What Is True Human Freedom?

How do you explain to a fish that swam in the same water its whole life, realizes that something just doesn’t seem quite right, but doesn’t know what it is or why, that the water itself is polluted and is poisoning her? How can a desire be created in that fish to do what it needs to scratch this ineffable itch? It’s not to find more fish to hunt, not to get bigger fins or a nicer cave to sleep in or make more offspring. It’s to remove itself from this water and get into clean water because the actual context it lives in IS the primary source of its dis-ease! This is the process of True Human Freedom.

Just like this fish, we’ve been “swimming” in cultures and families for generations that make it impossible to enjoy True Human Freedom. We’ve been conditioned to be content with “false human freedom,” which doesn’t actually fulfill us, nor support us in living our full potential as individuals, families or communities.  My name is Ano Tarletz Hanamana. With all my heart, I ask you to explore the holistic vision and teaching in my book True Human Freedom: The Inspiration and Argument for GaiaYoga Culture.  I believe it points to the “something” that many of us have been yearning for but haven’t had enough support or clarity to recognize and then take action towards.  True Human Freedom is possible, but to pursue it we must leave this “polluted water” (internally and externally), change the way we swim and perhaps even whom we swim with.  It is possible!  Let me explain…

Human beings are the same as other animals in that we have a natural diet, habitat, way of being social, etc.  Before humans tamed fire we lived in clans/bands as nomadic hunter-gatherers, eating only raw food and staying near the equator.  We got our security, survival and social needs met by being deeply cooperative and bonded with each other.  These clans were intimately connected to nature and were able to raise healthy human beings in-group together.  We also handled sexuality/intimacy within the group in such a way that competition, jealousy, insecurity and mating didn’t undermine the functionality, survival and integrity of the clan/band.  We were not enlightened people; we were just living out of our genetic patterning in a way that was successful enough to survive.  I call people living this way “aboriginals” and they lived in a natural human social structure.  I label this cultural consciousness Domain 5 aboriginal/nomadic.  (Domains 1 – 4 are what we call “nature.”  Domain 1 is light, energy, forces. Domain 2 is atoms and molecules. Domain 3 is plant. Domain 4 is animal. The diagram below is the complete 11 Domains of GaiaYoga.)

GaiaYoga Domain Map


After humans tamed fire and developed more tools and language people changed towards Domain 6, tribal/territorial.  Here you have larger groups of people (generally speaking) in deep cooperation.  Instead of a lone clan/band or a handful of them cooperating together, tribes contain many clans that all work together as a larger social unit.  Tribal people are still very connected to nature, but they are now cooking food, moving further from the equator, have more tools, fixed social roles (like chiefs and shamans), mythology and domesticated animals.  The “indigenous” cultures that people admire are primarily from Domain 6.

The reason I’m clarifying these cultural domains (there are two more to go) is because True Human Freedom is dependent on having a culture to support it.  We need a supportive social system so we can show up as our real selves or we can’t actually “be free.”  Otherwise we have to choose between “our truth” and getting the very real cooperation and acceptance of our people.

To continue, over time we gained more technology, developed agriculture, started making permanent settlements and shrunk the unit of deep kinship from the tribe to the extended family.  This is Domain 7, extended-family/village.  Some of the early Domain 7 cultures were the Greeks, Romans, Chinese and British Empires.  Domain 7 has much more material power than the Domains 5 or 6 and also more people cooperating – villages can be bigger than tribes.  Empires are certainly bigger than tribes.  There is also currency, bigger conflicts, metal, ruling classes, slaves and peasants, and more competition between families. Grains become a staple of most cultures’ diets.  There is less connection to nature, less human bonding and more material power.  Historically, Domain 7 predated the industrial revolution and the discovery of petroleum.

Over the last 200 years Domain 8 has come to dominate the planet.  Domain 8 is based on the isolated nuclear family, cities’ industrialization and the use of fantasy.  More recently we have suburbs, high-technology and the internet.  Domain 8 people are the most disconnected from nature, from each other and from Spirit. But unfortunately they have the most material power.  Domain 8 babies are usually traumatized by the alienation they experience in birth and infancy because a baby, in truth, is a Domain 5 creature treated like and molded into a Domain 8 citizen.  Usually, people in Domain 8 only intimately cooperate and live with a single mate and their young children and maybe their parents.  The extended family, though it exists, is spread around the city, state, nation or even world.  Every couple is fending for themselves.  This is the polluted water we are swimming in!

