Culture, Cultural Beliefs, and Cultural Belief Systems

Imagine waking up one morning, and, looking out through your eyes you find you are now Chinese and looking out at a Chinese village in Hownong province, or a Yanomami on the upper Amazon watching the river flow past. Not only would what you see be different than what you are used to, but if you were somehow transformed into a Chinese person or a Yano Mami how you comprehend what you see, and the way you understand it, would be vastly different as well. And of course it would be a totally accepted reality to you as to how things are. This is because most of us here on the planet are entrained with the culture we were born into. Some, very few, are not as they have evolved past their personal cultural trance state. This cultural view that is entrained into the subconscious minds of most of us acts as a filter on the lens of perception that shapes what we see into literally how we feel about what we see, and then, based on those feelings, how we react to it.

Wikipedia says “Culture is a word for people’s ‘way of life’, meaning the way we do things. Different groups of people on the planet have evolved to manifest quite different cultures. A culture’s way of life is passed on to the next generation by the cultural environment and cultural entrainment. There are some genetic traits passed on by heredity and the environment that create physical similarities. This further binds various groups to recognizing themselves as related. Culture is seen in people’s writing, religion, music, clothes, cooking, and in what they do.”

The concept of culture is very complicated, and the word has many meanings. The word ‘culture’ at least in ‘western’ analogy is most commonly used in three senses:
*Excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture.
*An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behaviour.
*The outlook, attitudes, values, goals, and customs shared by a society.

Most broadly, ‘culture’ includes all human phenomena which are not purely results of human genetics. The discipline which investigates cultures is called anthropology, though many other disciplines play a part. And anthropology is itself affected by its own brand of culture.

Humans are currently evolving into a time of recognition of themselves as another species among what amounts to innumerable other fellow species here on the planet. We are realizing we are an intrinsic part of what is aptly called ‘the web of life’. Worldwide there are large numbers of us that are starting to look behind the culturally impaired lenses of perception. The way we as individuals can do this is by utilizing our self reflective conscious minds to focus on the ‘seer’ behind the lens. Our conscious ‘thinking’ forebrains have the ability to flip our thoughts to a subjective level. We can think about why we think about things. It is from this place in the mind, in what resembles a kind of infinite space that this thought process happens and is key to a deeper fuller understanding of life, and possibly, the universe and, well, everything.

Compassion is a word used to describe a deeper understanding manifesting in many humans. Persons that can look through their personal lenses at culture as a ‘symptom’ of the human evolutionary process and not as a hard ‘reality’.

All cultures appear to have certain beliefs enshrined collectively in its members. Religious beliefs, racial beliefs, political beliefs and hundreds of others. These cultural belief systems are like little programs that function as the filters subconsciously imbedded in the mind’s lens that we humans observe our personal worlds through. We all have them and once aware of them we can begin to sense and ‘feel’ their influence. The key is to observe these ‘feelings’ but not react emotionally or physically. As they are not actually ever based on what can be considered true reality, for most people they soon dissipate. The beliefs are often referred to as ‘memes’ which are culturally accepted beliefs that often spread like viruses through a particular culture. When these programs are most rigidly woven or set into the cultural it is called a cultural priority and to break it is a taboo. Care must be taken and it is difficult to break any cultural taboos without incurring the wrath of the particular culture one is in. The reaction from that particular culture could be fatal.

Currently we tend to be living in the age of a ‘Global Village’ thanks to the power of internet communications. There is a globally connected planet wide culture that is growing steadily. These globally connected humans observe life with much more understanding and a more encompassing view than was present a decade or two ago. Most of the world leaders and the super wealthy still display dysfunctional world views based on older programming but those of us that understand that these individuals and groups are simply victims of their personal cultural belief systems are able to replace anger about their ignorance with a degree of compassion. “They know not what they do” or “Their ignorance is their bliss.”

On a cellular level view a single cell is widely accepted as the most basic level of life itself. There are only three ways that cells react when encountering another single living cell. One cell bounces into the other kind of attacking it. This is like a war state. One cell eats or encompasses the other. This is like winning the war. Finally in the third possible scenario both cells join forces together and cooperate for the common good. They grow and organize for their collective common good. This is the basis of life itself. A simple and obvious fact. Most humans on the planet wealthy or poor have not yet evolved to feel internally secure enough to live by a code of cooperation and mutual understanding or with empathy and compassion and remain trapped by their culture and its beliefs.

So on an individual level it’s on with the job of cleaning our subconscious lenses and evoking change on our personal views. The cleaner the lens the deeper and vaster are our perceptions. The patterns of life itself start to be seen as Blake said, “…through the glass darkly.” When a person’s mind is enjoying existing in a state of freedom from cultural beliefs and cultural belief systems all forms of life soften around them and the cultural patterns become very understandable and apparent. Indeed this understanding and clarity becomes meme like and spreads to others. This is basic truth leading to a quickening of humanity’s path towards developing a deeper intrinsic compassionate understanding and a integrated appreciation of life the universe and everything. This indeed would be truly enjoyable for all of us humans to experience.