Culture is understood by living it.

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Culture is central to human consciousness and hence it is necessary to become conscious of what it is from the centre of consciousness. In other words, culture is essential to experience culture. It means that no aspect of culture can be experienced as an outsider. Precisely for this reason it is better to get into the living atmosphere of the culture of a given nation and feel it at heart, touch it with receptivity, listen to its sounds with a child's curiosity, see its colours with joy and for all these life-activities no language is required.

It is like learning swimming for which entering the water is a must. So too culture demands elimination of the sense of insecurity, distance, unfamiliarity, judgment and complexes. Stepping out of "I" and stretching into "WE" is crucial to true experience of culture. This is achieved through the process of identification with every gesture, movement, manner, tone, look, emphasis, accent and all these are taken care of by receptivity and attitude. Nothing mechanical and/or intellectual about it. Hence it is rightly said that culture is not taught, it is caught. Academically literate need not be culturally literate as it is often evident among the most civilized human beings. Academic literacy does not assure cultural refinement. Enlightened self-conscience is the hall mark of cultural refinement. This comes by living amidst the enlightened ones in the school of life. To attempt creating an academic curriculum for culture is therefore as naive and stupid as making clay out of pot. How to go about, then?

Is there a wiki way out? I believe that there is. [1]

--GCresearcher 19:00, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Director (talk)06:59, 8 May 2008

Pretty engaging! It seems I have a different background to yours, so could you please clarify the following?

What do you mean by centre of consciousness? Culture (language being a part of it) is embodied, modeling/shaping our body perceptions, movements, feelings,relationships. Can there be human self-consciousness without culture (whichever it is)?

Whom do you refer to by outsider? Language alone (e.g. ESOL/ELL)does not help develop cultural awareness, empathy and the self-reflexive process which is said to be the stepping stone towards cross-cultural (intercultural usually rather chimeric)communication. But I´m not so sure we can grasp a different culture without knowing the language; our appreciation is shaped by our own culture, i.e. we will feel, touch & listen to the new one according to our existing schemata & mindset. It is perfectly feasible to appreciate something new without understanding, it could well lead to some reflexivity re the culture of the origin, but does this develop knowledge on its own?

No intention to be itchy, but nation, nation-state and culture are different concepts which may overlap, coexist or not. There are cultures without nation (Romi), several nations & cultures within the same nation-state (Spain,under heated discussion)and one nation/culture/nation-state, though I´m quite skeptical about the latter for once you start scratching minority cultures tend to arise.

Can you please explain what you understand by the true experience of culture? Experience normally involves a subjective component which in social exchange undergoes a process of objectivizationto reach an agreement between intersubjectivities. To a certain extent this may apply to social truth, which is not necessarily the same as fact.

Can I develop without WE?

Academically literate need not be culturally literate as it is often evident among the most civilized human beings. Academic literacy does not assure cultural refinement. I envisage much scholarly production as a literary genre to show off citations and little content (if any). Can you please expand your argument? Really keen on your response!

Academic curriculum of culture Are you referring to cultural studies or any other specific discipline? Brave argument yours! In terms of experiential learning, the most interesting works I've come across are by academic researchers with a hands-on approach (outside the Ivory Tower).

Any plans to expand contents?


Alexpreal (talk)07:37, 24 May 2008

Thanks for the probing questions.

Yes, plans there are to expand contents to serve the purpose of i) gathering ideas on culture ii) finding a practical model of good governance inclusive of culture. You might find joining the discussions in this direction in The COLLaGE Community, google group is actively engaged in discussing on the role of culture in good governance.

I would like to create the context for answering your questions there.

Director (talk)03:29, 26 May 2008

It would be a “sin against curiosity” if I do not clarify the points raised by Alex. Let me begin with my background. I breathe at ease with Sanskrit and the Vedic lore. The ideas on culture expressed here do have that background. For want of better translation I have used certain expressions which are bound to create different understanding in keeping with another background. Yet, it is not impossible to find the concord where experiences have common ground.

What do you mean by centre of consciousness?

The expression hints at an experience one finds by following guided discipline. This is like a circle whose centre is YOU and I whose circumference is nowhere to be found. This “WE” is not the sum total of “all” as even the ocean is not the sum total of the incidental waves. Language as a means of social intercourse is only the fourth and the grossest level of culture. The other three levels are increasingly subtle which demand deeper focus and attention to comprehend. Global human self-consciousness is trans-national and is inclusive of all cultures.

Whom do you refer to by outsider?

By outsider I mean one who is biased, unwilling to open up, non-receptive picnic-minded person who visits a country like India where unity in diversity runs in and through many and varied cultures. An outsider is one who lacks the sensibility and sensitivity to comprehend the “sweetness and light” of a living culture.

Can you please explain what you understand by the true experience of culture?

I fully understand the implications of ‘cultures’ mentioned by you. And yet, please note this: The deeper one goes within towards the spiritual centre of consciousness more are the possibilities of finding that true culture is trans-social, trans-national and trans-global because the content of consciousness at its centre is cosmic in essence. The wave is essentially the ocean. So what? The language of this centre is Love and Care.

Can I develop without WE?

When I develops it is WE that manifests and I has the innate potential to manifest. Yes, this requires the field and the environment. “Father is the seed and mother is the field. The yield goes by the name of father and not mother.” Father is culture and mother is environment. I am aware of the limitations of metaphors. The differentiation of academically literate and culturally literate is based on the ethical and moral context of culture. A subject expert in Chemistry need not be a good human being in every sense of the expression. Being human globally takes globally acceptable human value-based, non-corrupt love and care which can embrace humanity, nay, all that is living and non-living.

Experiential learning and performance research meant by me are indeed specific disciplines of Vedic Tantra which enable expansion of consciousness of the aspirant from I to WE wherein being human globally would be an intimate personal experience. Alex, I have not seen you or heard you and yet it is my love for you which has made me to care for the queries and respond to them. You are welcome to my place, live with me and get non-verbal clarifications for your queries.

Director (talk)16:50, 26 May 2008

[Carnality, touch, affect, movement, quietude, no barriers in the midst of drums]

[Shh! Silence flows, don't let words disrupt. Only in silence perception & consciousness arise to glimpse harmony.]

I had clearly misunderstood, so sorry for this! I can´t avoid congratulating you on the beauty of this second post.

Joined the G-group; governance seems not to be in my line, but use is so widespread it is sometimes hard to tell.

Curiosity is bound to kill this cat! Still, only through Otherness I can push my own boundaries to develop awareness and empathy to enhance reflection. Hopefully I´ll sometime know something; in the process I try to introduce every new tiny bit into my daily practice.

Mine is expressive & doer Spanish culture, not ideal to grasp Vedic Tantra, but keen on learning more!:) I´m currently into performance & experiential research applied to social sciences/cultural studies (hybrid/interdisciplinary). Not sure of how I could contribute, but glad to try.

Some multi-layered experience with outsider/insider issues. I can´t but agree.

Newbie here so I´m not aware of the limits in terms of contents/etiquette :(.

Many thanks indeed for such an enlightening response!


Alexpreal (talk)01:06, 29 May 2008