Is It Time for Tribal Enlightenment?

by Layne Cutright​


I think the question we all need to live with is this: 

Now that many of us know how to get more deeply and authentically connected and we have a shared sense of our humanity, what can we do about the sense of promise we feel within it?

How can we make harmony and emotional intelligence more real in the world? Can we harness this palpable embryonic power we feel when we are deeply connected, in practical ways? Can we take it to another level, beyond just the “feeling” to empowered action in our everyday lives in our communities? We call this kind of living Tribal Enlightenment. And we believe it will take us all beyond “knowing about” spiritual realization to living our spiritual realization in concert with others.


Tribal Enlightenment occurs when each individual in a group has a personal connection with their individual, unique Soul. This connection informs the development of the whole group to a higher level of expression. There will be a greater love, wisdom and vision coming through in beautiful and new ways. ​

We live in the question of, “how can we help the world be a better place by creating better, healthier and more harmonious relationships?”

A couple of weeks ago we had an event in our new hometown, Asheville North Carolina. It started out as a way of introducing ourselves to the local community and morphed into a discussion on "tribal enlightenment". It was very rewarding for us because it was one of the few times we have discussed one of the more esoteric parts of our work, a part that we hold very close to our hearts.

When Paul had his near death experience a few years ago it was a wakeup call for us regarding our work. We both confronted our mortality and had a powerful recognition that we don’t have all the time in the world. Or, another way of saying it is, we didn’t want to waste any more time. We looked at what was left for us to do before we felt complete with this life of ours.

Recovering from the devastation that rippled through our life after Paul’s open heart surgery has been painful, lonely and exhausting. We lost our balance and were on tilt in countless ways. There were times when we felt so broken we didn’t know if we could recover. But, we are emerging from our cocoon of healing with an upgraded vision for our lives.

As you may already know, our romantic relationship started with a shared mystical moment that has led us on a very purpose driven life. That purpose has pretty much ruled our life. We feel compelled to participate with life in a very focused way. We live in the question of, “how can we help the world be a better place by creating better, healthier and more harmonious relationships?” We started with our own lives, then it grew to include others. We became teachers of what we had been learning.

After twenty years leading relationship seminars and deep immersion programs we took our work to the internet in 1999. There weren’t a lot of people online who were interested in conscious evolution at that time. So, we focused our message on relieving people’s relationship pain. It is good work, rewarding work and we have helped a lot of people over the last 15 years. And we have learned a lot teaching online with clients from many different cultures.

The spiritual aspect of our work always informed our teachings, but we weren’t putting it up front and center as we had in our early teaching days with a community in Hawaii. The truly visionary aspect of who we are as people and as a couple became veiled. It was appropriate at that time and now it is not.

We are now generating a different conversation in our work. We are exploring the possibility of group enlightenment. Our teaching now starts from a different place than we have ever started from before. Yes, when we count the numbers of distinct periods where community has grown up around our work, it adds up to four. 

Each era focused on a different experiment yielding more wisdom in ways that became clear later on. Each new version was built upon the success of the previous phases. We are familiar with new beginnings and the chaos and uncertainty that precede them.

This new conversation starts in full swing with people who are committed to soulful depth, emotional authenticity and a passionate vision of a new and evolving human being. There were some seasoned travelers at our recent event and we were glad to meet them. I don’t know if we would have met them without the event. Our guidance was to schedule an event and see what happened.

We were met with enthusiasm and encouragement. We want to join with other people who are dedicated in a similar way to what we have been. And it is intriguing to participate in a gathering of kindred souls here in our new hometown.

We want to connect with others that have some nitty-gritty know-how regarding what something such as Tribal Enlightenment will require and how we can all prepare ourselves. We aren’t exploring it with just a fledgling notion of how good it could feel. We have survived a naïve optimism and know there are challenges along the way. It’s only in hindsight that we can see how predictable and recurrent those challenges are.

We are beginning anew with 40 years of ripened spiritual and practical experience regarding what it takes to get there. Is it time for a bigger game? What do you think?

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