On culture

The more I progress in my personal evolution, and the more weight I give to the importance of self-crafting this evolution. I think it’s important that this journey be yours, and be made of your own experiences.

Social norms, laws, religions, specific methods and all dogmas are ultimately hindering your own discovery. There is no exploration if you follow the path, if you are promised a destination and a safe travel. And so, there is little learning as well.

Because it is well-known that however clearly you understand something, it will never affect you the way it does when you feel it in your bones. And this feeling only comes through direct experience.

I feel some sympathy for the case against culture. Culture is shared habits : the way we do things, which, in turn, creates expectations. And before you know it, when you go watch a movie, hear a song, interact with someone, you expect to seat for 90 minutes, to hear a steady beat and a chorus, to not get your shoes peed on, to not hear that they don’t like their children that much. These expectations condition your own exploration. If your mind is set with certain expectations, it will definitely not jump out of them unless you intentionally and lucidly push it to.

But we could also argue that films, music, art and personal creation in general can be assets in self-exploratory journeys. So, how should we approach them ? Should we follow an artist that we like, or will it create an expectation and a new norm in our mind ? It may be better, then, to collect individual works of art from various artists, without following any of their future works. That way, we identify only with the product of individual artists who are themselves on as many unique self-exploratory journeys.

Following this reasoning, we should avoid artistic pieces produced, promoted or curated by organizations. Individual artists offer pieces of work that reflect their independent journey, but organizations like radio stations and magazines have guidelines for selecting content, which are linked to expectations, norms and then, culture.

One could also say that artistic creations from individual artists are actually needed to keep a self-exploratory journey afloat. The presence of culture is permeating every side of our social life, but we might also be prone to create our own culture. If we find some answers of our own, see certain practices as beneficial, we might end up relying more and more on these findings and find ourselves creating guidelines just like organizations do. Being hit once in a while by an individual artistic piece might be a good way to have our inner culture challenged and to see things in a different way, outside of that inner culture.

The conclusions I’m reaching here (‘don’t rely on dogmas, find your own way’, ‘artistic pieces are sometimes bad, but sometimes you need them’) sounds a lot like advice from someone who doesn’t know in depth the subject he is talking about. This might be worthless, and it’s an indicator that I might need to ponder this question a bunch more.

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