Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)
A microcosm of what we think, feel and believe as to cultures in and out of the dojo as well as the relations we try to have with other cultures such as Okinawan vs. American in the karate community. The following is the extractions I made from, "The Silent Language" written by Edward T. Hall.
The continuity between the far past and the present, for our culture is bio-basic, i.e., rooted in biological activities. It is thought by one faction of the study that a cultural system is based on:
- Rooted in and on biological activity that is shared.
- It is capable of analysis on its own terms regardless as to other cultural systems.
- So constituted that it reflects the rest of the culture and is reflected in the rest of culture.
It deals with communications that have been shown to be instrumental to the evolutional progression of human survival. Primarily by:
- Interaction and
- Association and
- Subsistence and
- Bisexuality and
- Territoriality and
- Temporality and
- Learning and
- Play and
- Defense and
- Exploitation (use of materials).
The highest form of interaction is through speech, the spoken word that evolved and expanded to the addition of the written word along with today’s modern forms of media. The spoken word is reinforced by the tone of voice and our gestures.
Writing is a speical form of interaction using a created and creative set of symbols, letters into words into sentences, etc.
People who gravitate to groups by their interactions form associations to learn, teach, play and defend are forms of specialized interactions.
Association is all living beings who arrange their lives in some sort of recognizable patterns. These patterns that persist are those that ensure survival and tend to persist over long periods of time where change occurs due to strong pressures from our environments.
Subsistence is about our nutritional needs or requirements as to the health, fitness and well being of body and mind through what we eat and how does it go about getting food in its natural state.
Bisexuality is simply about reproduction that can be further explained in terms of the need of the group to supply a variety of combinations of genetic background as a means of meeting the changes of the environment.
It must be noted and understood: Almost everyone has difficulty believing that behavior that one always, in the past, associated with “human nature” is NOT HUMAN NATURE at all but a learned behavior built from evolutionary changes toward human survival that is of a particularly complex variety.
Territoriality is the taking possession of, use of, and defense of territory on the part of the group, tribe or clan. Life, survival, is a delicate balance in the use of space to provide security, safety and the necessities of continued life.
Human history is chock full of events and efforts of the group, tribe or clan’s efforts to take space from others and to defend said space all in the name of survival needs.
Temporality is tied to life in a variety of ways that makes it difficult to ignore because of life’s cycles and rhythms, some related to nature - respiration rate, heartbeat, menstrual cycle, and so on.
Learning and Acquisition are different processes. We humans learn and once learned we learned to give in a given way and thus becomes very difficult to learn in any other way. Why? The process of learning once acquired involves a long set of tacit conditions and assumptions in which learning is imbedded or encoded in our brains. Another reason why culture is “learned and shared behaviors.”
Play is well developed in all mammals, play and learning are intimately intertwined and we can link intelligence to playing. Another way to say play and defense are intertwined is that practice exercises and maneuvers of our military are labeled as “war games.” In that light we already understand that play is often about competition. This is why there is and always has been a modicum amount of violence associated with one’s play.
Defense, for all of us both past and present defense is and always will be an activity of tremendous importance. We humans have developed, modified and evoved our defense methodologies with creativity and ingenuity not only in our warfare, but also in other area’s such as religion, medicine, and modern law/security enforcement. We must defend ourselves not just against potential hostile forces in nature but agains those in our very societies. Let us not forget that we also must cope with the destructive forces within one’s self.
Warfare used against other humans, is also a strong component or trait of one’s culture and is as ritualistic as found in religion as to its formal patterns.
Exploitation is the exploitation of ones environment to adapt our bodies in meeting specialized environmental conditions. This is why evolution takes us from the weapons of one’s body like teeth in which to bite to the evolution of weapons all the way up to the atomic bomb, all extensions of one’s body and mind to achieve evolutionary survival.
Just consider, all manmade creations of technology, etc., are material and psychological extensions such as power tools, phones, books and social media that carry voice, ideas, creations, etc., of our mind and body. All man-made extensions/materials are extensions of what was once done exclusively by one’s mind and body, a specialized part of the body/mind.
Without language, words, there is not culture, no language or no materials. Association and defense are functions that are interconnected like the yin/yang of nature. Think of work/play, learning/understanding, training/practice, and space/time.
It is important to understand that culture is not one thing but a complex series of activities interrelated in many ways, activities with origins deeply imbedded/buried in our past when there were no cultures and no humans.
Do an analysis of what you already instinctually know and understand of what culture is, especially when tying one’s own cultural belief system to that which created the very martial skills we strive to study, learn and apply within the dojo walls - the dojo culture. Within the microcosmic study of dojo culture the practitioner and sensei can perceive, see and belief the connections that make for a culture of human character, personality and humility that builds a better present toward a possible future all tied to the activities and creative efforts of day to day living.
For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)