What is culture? What meaning do I find behind this word? How is it affecting me? Do I want to be a part of it? Before reading, ask yourself and explore the answers that emerge in your head.
To begin with, I advise you to keep your definition and idea of culture within yourself. And as you continue to read, just see my perspective as another opinion, another attempt or trial to interpret and outline the meaning behind culture.
I am a huge supporter of the idea that you should only keep your mind on the things that matter for you, and keep it off on the things that don’t. You should only adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own
“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”
– Bruce Lee
As I progress in the field of meditation, psychedelics and altered states of mind, I am beginning to question a lot of things in relation to reality, society, education, and life in general. For this reason, I decided to question culture and try to understand what it is exactly.
Superficially, culture is a collection of individuals who share common values, beliefs, and ideals.
In addition to that, this collection of individuals bond together and reinforce their beliefs, and this reinforcement leads to spreading the idea of culture wider and wider. However, deep down in the core of culture, what do we find? In the first place, something that is constructed, man-made, and artificial. Moreover, culture is a manufactured bubble that forces a specific view of reality upon us. It makes us see the world through a lens.
Culture is not only abstract but also an imaginary order. It’s not something that you can point at and say – Look, this is culture, but rather it is something that we are not very familiar with. By the latter I mean, having a clear and bright understanding that this order is shaping our behavior, and not only.
Culture is the water and you are the fish. Culture is the operating system and you are the computer. Culture is the hat and you are the head. Culture is the salad and you are the bowl.
I don’t have anything against culture and I am certainly not opposing it, but if one wants to broaden his mind and expand his consciousness, he/she should review his perspective on this topic.
Why so, one might ask? Because, culture influences you, shapes you, and affects you in specific ways.
And this influence might not be very valuable and effective for you if you would like to escape the rat-race and live life on your own terms.
How does culture affect us? Again, before you continue reading, I advise you to think for yourself and see what answers pop into your head.
Of course, some people will say that there isn’t anything bad. What’s wrong with culture?
If you have such a question, you don’t understand my point of view or the significance of this topic. What I’m trying to say is that culture is not reality. This is very deep, so deep that is has become normal for us. I am personally exploring and fighting to get out of this constructive bubble. We grew up in this bubble and it is so intensely connected to us, that we have become blind to it.
Culture defines how we dress, what kind of hairstyle we have, what we like, what we don’t like, what kind of food we eat…alcohol, drugs, work, business, career, technology, what you use, what you don’t use, education, reality, perspectives, family, values, kids, sex, relationship, marriage, what you want for yourself, desires, goals, etc.
Culture is the ultimate influencer. Do you understand? Culture gives you eyes to see the world.
Culture determines how you view reality, from what kind of window you are looking at the world. It is the context of everything you do with other people.
The thing is, we need to learn how to transcend culture while living in it, or not. An easy way to do the latter is to follow Henry David Thoreau’s example and go live in the woods.
Having what I have said in mind, one should see how culture affects him/her and explore deeper the topic. The only purpose in life is to transcend ourselves, to go to the next stage, to develop our consciousness, and this is impossible when being bound to culture.
We need to completely disconnect from old ways of thinking and ideologies, we must forget everything that we know about the world! … And start from there. We should get naked not by taking off our clothes, but by completely forgetting what we KNOW.
Think about it.. What do you actually know? And where does this knowledge come from?
It came from your parents, environment, friends, school, and university.. All of this is a collection of experiences, information, and ideas that shape you, that make YOU, YOU.
But are you really that? Are you a collection of all of these things? I don’t know… you tell me.
As we shed the cultural operating system, we stand naked before our own psyche and watch out, you might be confused with what you find there.
How do we come back to our senses and shake off past-conditioning? I think we peel the layers by becoming aware of the brainwash, reading books, developing critical thinking, questioning reality, exploring altered states of mind or… smoking some DMT. The latter is like putting the cosmos into a gun and shooting it up your head. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.
It’s up to you if you want to follow the herd or not. However, beware of feeling deceived when you grow old. Keep your eyes open for the traps of society and culture. Are you traveling on a road that you chose, or you are blindly following the steps of someone else?
Look what is happening in the world – we are being conditioned by society, by the culture we live in, and that culture is the product of man. There is nothing holy, or divine, or eternal about culture.
In the end, whatever you do, whatever road you decide to take, whatever view you have on the world and society, remember to enjoy yourself, be kind and take care of other living beings. Whatever goes around, comes around.
Do an act of kindness, spread the love. 🙂
Leaving you with a quote to ponder upon the topic.
“We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”
– Terrance Mckenna