The illusion of culture

Cultures have illusory “grammars” that outline what can and cannot be said.

Culture wars, essentially, are battles over what can and cannot be said, done, signaled, thought, believed, valued, etc.

A few days ago in You can’t say what they don’t already know, I said:

Cultures demand constant authorization and reauthorization from their members. To stray from established norms is to weaken group authorizations.

That’s how it works for all cultures with more than a few members. Cultural bonding and affirmation involves nothing more than authorizing and reauthorizing the basics of the culture.

It even works that way in groups as small as two people. This because two people speaking together typically do so in a larger cultural context that is defined and accepted by both of them.

Just as most people do not make up their own words or jokes, most people do not make up the bases of their culture(s).

Even committed couples speaking in private typically do not leave their shared cultural script(s). This happens because they do not know any other way to speak to each other.

A profound and rich world of subjective insight and perception eludes them because they are afraid they might stray too far from the established script.

Culture becomes deeply illusory at this point. Its tenets are held not due to thought and insight but only to stabilize or maintain a rote communication pattern.

You can change this by using a functional communication pattern instead of rote cultural grammar that has been imported into your mind from outside.

As an experiment, try not feeling anything about the basics of your culture. Do FIML from this point of view and see what happens.

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