NOTE: This website is also a Bubble in the Bubble Map of the StartOver Game. It is a doorway to experiments to try that upgrade your thoughtware so you can create more possibility. Your thoughtware is what you use to think with. When you change your thoughtware, you go through a liquid state as your mind reorganizes itself. Liquid states can bring up uncomfortable feelings and emotions. By upgrading your thoughtware you build matrix to hold more consciousness. No one can do this for you. No one can stop you from doing it. Our theory is that when we collectively build one million more Matrix Points we will change the morphogenetic field of the human race for the better. Please choose responsibly to read this website. Reading this whole website is worth 1 Matrix Point. Doing any of the experiments below earns you additional Matrix Points.
Please use Matrix Code CULTOCUL.00 to log your Point for reading this website.
We cannot beginning to talk about culture to culture conversation before investigating what culture really is. A culture is a gameworld that answers the following questions: where do we come from? what are we doing here? where are we going? what does it mean to be human? We human beings do not interact with the world as it is. We interact with the world through gameworlds, including our culture. A culture is the unfolding of one story answering that set of questions choosen among an unlimited number of possible stories.
A Culture, A Gameworld, A Fantasyworld
Culture is a Gameworld. Perhaps one of the most treacherous and lethal of gameworlds that humans ever invented.
Culture is a treacherous gameworld because we are taught how to play in our local culture before we are even out of our mother's belly and what we are taught about culture leaves out the bit that culture is a completely arbitrary gameworld - in other words, Bullshit. Instead we are taught to give our center and authority away to our culture and its traditions. We are taught to believe that our culture is true and the best thing human beings ever invented and that our culture and its flag must be defended with our life, instead of being taught 'cultural relativity' (per Kurt Vonnegut Jr.) that culture is a gameworld no more true than any other culture or gameworld.
A culture cannot good or bad. A culture is a culture. It is a set of arbitrary beliefs and traditions. A culture also has a certain level of responsibility. A culture has also very real consequences.
An unconscious culture does not know and teach that it is merely an arbitrary belief system that as no connection whatsoever to the Truth. It does not know it is bullshit. Bullshit is not good or bad. However, the belief that our bullshit is true has lethal consequences. For example, modern culture or western civilization does not consider itself as a culture, the others over there have cultures, sometimes even a interesting or a funny culture. Western civilization, a few hundred years old construct, consider having found the best answer for how to go about life, and relate to other culture as failed attempt to being modernized. This belief has been strengthen by the idea that 'if I can kill you, my ways must be better than yours'. Europeans people invaded the American, African and Asian continent killing off unimaginable numbers of the local population in order take their land and resources. In that way, culture is lethal because, as was explicit in most indigenous Cultures, people from the 'outside' are understood to be 'the edible ones'. Most cultures are unconscious.
A conscious culture is conscious of itself, that it can look at itself and be amazed about the amount of bullshit that it really is. The people have became aware of cultural relativity. They have the ability to be comfortable in the realization that, while their own culture make sens in their own mind, it may appear quite ridiculous to someone else and vice versa, and that is perfectly okay. Opens then the possibility of having a respectful and curious culture to culture conversation. The basis of such conversation creates the possibility of exchange of knowings, skills, techniques and initiatory process.
People in an unconscious culture live in a fantasy world.
People in a conscious culture live in a gameworld.
Want to more about gameworlds? Here's the DOORWAY TO GAMEWOLRD
Creating Your Own Culture
The moment you are in the presence of the distinction in all of your fives bodies that a culture is arbitrary, you have come to and stayed at the edge of your own birth culture. Congratulations! You have questioned, inquired and hacked your way out of your culture on your journey to the edge.
You can now turn around and look at your own birth culture. This is one of the most important and devastating initiatory process. You will automatically enter a liquid state when that realization sinks in. Maybe you can remember when that realization sank in. Most probably, the first feelings you will experience are anger or mix emotions like disgust or revolt or guilt or shame. The anger is absolutely appropriate. The anger comes from that your life before this moment was built on the lie that what you were taught is the way it goes. Nothing else was possible or even imaginable. You made decisions, plans, interacted with people, did jobs, chose to do this or that based on what your culture valued as important, noble, and right and also what your culture considers taboos, condemnable and wrong. When you discover that none of this is true or real but simply the unfolding of one particular story, you might realize that the choices that you've made didn't actually come from your own authority but to conform to the authority of the culture, of the status quo. The consequence of playing in an unconscious cultural gameworld is that you are a sheep and a pawn in someone else game. You don't get to truly be who you want to be and make each decision with full responsibility for it.
The second feeling that most probably come a few seconds after the anger is fear. Because if you look outside of the bubble of your birth culture, what do you see? Nothing ... and everything! You are like a chicken who just hatched out of your eggshell. The world before what limited to the comfortable, cosy and warm world where the rules where determine by somebody else who you could blame for your unhappiness is gone. You are standing in front of the great unknown territory of the natural and free adult playground. However, your first encounter with that space can be very uncomfortable, maybe overwhelming if you do not have the clarity that fear is one of the four feelings. Fear is fear. Fear is not good or bad. Fear is not a design error of the human structure. Fear is appropriate, needed and wanted to for you to play in adulthood.
The most common fear when standing at the edge is that there is no path, you don't know how it goes, you don't know where to go, or where the path leads. Correct, standing at the edge of nothingness, the only step you can know is the one right in front of you. By taking the next step, you become a bridge builder. Yay !
The completion of the alchemical transformation of the initiatory process of getting out of your birth culture will happen when you can grieve your old identity that you created to match your birth culture. Creating that identity, called your Box, was necessary and appropriate because without it you would not have survived. And that identity was made for you to survive not to live your full potential. With the sadness you can grieve what you have sacrificed.
Joy comes next. The clarity that the new distinction - your culture is just one of the possible gameworld - gives you power. The power to create your culture, the gameworld you want to live in. Indeed, if a culture is simply a set of beliefs and distinctions, then what is stopping you from creating your own? No one can do it for you. And more importantly, no one can stop you from doing it.
It is possible that you will find yourself jumping around those feelings for a time while the new distinctions sinks in on different levels and in your five bodies.
Turned on? For more of this, enter the DOORWAY TO GAMEWORLD BUILDING
Beliefs and Distinctions
A distinction between beliefs and distinctions.
A Belief is an Is-Glued formulation that has no connection to reality. Anybody can believe anything about anything. Beliefs are defended not by experience but by positionality such as “I’m right. You’re wrong.” Positionality excludes. In other words, a particular belief can be supported only if all contradictory beliefs are destroyed. The automatic and unavoidable result of positionality is war. Look at human history.
Courtesy of Schooling the World - The White Man's Last Burden by Carol Black
Matrix Code: CUL2CUL.01
Few Possibilities of Cultures.
Extremely simplified cultural description.
Modern industrialized westernized culture was born less than 200 years ago. Modern culture provides you with a linear life plan that goes something like this: you are born from one father and one mother into a nuclear family. You go to school starting at age 4 or 5, all the way to age 18. At 18, you automatically become an adult and receive the right to drink, smoke, drive, travrl without your parents' authorization. Then in order to get a 'good' job, you go to university for another 3 to 5 years. After that, you maybe get a good job. You find a partner, buy a house, have children, a dog and a second holiday house. Hopefully you will retire and die.
Sng'oi Culture (Aboriginal, Malaysia)
In the Sng'oi culture, the aboriginals of Malaysia, you live in tribes. You sleep in the same hut with the people of your tribe. You wake up in the morning and discuss your dreams and the dreams of others. The day is dedicated to one of the dream. You eat and talk. Every 2 or 3 years, the tribe moves to another place in the forest.
Tibetan Buddhist (Nepal, India, Tibet)
At the center of the Tibetan Buddhist gameworld is the search of the nature of existence. The search happens through meditation, Puja and singing, and the creation and destruction of sand mandala. You are educated in the art of reasoning and debating. You can go on retreat for days, months or years in isolation or in group.
Book BOOKx129 - Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
'Teacher seek pupils. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.' If you always dreamt to find such an ad in the newspaper, this is your chance to embark on an adventure for the mind and the spirit. Daniel Quinn said, "Something better than civilization is waiting for us." He knows what he is talking about.
Experiment CUL2CUL.02 - Get real about belief systems.
Assign political, religious, and educational belief systems the same authority and respect as any other fantasy story.
1. Write down your belief system around those 10 points:
iv. Possession of land or property
vi. Your Destiny
ix. Regarding treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation.
2. Write down the belief system of Modern Culture around those same 10 points.
3. Compare your belief system to Modern Culture's. What is different? What is the same? What are the consequences of each belief system?
Experiment CUL2CUL.03 - Culture in action
After doing experiment CUL2CUL.02, gather with 2 or 3 friends or during a possibility team and answer the question for each category: How could I put in action my own culture right now instead of following my birth culture?
Book BOOKx142 - Original Wisdom by Robert Wolf.
A tacit understanding and experience about what is lost when modern culture extinguishes indigenous and original intelligence. "Seeing" is a resource that guaranteed us a sustainable culture for over 40.000 years.
For more on Robert Wolff: DOORWAY TO ROBERT WOLF
Culture to Culture Conversation
The diversity of culture is a source of wonder and of strength. Each culture is a facet of humanity. Each of us has an unique way of interacting with the world, deciding what is important and what is not. The paradigm of modern culture to makes us all the same in the way we interact with the world is leading us and Planet Earth into dismay. It is the maybe one of the biggest challenges we are faced with today to revive the flame of diversity with respect, humbleness and clarity.
The way for cultures - whether indigenous or next cultures - to survive today is not in isolating themselves but in inviting a deeper conversation between them. With the aim not to create an homogeneous and generic model, but to stimulate evolution and transformation in each and everyone of them. A culture survives if it can transform in face of its challenges.
Conversing between your culture and someone else's culture is a skill that we have not been taught in our classroom (for the majority of us who have been to school...). They are multiple traps in that practice. What we have been taught instead of cultural relativity is cultural myopia where modern culture is not a culture, it is the most advanced and intelligent way human being can relate to each other and the Earth. With that belief in us, in a culture to culture conversation, we rapidly become either defensive or offensive about our own culture.
If you have reached the edge of your birth culture, you might have even stepped out of it, another enemy is waiting beyond the lines: being adaptive to your birth culture as a habit of fitting in with your friends and family. When it's time to gather with your family for Christmas, a Birthday or a Wedding, old habits take over and you become adaptive to a culture that is not your own.
My experience is that with a solid dose of curiosity, your center, grounding cord, bubble and your sword of clarity pulled out, you can have the most marvelous, challenging and transformative conversation from your cultural bubble to someone else's cultural bubble.
Culture to culture conversation is a new skill, and as new skills go, it need practice. Have Fun!
Being offensive about our culture can be subtle. For example, western NGOs settling in 'third world' country with good intention wanting to "help save the world" is one of the most offensive and arrogant way to connect between cultures. The basis of that conversation is one of the party knows how to save the other one, because the other one obviously could not have done it themselves. The offer is one of creating Low Drama - the NGO being the rescuer and the people being the victim, the persecutor often the people's governments or colonizers.
This is the most widespread form of communication between people from modern culture and people from other cultures. Building schools, sending notebooks, pens and text books to countries in Africa or Asia is a new form of colonization by spreadring the economic, industrialized and education system across borders. Globalisation does not have to look like that. There are a multitude of possibility for a globalized connected world.
Our birth culture is inculcated in us since we are first conceived. The choice we have about it is accepting our birth culture or die. We then create our identity, our Box, that in its unique way fits into our birth culture. Even rebellious children, teenagers or people in grown-up bodies are a necessary part of a culture. You can check out the 18 standards boxes to find out with identity you have created for yourself to survive in modern culture.
Before being initiated, our birth culture is the basis of our identity. If our birth culture is questioned, our own identity is questioned. It feels like being on the edge of death. Most people would prefer to die defending their culture than the possibility of dying by questioning it. Wars are set up on this basic premise.
Defending can take the form of making fun of other ways of doing or behaving. This exclude the possibility of learning something different. You can notice that someone is or yourself are defending their culture when they say: "This is who I am", "I do things like that since I can remember", "Leave me alone, I do it like I want to".
Being adaptive is a survival behavior of giving our center away to authority figures. It comes from the thought 'If I don't follow, I will die'. Most culture implies that to survive you have to use the ways of the culture and that anything else is alien and dangerous for your survival. We are bread to be adaptive to our birth culture.
People from non westernized world have become adaptive to modern culture and the western way of life as it is brought to them as the paramount of human existence. Without question the slogan of success, achievement, wealth and money. We are taught to give our center away to the ones who will promise us heaven on Earth: religion, capitalism, money, career, ...
Remember two sentences at first: "That is amazing!" "I never thought that could be that way, this is fascinating" without any tone of sarcasm or superiority. Be amazed! This is where genuine curiosity begins. You have your culture, someone else has a different culture. Curiosity is finding a way to discover this culture without attacking it, without defending how it goes for you and without even adapting to it.
Check out: http://rapidlearning.strikingly.com
Experiment CUL2CUL.04 - High- Drama Globalization (1 matrix point)
To come soon.
Experiment CUL2CUL.05 - Box in layers (1 matrix point)
Experiment to do in groups of 3 at least.
This experiment will reveal your blind spot. Find people who are asshole enough to have the courage to point out your blind spots to you. Hint: choose people who your Box hate or is reactive to, these are your best evolutionary friends.
Our Box is not just a simple cubic shape around us, it is complex and wrap around and twisted. One way to unfold the different parts of your Box which you are identified with is to look at its layers. Each layer that you have created is made in a way to fit into your birth culture. By unraveling your Box's layers you will discover in contrast your cultures ways, taboos, traditions and thoughtware.
Phase 1: unraveling the layers of your Box (around 20-25 min/pers.)
Here's a non exhaustive list of layer in Boxes that you can use and attached questions:
0. Universe: where are you in the Universe? who are you in the Universe? what is your relationship to the Universe? at what percentage would you consider yourself in connection with the Universe?
1. Humanity, Earthlings: at what percentage do you consider yourself human? how is being human different? what is your relationship to Earth or Gaia? do you own it, does she own you? Was Planet design for human beings or for something else? what are we suppose to do with Planet Earth or Gaia? What is your relationship to the resources of planet Earth (oil, rocks, minerals, sun, wind, biodiversity, forest, wildlife, wind, water, ...) (hint: how often do you use the pronoun 'our' in front of 'water', 'wildlife', 'forest'. For example: "we have to protect our forests, our wildlife, our biodiversity", ...? )?
2. Nation, Citizenship: from which country are you? how are you part of this country? what makes you so attached to this country? what makes your country so special (positively, negatively or neutrally)? how did you come to have the story that you 'have' a country? what is your relationship to others citizenship (pick different countries)? what are the traditions that you have adopted from this country or citizenship?
3. Religion: which religion are you or were you taking part of? do you or did you go to church or an equivalent? why? what did you get from it? if you got out, how did you got out? what were the consequences? how old were you? why did you get out?
4. Community (Job, Company, School): which communities are you part of? how does those communities matters to you? which school did you go to? do you put it on your resume? how did it serve you? how did it deserved you? what is your relationship to your school? what is your company? what is your company culture? how long have you been in your company? why is this company important for you? how does your job keeps you safe from taking risk? what have you sacrifices to keep your job in your company? what is your relationship to your boss? to your underlings? what does your partner think about your job and company? which 'class' do you consider yourself from?
5. Position: what is your position in your community? do you have different position in different communities or you found yourself in similar ones? how do people relate to you? how do you relate to people? what patterns can you see repeat themselves?
6. Family: who are you in your family? What is your relation to your father? to your mother? to your siblings (each separately)? to your family lineage? who are the heroes in your family? who are the black sheep? what are the patterns that you've adopted from your family? what does family mean to you? what does it mean to be a parent? a child? a grandparent?
7. You: what is your Box? why did you put things that way? how did you come to organize like that?
Last question: at what percentage do you think your Box is real? Answer this question experientially and NOT from your mind. This is where your assholes friend come in. Friends, you can scan for the identification of the person with their box through the examples and consequences in their life that they just gave you (golden keys). For example, if you hear things like "it is like that to be a parent" or they take full advantage of their position, it is very likely that the identification is around 100%.
Phase 2: unraveling the culture ways, taboos, thoughtware and assumptions.
After all 3 people had the chance to explore the layers of their Box and answer the question regarding the level of identification to their Box, this is the time to reveal - in contrast - your common birth culture (assuming that all participants were born and bread in western modern culture).
What are the strategy that you have in common? What about the one that are different? What is the underling story? What are the common consequences? What common values are supported by those different Boxes? What are the taboos? What are the assumptions that make you design all of your Boxes?
This exercise can be quickly taken over by Gremlins and Boxes as they are being exposed! Be aware of this, keep your Gremlin on a short leash, your Sword of Clarity in the other and be clearly compassionate with each other. We can only go as far as we can go.
Experiment CUL2CUL.06 - React and you lose Choice (1 matrix point)
Defending yourself or your ways of doing, behaving, or interacting is an automatic reaction from your Box. When you react you lose your ability to choose. (SR189, 1 matrix point).
(SX189.1) This experiment is to regain your freedom to choose by finding the zero point of non-reaction. You already know what it feels like to be in the reactive state. Now learn to detect when your body is just about to go into reaction so you get the choice of not going there. The challenge is that the instant a reaction starts it is already too late. What you need is to know when a reaction is about to start. Then you have a choice. If a reaction starts, your brain has already squirted adrenaline and other neuroactive hormones into your bloodstream.
Here is a secret: steal three moments each day when you return to the zero point of no reaction. When you are not in reaction you automatically regain the power of making conscious choices again. How to get to the zero point? Two minutes of meditation, three times per day. Go back to zero reaction. Go back to presence. How to meditate? It’s nothing! Stop moving. This probably means sit down. Stop identifying with your thoughts and stories. This probably means close your eyes, take a deep breath, and move your attention to your physical center, behind and below your belly button. Your thoughts and stories do not stop, of course. The purpose ofthe mind is to create an endless stream of meaningless thoughts. When you move to your center and enter the zero point, the thoughts and stories become like somebody else’s radio making background noise. Enjoy the vast spaciousness of being at yourcenter. This is presence. The first thing to notice is that if you stop thinking you don’t die. The second thing to notice is that if you are not defending you also don’t die. This is what it feels like to be alive. You are a Being, being with your Being, being present. This is your natural state. This is life. With a little practice you might grow to like it.
Experiment CUL2CUL.07 - Christmas experiment (1 matrix point)
(Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 Int'l)