Archive for February, 2006

Two Wrongheaded Cultural Assumptions

Friday, February 24th, 2006

If the behavior of Western Man is a threat to our survival, as I believe it is, then we need to change it. But, in order to change it, we first need to inquire into why we do the things we do. This inquiry, however, is complicated by two cultural assumptions which operate against both inquiry and change and which need to be dealt with before going any further:

(1) We assume that we “Westerners” are free, rational and objective individuals who choose our behaviors based on “what makes the most sense” — and we believe that “what makes sense” is a rational and objective determination.

(2) At the same time, oddly enough, we assume that much of our behavior is hard-wired because it is necessary to our survival, and therefore cannot and should not be changed: For example, capitalism is frequently explained as an expression of our innate greed — which is viewed as a survival instinct; militarism is explained on the basis that human aggression is a given and must be defended against. Therefore, it is argued by conservatives, it would be unrealistic, impractical, and “against human nature” to work toward a more economically equitable and non-militaristic society.
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Symbols and Survival

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Whether or not you believe you believe in Him, if you are a member of Western culture, you believe in God-the-Father’s “survival stragegies.” Western survival strategies understand the male way of survival — dominance — as the key to and model for the survival of Western society. Western society believes that its survival depends upon its ability to dominate all others in the world through achieving and maintaining superior power — whether it be political, military, economic, technological, informational, etc.. God-the-Father as symbol connects to and fleshes out, in a culturally-specific way, the biological archetype for human maleness, making all men gods and God the quintessential Male. God the symbol is therefore powered by all the deeply felt drives and emotions experienced by and associated with the biological human male as he exists in Western society.
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