the chance to regroup, to find each other, to together seek the light.

I write in the preface to my new book, The Withway, that we are going to have to be numerous, creative and determined in forging “a philosophy both ancient and new which can challenge and replace the deadthink of this toxic and moribund system”. (1)

Having been greatly encouraged in this hope by the Manifeste Conspirationniste, I was further delighted to hear from the author of a new brochure which makes another inspiring contribution to our desperately-needed 21st century renaissance.

Mark the Mystic Activist describes his Soul Families as “a resource you might find useful if you’re interested in co-creating a new culture that’s decentralised, co-operative, conscious, and rooted in nature”. (2)

He asks: “But how to make it real, without going to live in an eco-village, or an intentional community? Or another way to put this question might be ‘how do we weave ourselves together? How do we weave a new social fabric?’.

“The Soul Families proposal is to form small, local ‘tribes’, Soul Families – tribes aligned with the culture we wish to co-create. And not just aligned at the practical, physical, creative level of permaculture, eco-construction, food production, alternative economics, and so on.

“I believe that, above all, we need to risk ‘becoming family’, and loving each other, and being-loved by each other – and learning to travel through The Great Mystery of Life in deep intimacy with each other, as we build our new culture”. (3)

Mark does not shy away from the harsh reality of 2022 and the system’s attack on human freedom, asking: “Might manufactured climate chaos, or manufactured war, or social chaos, be part of the plan to take full control?” (4)

Neither does he pretend that abandoning the toxic luxury of centralised industrial society would necessarily be easy for everyone.

But he declares: “I choose to gently surrender my dependencies, and find new comforts. I choose to simplify, and toughen-up a bit. And I choose to gently surrender my individualism and isolation, and come together with my brothers and sisters, in Tribe – in Soul Family. I choose to give and receive warmth and strength, and learn to Live Together in Oneness, and Become the Change, and live aligned and free”. (5)

He explains that his Soul Families idea operates on three levels – “the universal or spiritual or existential level of our interconnectedness and belonging; the psychoemotional level of our individual and collective conditionings; and the material or physical level of our action in the world”. (6)

The spiritual level involves the empowering and liberating awareness of our metaphysical and natural withness which our rulers have always tried to hide from us.

Mark writes: “We transfer our sense of belonging to The Whole, to Our Oneness, to being Human Creatures alongside so many other wonderful Creatures on this Earth; to recognising we ARE the Life Force that animates it all!” (7)

The practical level is rooted in the idea of being people “who know where we live”, as the Manifeste Conspirationniste puts it. (8)

Insists Mark: “We can weave Deep Community where we already are, with those who are around us right now!” (9)

The idea is to build a Soul Family involving people who live in the same place, within walking distance, and to aim for around 12 adults, plus the children.

“I feel this small tribe size is crucial, because vulnerability is almost-always easier in a more intimate atmosphere, with familiar faces, where trust has grown”, (10) he explains.

The key to the group ethos is a sense of authenticity, sourced necessarily from within each individual.

“No External Authority will ever order you to form or join a Soul Family! You are Your Own Authority. And in a Soul Family everyone remains their Own Authority. It’s an absolute necessity! Because: otherwise how can there be authenticity? And without authenticity, how can there be real relationship, and intimacy, and tribe?” (11)

He adds: “This Vision implicit in Our Emergence is a vision of empowered local communities, not of Absolute Centralised Control; of people living embedded in nature, not in Smart Cities on lab food; of a culture with emotional intelligence, not brattish squabbling…” (12)

Mark explains that the idea of building a new civilisation may sound daunting and beyond our reach, but that, in fact, the project of weaving Soul Families together into autonomous local communities “WOULD BE the building of a new civilisation”. (13)

I will leave you with a beautiful passage from the booklet, which is available to download for free here and also in Spanish here.

And here among The Marginalised,
beyond the margin, even – on a whole new page –
the Smart Cities far behind us –
we look at each other and realise
we have become Social Scribes –
to write something beautiful
for ourselves; for We Who Refuse to be Biodigitalised –
and for our children´s children.

  1. Paul Cudenec, The Withway (2022), p. iv.
  2. Mark the Mystic Activist, Soul Families (2022), p. 1.
  3. Soul Families, p. 4.
  4. Soul Families, p. 24.
  5. Soul Families, p. 28
  6. Soul Families, p. 4.
  7. Soul Families, p. 22.
  8. Manifeste conspirationniste (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2022), p. 188.
  9. Soul Families, p. 17.
  10. Soul Families, p. 9.
  11. Soul Families, p. 12.
  12. Soul Families, p. 15.
  13. Soul Families, p. 24.
  14. Soul Families, p. 23.
About Paul Cudenec 185 Articles
Paul Cudenec is the author of 'The Anarchist Revelation'; 'Antibodies, Anarchangels & Other Essays'; 'The Stifled Soul of Humankind'; 'Forms of Freedom'; 'The Fakir of Florence'; 'Nature, Essence & Anarchy'; 'The Green One', 'No Such Place as Asha' , 'Enemies of the Modern World' and 'The Withway'. His work has been described as "mind-expanding and well-written" by Permaculture magazine.

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