Thursday, December 6, 2012

How Does Culture Develop Among Human Beings ?

First of all what do we mean by culture ? It is some thing that is a summation of the peculiar tastes of arts and manners of a human society or settlement.

In my childhood my father had told me a small humorous story about how the soldiers developed the mannerism of saluting the superiors.

Long ago, a group of youths from a village decided to meet their king. But they were all a little apprehensive. What are they supposed to do when they meed the king ?

Then the elder in the group confidently told them to imitate just what he would do when they reach the king's court.

At the king's court the elder went ahead and the others followed. Just when the king appeared, a mosquito bit the elder on his left thigh. Almost simultaneously a mischievous fly sat on his right forehead, both irritating the elder. Instinctively, he slapped his left thigh with his left hand and raised his right hand to his forehead to drove off the fly.

Instantly, all his followers imitated him the same way.

The king liked this new way of salutation by this village folks. He ordered his soldiers to adopt this salutation hence forth when his visit them.

This way the culture of saluting became part of the culture of the armed forces.

Let us forget the truthfulness of this story.

Though we all have a mind which is intelligent and analytical we are also having other fears and inhibitions, all in varying degrees. We are free to analyse and take decisions without influences from others, but we are reluctant to exercise that power.

So among us a few have leadership qualities while the majority are followers of leaders or the so-called 'hero worshippers'.

We want to imitate leaders. That quality is in built in our minds.

So imitation by the followers, who are in majority in any society, brings about the culture of that society.

Now let us consider some statements from a book written by some authors of superior intelligence than the human beings:

1. Some characteristics of primitive human beings : They were exceedingly imitative, but the play instinct was only slightly developed, and the sense of humor was almost entirely absent. Primitive man smiled occasionally, but he never indulged in hearty laughter. Humor was the legacy of the later races. These early human beings were not so sensitive to pain nor so reactive to unpleasant situations as were many of the later evolving mortals. Childbirth was not a painful or distressing ordeal to the early woman and her immediate progeny.

2. Development of language through imitation : Language evolved out of group associations, each local group developing its own system of word exchange. Language grew up through gestures, signs, cries, imitative sounds, intonation, and accent to the vocalization of subsequent alphabets. Language is man’s greatest and most serviceable thinking tool, but it never flourished until social groups acquired some leisure. The tendency to play with language develops new words — slang. If the majority adopt the slang, then usage constitutes it language. The origin of dialects is illustrated by the indulgence in “baby talk” in a family group.

3. Imitation causing development of religion: A philosophy of religion evolves out of a basic growth of ideas plus experimental living as both are modified by the tendency to imitate associates. The soundness of philosophic conclusions depends on keen, honest, and discriminating thinking in connection with sensitivity to meanings and accuracy of evaluation. Moral cowards never achieve high planes of philosophic thinking; it requires courage to invade new levels of experience and to attempt the exploration of unknown realms of intellectual living.

4. Clue to achieve perfection: The imitation of God is the key to perfection; the doing of his will is the secret of survival (after mortal death) and of perfection in survival (after mortal death).

5. How to imitate Jesus :  It should not be the aim of  believers of Jesus to literally  imitate the outward life of Jesus in the flesh but rather to share his faith; to trust God as he trusted God and to believe in men as he believed in men. Jesus never argued about either the fatherhood of God or the brotherhood of men; he was a living illustration of the one and a profound demonstration of the other.

So, imitation is the key to develop culture.

But if you want perfection, your role model for imitation should be God.

And God has given a living replica of him living within your mind for you to imitate. That is the God within you, within me and within them !

But to imitate the God that is within us, we need to use our God given guidance which is overshadowed by our evolutionary intellect of animal origin.

The more we imitate the animal intellect, the more we degrade our culture to that of the primitive men.

The more we are able to imitate the God within us, we advance to that of a spiritualistic culture.

Some thing of a replica of the culture that exists in the so called heavens out there !

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