excerpt from the culture TeaTime presentation
Quotes in bold are from Terence McKenna
Is Life Easy?
You have to be very careful when answering this question, as to not look ignorant of all the pain, suffering, poverty, that creates a hellish reality for billions of people on this planet. We are not those people. Are stomachs are full, we are comfortable and relatively free to do what we want, play music, discuss, laugh, enjoy.
Of course everyone here wants something more, something that they don’t already have in terms of possession, status, success, a better position in the future, whatever it is.
We constantly seek self development and improvement, because we have the sadness and darkness of the world inside us. The death, destructions, injustice, inequality, the waste of the world.
Even if we don’t often think about this things as the forefront of our life is occupied with practical everyday living. We feel these things inside, and they erupt out of us every so often, we usually try and privately deal with this, have a pity party or something. It happened to me just this week if I’m being honest, more than once.
What does this mean? In confusion, We look to Culture for answers, as religions are no longer the framework that we use to tackle the hard questions in life; about our mortality/death, or sadness, or meaning in life.
Culture is the canvas in which we paint our daily experiences into our own piece of life. However, culture is by no means a blank canvas. Its more like a coloring book that has a picture pre constructed for us, and we are expected to enjoy just coloring in the lines; and compete with each other over who owns and controls the colored crayons.
According to elite culture, life is a simple picture: All you need to do in an average life is grow up, separate yourself from your parents, find a job thats moderately satisfying, create a relationship where you can relate to someone, start raising some kids to pass on this mission, watch the older generation disappear, and eventually when it gets to you, lie down in the coffin and shut the lid, and go on to the next thing, or nothing. See, pretty easy if your not stupid. I always struggled with this because I feel there is something very wrong with it, I don’t want to paint this picture with my life.
And interestingly, in the given life structure, the fear of death is not addressed. Religion attempted to ease these fears using old myths and promises after life with jesus, whereas modern culture uses complex systems of beliefs and objectives that distract ourselves from our own mortality, but it is still there, stewing under all our fears and anxiety.
Here I would like to introduce you to the quote that i’ve been rolling over in my head for some time
Culture is Not Your Friend. Culture is for the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes, it is not your friend. It insults you, it disempowers you, it uses and abuses you, none of us are well treated by culture.
This is not focusing on the french culture of great food (wine, cheese), accordion music, mustaches, french Cancan or whatever. This applies best in the context of consumer-capitalist culture which surrounds us and constantly; pressures us the buy this or that, our wear this or that, or do crazy things like dress armed in camouflage and weapons, and walk around Place de la Comédie ensuring security or symbolizing the French states power grab under the prolonged NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY since the Paris attacks. This is addressing the cultural foundation which president Hollande stands tall on after the attacks in paris and declares:
“We are convinced that we must continue to strike ISIS in Syria. We will intensify our strikes. We will choose the sites that will cause the most damage to this terrorist army,”
If you don’t think culture is your enemy, ask the 18 year old kid who is given a rifle and sent to the other side of the world to murder strangers, if culture is his friend.
We glorify the creative potential of the individual, the rights of the individual, we understand that the felt presence of direct experience is whats most important and yet the culture is a distortion, a corruption from this course, it pushes excessive importance on objects/materials, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of ideology. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines.”
That is what we are up against.
OR how do we fight back, as this is a conflict that we are in whether we are conscious of it or not.
One great solution is creating ART. Art is the ultimate expression of an idea or truth. Great art is the result of a person embodying a truth that we can all immediately recognize and connect to our own person experience.
Draw, paint, dance, sculpte, sing, spectacle, film, whatever form you want as long as it comes from a pursuit of inner truth, it has the power to inspire and change those who it connects with. Art is incomprehensible to machines, so, Create your own culture.
Admittedly, I have walked through many museums/galleries with thousand of master piece works of art from many different periods of time. And most of the time I was doing this, with some exceptions, I did it with the hopes that some how each monumental human achievement I glanced at would automatically enrich my psych and build me up as person. I don’t think thats what happened, since there was so much to look at, and no frame of reference for me to understand each individual piece (Audio guides help with dates and settings, but not to explain the intention).
Being in the presence of the Mona Lisa was, to me, just an interesting window into the effect of fame and widespread recognition (I also couldn’t see it well behind all the Japanese tourist taking pictures of something everyone they show will have already seen).
Internet meme’s shared between my friends online definitely have had a bigger impact on my perspective growing up, even if it focused on juvenile things like cute cats, and goofy songs. Our digital culture has changed the way in which we relate and interact with our culture. It is a vast, ever increasing sea of information, more and more data flooding out every second. Some ideas are buried, while others are, in a sort of evolutionary natural selection kind of way, recognized and spread to reach the attention of billions of people.
These viral meme’s receive such attention usually for bringing some kind of truth that we can understand, and putting it in a way we never thought of before.
The power of ice cream.
Posted 16 hours ago; 1,000,000 views
I believe that as the internet grows older, these meme will also mature and shift to more intellectual and political ideas. In fact, this could be emerging right now.
Young syrian father sees presumed dead son alive
Posted 10 hours ago; 1,250,000 views
I chose to talk about this today simply because I think Its important to empower each others direct experience, and use it to CREATE. Make your own culture by creating art, meme’s, ideas, stories, music, sexualization what have you. We can do this as a group, or in smaller focused groups, or alone. But in this process we start to reclaim our minds. Out of the hands of marketing agencies, standardized education institutions, television news reels, and other cultural engineers who want to turn us into non-thinking idiots consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.
of this liberation from the illusion of culture (and this won’t happen over night, and is probably a process that it is impossible to ever finish) but the result will be taking responsibility for what you think and what you do.
Ideology is only going to get in the way. Nobody understands what is happening. Not Buddhists, Not Christians, Not governments, scientists, No One. Forget ideology, They betray, they limit, they lead astray. Just deal with the raw data, and Trust Yourself.
Nobody is smarter than you are, and what if they are? What good is their understanding doing you?
Inform yourself. What does that mean? Its means transcend and distrust ideology, and Go for direct experience. What do you think when you face the waterfall? What do you feel when you have sex? What do you experience in altered states of consciousness?
Everything else is unconfirmed rumor, useless, probably lies.
Also, don’t believe anything I say, I am probably full of shit.