Culture Is Not Your Friend

December 13, 2010
By MatthewShannon BRONZE, Crozet, Virginia
MatthewShannon BRONZE, Crozet, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In today's world, where our entire lives are immersed in whatever culture we belong to, it seems strange to wonder what life would be like without it. Culture dominates every aspect of our lives: the shows we see on TV, the magazines we read, and even the clothes we put on our own bodies. It is my opinion, however, that many of the cultures around the world, and especially American cultures, are flawed machines. In society’s attempts to create boundaries and marginalize its peoples, culture has strayed so far from what is important that we no longer recognize it. If we are to escape the spiritual emptiness of consumerism, the confining ideology of religion, and our toxic destruction of the planet, we must consider a more drastic approach. It is my suggestion, that real meaning is found in felt experience, and to escape the confines of our society, we must separate ourselves from it. There are many ways in which we can separate from our cultures. Nearly all of these methods involving dissolving the boundaries that normally create our realities. These boundaries can be dissolved in a number of ways including art, sexual experimentation, and the use of psychedelic drugs.

While these ideas are not new, they have been ignored to a large extent due to the failed counter-culture of the 60's. By the end of the 60's all psychedelic drugs were made schedule one and the promising research associated with them came to a screeching halt. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much progress in sexual freedom since then either, as many gay couples are still fighting for their right to marry. Culture has also made us obsessed with objects, and this obsession is undoubtedly destroying the planet. By creating as much art as possible, we will be able to see the beauty in the world and in ourselves. .For hundreds of years, artists have been some of the most influential figures in society. It is my hope, that by reaching deep into our imaginations, and reformulating the ideas and motifs into art, we can realize the collective beauty of nature, and show more respect to it. And just as people were shocked when Freud discovered the sexual nature of man in the Victorian era, people in today's commercialized society are reluctant to accept man's natural disposition to intoxication.

The problem in our society, is that the drugs we use are those that stimulate, and those that depress. The coffee break is the only time guaranteed to the worker by the government where the worker can use drugs. This is because coffee keeps the wheels of our empty, churning industry spinning. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a drug that dull and numbs the user to his surroundings. It is funny that despite its legality, alcohol accounts for more deaths than all other drugs combined. In my humble opinion, the only substances that truly do justice to the intelligence of nature and the beauty of existence are the plant based hallucinogens. Before religion and modern day society were constructed, humans lived for thousands of years in harmony with nature. Their society consisted of nomadic families who would consume psilocybin mushrooms in an ecstatic orgy based ritual. Through these activities, these people experienced life as a living mystery, creating a sense of family and purpose that we today would not recognize. Such societies were also based around Cannabis is India and Jamaica as well as ergotized grain in ancient Minoan Greece. These psychedelic drugs act as deconditioning agents, separating the user from his ego and cultural misconceptions. These plants also acted as messengers of nature, imparting visions of beauty and meaning and creating the sort of symbiotic relationship that could save the planet. It is unfortunate that governments around the world have spread inaccurate propaganda about these drugs because they know using them will lead to the disintegration of institution itself.

It is not my position that culture is an entirely negative concept as culture has created wonderful music, art, and literature. However, I do believe that we have lost our way, and we can feel it in our souls that institutions and ideologies are not the answer. We have lost the natural magic that once enveloped our worlds, and have replaced it with a dominator, ego-centered society. No citizens were ever given more rights than they demanded and it is my position that the long march to true human freedom, a march that has consisted of the abolition of slavery, giving women voting rights, and the civil rights movement, will finally accumulate to humans being given the right to experiment with their own consciousnesses. We must no let our cultures define us, we must free our minds and define them. The solution is to take the best aspects of prehistoric society, the dissolution of the ego and large,archaic families, and use them in conjunction with our expansive technologies. Only then will we figure out a solution clever enough to escape the apocalypse and leave or planet in tact for future generations.

The author's comments:
This is a rather radical viewpoint on subject in which I have much interest. I hope you enjoy it.

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