The three essentials of any sentient communication system are:
- its rules
- awareness of those rules
- meta-awareness of how those rules are working
Culture is fundamentally a communication system.
Individual sentient beings require communication within themselves (the bodily system, individual subjectivity).
Humans also require communication with other sentient beings, especially humans. This could be called the instinct to be in or to form a culture.
We see this instinct in its rawest form in children as they learn language and behavior.
We also see it in raw form in adolescents and young adults as they seek out communication systems in art, political ideology, religion, ethnicity, career and community alliances, and so on.
Psychologically, humans are most fulfilled when they:
- are in a culture with good communication rules
- are aware of those rules
- are able to achieve metacognition of those rules; that is, how they are working within themselves and in relation to other humans
This satisfies the instinct to be in or form a culture.
The instinct to be in or form a culture can be super-satisfied if the culture has:
- really good rules
- same as #2 above
- metacognition of those rules has great explanatory power and is gratifying psychologically
Related: Buddhist practice can be divided into Three Trainings:
- Sila or ethics, morality
- Samdhi or concentration
- Prajna or wisdom
To me these Three Trainings look very much like the three points made in several ways above.
Until very recently, I had never thought of this but FIML practice can also be understood in terms of these three basic approaches to cultural and psychological communication.
- fulfills our instinct to form or be in a culture
- harmonizes our psychologies
- provides a metacognitive vantage that explains (or enlightens us to) many things.
Since FIML rules are simple and open to infinite input, partners are able to form a super-satisfying culture based on their own needs and desires.