While growing up I have been introduced to many cultures and traditions.
Although I have never followed any particular ones, I’ve always drawn inspiration from them. I believe there are many positive sides to cultures, however I also believe that culture is not your friend.
Culture is not who you are, it is what has conditioned you.
The late, great psychedelic mystic Terrence McKenna said;
“You are not naked when you take off your clothes. You still wear your religious assumptions, your prejudice your fears, your illusions, your delusions. When you shed the cultural operating system, then essentially you stand naked before the inspection of your own psyche.” Deshon Morris called it the “naked ape.” It is from that position,- a position outside the cultural operating system that we can begin to ask real questions about, what does it mean to be human? What kind of circumstance are we caught in, and what kind of structures (if any) can we put in place to assuage the pain and accentuate the glory or the wonder that lurks waiting for us in this very narrow slice of time between the birth canal and the yawning grave. In other words, we have to return to the first premises.
You do not have to be a victim of your culture. It is not something permanent that you are born with. It can be re-made, if you wish it to be. So how does one download a new operating system? First, you should clear some space on your disc. Get in touch with nature and plants, inside them there is a disc cleaner. An example of pharmacological agent that will clear your disc, is Ayahuasca. Do some research if it is of interest.
Great shamans have always known that culture is an operating system and that the operating system can be wiped out and replaced by something else.
I believe great shamans runs a slightly more advanced operating system. These would consist of the wisdom/facts of plants, animals, healing, human psychology, local geography and about the mojo of many different sorts.
The cultural operating system is consumed by capitalism, which is a dump. It wastes the environment and human resources. Capitalism is inefficient and it runs on stereotypes. It also runs on a low sampling rate, which is what creates stereotypes. Low sample rates make everybody appear alike, when in fact the glory, is in everyone’s differences. The current operating system also has bugs in it which generate contradictions, such as cutting the earth from beneath our own feet. We are poisoning the atmosphere that we breathe and killing our fellow being on our planet for our own satisfaction. This is not intelligent behaviour. This is a culture with a bug in its operating system that’s forcing it to produce erratic, dysfunction, and malfunctional behaviour.
From traveling a lot since I was little, and meeting totally different cultures, I have learned to change my cultural operating system. I am still learning to adapt. I notice the relativity of these systems, and how some work for something while some for others.
Alike many others, I myself get inspiration from culture, but I believe it can also limit. It can put you in box, because by trying to stay “true’’ to these cultures, you are boxing out so many other things you could do and be.
The cultural game teaches you that we are all alike, and that we are all equal. When in fact we are all different. The truth is, that even you are not created equal with yourself from day to today.
Today, you are not the person that you were yesterday, nighter the person you will be next week.
Cultural operating systems plays a game of simplification. If it can make people think alike, then they will buy alike, they will worship alike and also kill alike. This is not agenda friendly to you, me or anyone else. When you start seeing things from this point of view, you will realize that culture is not your friend. Being mixed race, I am definitely proud of my background, but I try not to define myself as member of any group, race or ethnicity. Everything about me that can be interesting and unique would be betrayed by defining myself in that way. That type of defining myself would again be a simplification.
In the words of McKenna, we should celebrate the individual. Any historical change, or any change in general change in a system you can think of, is always ultimately traceable to one unit unit undergoing a phase/ state change of some sort. The genius of creativity and of initiation of activity always lies with the individual.
Why be in a cult? As in culture. Why follow others? Follow yourself on your own soul journey.