A person experiences life primarily through the framework of the Domain that they were raised in and live in.  Our cultural consciousness profoundly impacts how we live, what we can and can’t do, who or what we can and can’t be, and how others relate to us.  So, if our cultural consciousness is one based on being disconnected from oneself, each other, nature and Spirit, then it is obvious that it cannot support True Human Freedom.  Living in Domain 8 and expecting life to truly work is like getting on a bike and expecting it to fly!  It’s simply impossible, because it’s not designed to.  A culture designed around fantasy, authoritarianism, competition, isolated nuclear families, repressed emotions, competition, unsustainable agriculture, unsustainable energy use and unsustainable construction practices produces social, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dis-ease.  See: the design’s working perfectly!  And we all suffer from it.

Being considered crazy by those who are still victims of cultural conditioning is a compliment.This begs the question: what can we do?!  We need to create a cultural foundation to live our lives in alignment with our Domain 4 animal body, our Domain 5 primal social needs, and our spiritual reality and potential, but that also integrates all the “good stuff” that we’ve developed in Domains 6, 7, and 8.  This is what I call Domain 9!  It’s a consciously “designed” Domain/culture that works to serve all of humanity because it is in alignment with all of who we actually are.

Let me highlight just one very important way Domain 9 solves a huge issue in human culture, which is meeting the need for security (emotional, material, primal and social security) in a way that doesn’t undermine our other needs.  In Domain 5 aboriginals met their needs for security by being bonded as a clan/band in deep cooperation with each other and by being intimately in tune with nature (Domains 1 – 4).  In Domain 6, security needs were met in a similar manner,though there would often be a larger unit of cooperation, intimate clans working/living together integrated as part of larger tribes.  Note that in both these Domains our security changes little if we are or are not in an intimate relationship or if we dissolve an intimate relationship.  If we have children with a mate and then stop wanting to mate with them, our children are still cared for by the same people, our home is still in the same clan/band or tribe, we have the same hunters/gatherers, shamans and other kin, caring for us, and we still care for the same people too.  Perhaps we move out of one hut and into another or sleep next to someone else in our sleeping den, but somehow it works out and the group stays together.  So whom we have sex with and our security are not particularly linked – yes, of course it matters, but it’s not the foundation of our home, life and security.

In Domain 7, people mostly live in extended family land holdings with some configuration of grandparents, children, grandchildren, uncles, and aunts and cousins living together either in one larger home, castle, plantation or farm.  Often a woman will leave her extended family’s home and move into the home of her new husband (there are other models, but this is a common one).  How security needs are met changes.  There are needs met by the village (and perhaps the empire) for basic protection and for providing many goods and services, while the more intimate emotional, social, sexual, co-parenting and day-to-day survival needs are met mostly or exclusively within the extended family.  So now whom I have sex with (especially if I’m a woman) is deeply linked with my security.  As long as things are working it’s fine, but if my husband turns out to be someone I don’t want to be with, a woman has a very hard choice to make.  Even the husband does, though it’s probably less disruptive.  The children in this Domain are going to take a very hard hit if their parents divorce (if that’s even “allowed”) and likely lose access to one of them or at minimum have their family ruptured.  This tragedy doesn’t occur in Domains 5 or 6.

Now, in Domain 8 it’s much starker.  Mating pairs live alone as isolated nuclear families and if either one wants to end the marriage then one or both of them lose their home, their economic foundation and their one primary source of emotional and sexual connection.  Of course children have it just awful in a Domain 8 divorce.  I cannot change with whom I’m intimate without huge repercussions (hence the secret life of prostitution, pornography, affairs, rape and pedophilia).  Obviously, this does not support True Human Freedom.  The drive to be intimate/sexual with whom we want to is huge in most human beings (not just men).  So, the ability to express it freely, without fear of loss of home, our co-parenting system or the overall security everyone involved is vital.  Even though we have many “false human freedoms” living with technology and “independence,” the cost is actually very high.  To be clear, Domain 9 addresses all parts of life, it’s not merely about expressing our sexuality in a liberated and responsible manner, I just find it an easy aspect of life to highlight for clarity and inspiration.  A Domain 9 culture re-integrates the vital missing elements we had in Domain 5/6 and one of those re-emerges as a clan (within a larger tribal unit).  Along with numerous other benefits, this supports us in living our intimate/sexual energy without fear of loss of security and supports the potential to enjoy healthy multiple-adult intimate relationships.

My message is pretty simple, albeit sobering and daunting.  I’m saying it’s time to abandon the ship of Domain 8!  Then heal from living in it, unlearn much of how we learned to be and re-educate and re-train ourselves to participate in a culture that actually supports everyone’s True Human Freedom.  I call this kind of culture GaiaYoga Culture or Domain 9.  My passion to live this way has led me to co-founding GaiaYoga Gardens where we’ve been developing a culture that re-aligns us with our inherent human social instincts and then strengthens those connections through the way we think, speak, listen, relate, eat, work, farm and live with each other day-to-day.