Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Detribalize Yourself!

Think you know what's going on? Think again.

The great mythologist Joseph Campbell used to explain that an essential first step toward wisdom involved detribalization. Whether we know it or not, we're all members of certain tribes, which are determined by sets of shared assumptions. These tribes can involve your ethnicity, your profession, where you went to school, how much money you've got, whether or not you've got kids, preference for dogs vs. cats . . . . To begin the process of really seeing what's going on around us, Campbell argued, we need to recognize and question these assumptions built into our perspective.

We try to do quite a bit of this in our book. It's really necessary, in that much of the science we're questioning seems to make perfect sense. Be very leery of science that makes perfect sense!

Here's a very short video that amusingly illustrates the point: