On Cultural Conditioning–Deal or No Deal?

For the past few weeks I’ve been contemplating on the various classifications of conditioning like inertia, a cultural phenomenon-and my own phenomenon. Even as I write about freeing ourselves from the layers of history that some how dual out between serving as a purpose of informing us through cultural ties and also creating a rigid cultural structure that at times stymies creativity–inertia is a condition that I am not free of. However, the conditioning effects of culture are not who I am… they are an experience that produces an emotion and thoughts. It is the emotion and thought that I choose to engage with, or not, or choose a third way. They are there, no denying that fact, yet I have the ability to choose how they are to be dealt with; the Me I Am before the experiences that created all of these preconceived notions and feelings, is the place where my deepest choosing faculty exists.

Perhaps no one can speak for everyone’s personal experiences, still inertia is the same condition-we all experience the same inertia, despite our individual experiences. We are raised in a country that speaks for individuality, and while that national trait at its core has instilled in us a tremendous sense of freedom, it has also contained us in individual perspectives. Some of us experience inertia because of a real trauma, or a sense of guilt, loss of job, or a failing of some type, but if you went to a psychology dictionary there is one definition of inertia–no mention of Melissa, Robert, Douglas or Jessica… but we are so hooked on individuality that we feel the need to personalize everything–we like to make things complicated. That same sense of individuality that we place on freedom, pervades in all other facets of our sense of what it means to be human.

While a dictionary doesn’t determine ultimate Truth, neither should we throw out the baby with the bath water. Meaning-as we shift away from blanket definitions (I’m thinking of electro-shock therapy once practiced to “heal” conditions Psychotherapists deal with today)the process of diagnosis (i.e., determining what inertia is) is still a valid definition.

|a shift:(for sake of whole) The individual perspective is ultimately for self-fulfilling purposes IF we fail to see that the reason for independence is indeed to create a free society in the deepest sense. While in our experience this looks like a country of separate free human beings, from a vast perspective it is actually a collaborative project, where each individual brings their sense of freedom to society’s harvest table|
*Actually, our sense of freedom is that harvest table, in fact, we are returning to the harvest table with the bounty of our journey.

This does not suggest the we ignore our emotions and thoughts, rather understand where they come into play. We can decide to deal with our conditionings, by not dealing with them–in the traditional sense. They are not THE definition of who we are, rather, they come along for the ride of “the experience”-but they are not driving the car. Yet, if you choose to do nothing it is as if they are driving the car, because when we live life as this emotional being sure we Love, but we also wound. What it does suggest is to imagine what it would be like if we put aside our desire to be individually recognized (where everyones’ personal history makes them no better or worse, no more important or challenged) and came to the table not for the sake of yourself, but for the sake of the whole. To realize that when we are determined to be separate, based on our inner-subjectivity that ‘no one could possibly understand’, we only slow the process of understanding who we are and why we are here.

Anytime humanity makes advances, essentially, we have come to a deeper understanding of how things really function. We transcend and include–that is the nature of our existence, and every bit biological. Understanding cultural conditioning is no different.

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