Cultural Anthropology

Culture Class Wars Nature Healing Nature and Culture Art and Nature Science Nature Ecopsyh



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Culture and natural environment are within the human mind and external to it as well.

Even climate change deniers exist due to the natural environment, breathing air, drinking water, eating food, and so forth. Culture, since pre-history, revolves around the natural world. All art, all music, all representation of anything, is an attempt to capture ideas and increase awareness of them, find influence from them, comprehend the human role with them, and more. All science and religion as Einstein observed, is based on our curiosity about an awesome creation that is called the Cosmos.

The Cosmos means harmony and balance, and Chaos, its opposite, means upset of the balance. All upheaval such as uprisings in Middle East, Wisconsin, or even in a classroom, are attempts to restore balance. Scientists and moms, gangstas rappers, dancers, and painters are all seeking to either express dissatisfaction through their arts, or to improve what we call injustice, division, or alienation.  All beings then,  are agents of Cosmos. 

Even a cave painting, or a tool made from a stick or rock is both cultural, and natural. Music is a cultural representation of natural sounds heard, the drum beat of rain, the whistle of wind through reeds led to all air instruments, and the tinkling of metals and glass percussion gave us many other instruments, including the voice. Birds sing, as do many other animals, and humans sought to find ways to communicate with song too.

Other cultural trends we experience can be found with a foundation in the natural world, no matter how far the technology takes us. Going to the moon depends upon a vast understanding of natural laws, for example, and the very drive to go is rooted in human need to explore, innovate, and even compete. All of these are survival mechanisms that nature created.

However, it is misleading to say nature and culture influence and affect one another. This is because one could not say the cells in a human body and the atoms of those cells affect one another. They ARE one another.  In essence, the atoms, like all matter, are the cells, (and everything else) and there is no clear delineation between any one thing, say a tree, and all the things that tree is part of: creating oxygen, lumber for your house, the paper you put in recycling today, the food that grows on trees, the water that trees protect, and the medicines that come from a forest.  In nature, everything is inter-dependent upon all other things. There is no waste, and no inefficiency, this is the only incidence of the inter action of nature and culture wherein there is a division.  That division is core to all our human cultural problems.

Conflict, wars, starvation, corrupt politics, and racial hatred all stem from nature, but also from our separation, and/or domination of nature. All of nature seeks affinities, and balance, no matter how unbalanced situations become moment to moment. War, garbage, greed, and pollutants are unhealthy manifestations of culture and nature being in a dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship.

Even this, is of course, a relationship, but one we are constantly needing to correct for the environment to be kept healthy enough to sustain life. People who sense alienation as we moved indoors, or when we “conquer” places and peoples, express throughout all cultures this realization, and exhibit behaviors suggesting a wish for reunion.

Competition is well known in nature, but total domination, when it occurs usually leads to major die offs, and what one could call a nature correction.


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