Our national folklore is a powerful element shaping our thoughts and values. But most people are so immersed in propaganda that they don’t see it. Freedom begins by doubting our cultural narrative. Learn why this is healthy and how you can benefit from it.
You can tell when a culture is trying to mask its intentions. For example, a government doesn’t say we are a fascist regime. Instead, it will persecute anti-fascists. However, it will stop you from challenging the national folklore that supports fascism and corruption.per
The Starting Point to Freedom
Freedom and independence are the basis for a healthy society. There are many levels of independence, which begin with freedom of thought. The next level is freedom of expression.
Once we can think and express ideas, we progress to freedom of choice and behavior. This freedom requires making choices that do not harm others or misuse natural resources. Healthy autonomy does not show favoritism or sectarianism. Here are some quotes to get you thinking about freedom, culture, and folklore.
The starting point to freedom is to begin questioning the cultural narrative you have been sold.” — Bryant McGill
“When knowledge is scant or conflicting, folklore takes over.” — Paul Smith
“Are you a communist? No, I am an anti-fascist. For a long time? Since I have understood fascism.” — Ernest Hemingway
National folklore becomes patriotism, which is rather dangerous in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, there aren’t any safe hands in the military. And this is why doubting our cultural narrative is imperative, not an option.
When corruption and favoritism exist, not everyone can be free. It’s why we should not accept fairy tales, which the dominant religions present as facts. We should be skeptical. It helps us spot the negative bias and prejudice of an unjust system. The starting point to freedom is available when it is acceptable to begin questioning everything.
Your spiritual beliefs should not be the basis for rules governing others. What you believe about things you cannot prove should not be a benchmark to make laws. Superstition and mythology should not be the source of policies that govern our society, but this is sometimes the case.
Many sages tell us that the first step toward freedom begins when we doubt all the stories we hear. Doubting our cultural narrative is only the first step. The next is challenging the status quo.
For example, the story of Jesus in the New Testament is one of an outcast who rejected the story of organized religion. He then embarked on a mission to challenge our national folklore, which changed the fabric of society.
Some believe doubt is the first step of the awakening process. It requires courage to challenge these systems. You will encounter resistance as you question the stories which support cultural folklore.
Reasons For Doubting Our Cultural Narrative
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” ― Albert Einstein
If you investigate the national folklore, eventually, it will lead to your personal beliefs. People learn to protect their ideas about themselves and their culture because their beliefs are often a significant part of their identity. Don’t let this stop you. It’s okay to question what you believe.
Doubt is the lack of certainty. It’s a healthy response that prompts us to action. Doubt brings you a crossroads. You have the decision to ignore this feeling or start questioning. There are good reasons to begin questioning the cultural narrative.
“A fool thinks he is always right; a wise person always doubts himself.” — Debasish Mridha
People protect their beliefs and national folklore. They believe it even if they don’t know the facts. Investigating the concepts of a belief system can be a challenging undertaking. In some cultures, you may even put yourself in physical danger. Don’t be like most people. Don’t accept things at face value—question everything. Seek the facts; you’ll be glad you did.
Here are some symptoms of an unhealthy culture.
The Symptoms of Social Cancer
Recognizing the signs of cultural fracture is essential in curing the underlying issues. Critical race theory (CRT)is one way to explain and expose these elements. CRT explains how racism is a systemic construct society accepts and perpetuates to oppress and exploit people of color. It is a symptom of a systemically normalized and supported form of race discrimination, not an isolated subculture.
One of the startling elements present in our modern culture is the overt and covert protection of racism. No one seems upset as long as you don’t point it out. However, once you start to reveal the way it integrates with nationalism and patriotism, that’s when the emotions surface.
In the same way, a fascist government will not admit that it is authoritarian or nationalistic; it simply persecutes anti-fascists. It’s the same for those who are racists. They won’t admit to being prejudiced. However, they become upset when you discuss the points of Critical Race Theory because it unmasks their racial bias. There are several ways this kind of cultural cancer reveals itself (1).
Targeted Nihilistic Tendencies
Rather than reject all moral principles, they justify reasons for the preferential treatment of their race to exclude all other minorities. The source of this justification is Western organized religion.
Anti-Self Issues and Propaganda
It is the belief that we are wicked, defiled, and unworthy at our core. It makes it possible to mistreat people, especially those who are different.
Misdirected Anger and Blame
Anger and blame focused on the wrong people making them scapegoats for any problem, such as lack of career opportunities and the high cost of any commodity.
Delusional Denial Tendencies
This tendency is a sign of a mental disorder. It is often the result of continual indoctrination in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. It takes the form of imaginary friends and enemies.
Extreme Racial Paranoia
It is the unreasonable fear of races that look different from you. The American Psychiatric Association does not have a specific category for extreme racism, although it has been a recognized symptom for over 30 years.
It has been the basis for mistreating people of color since the beginning of institutional slavery in the Americas. Institualized racism is perpetuated by organized religion, from extremists to moderates. It becomes an invisible but powerful factor in how people think and act.
Skewed Cultural Orientation
Our cultural orientation is the moral campus that provides the blueprint for thinking and acting. It becomes a significant component of self-identity.
The culture and subcultures of a society are defined by their cultural orientation in at least five ways (2) Power distance, Uncertainty avoidance, Individualism-collectivism, Masculinity-femininity, and Time orientation. These points are included in the list of symptoms of cultural cancer. Because discrimination is a part of the accepted culture, it becomes an invisible entitlement to those who receive the benefits of this skewed culture.
The degree to which a society distributes social power depends upon specific traits. For example, Japan greatly respects age, social status, and titles. Americans visiting can breach the necessary formalities with their interactions because of their overly familiar and casual communication.
the degree to which a society tolerates risk, change, and situational uncertainty. Some cultures have a high tolerance for change and struggle to maintain social views. You see this in cultures like the USA, France, and Japan. These cultures resist change in social structure and human rights.
The contrast between individualism with collectivism measures the degree to which a culture emphasizes individual accomplishment and self-interests with the interests and achievements of society. The United States had the highest individualism score of any county based on Hofstede’s culture and dimensions survey.
Individuality in and of itself is not a negative trait unless it overrides the health and welfare of others. Extreme individuality promotes cloistered selfishness to the detriment of others.
Society has specific regulations to protect the health of citizens. Sometimes these rules clash with perceived individual rights. In the 1970s, automakers began installing automobile seatbelts because the data showed that they significantly reduced serious injury. It is the same with the laws mandating people to wear helmets when operating a motorcycle. In both cases, there was significant resistance to these practical health measures.
Today, in the USA, this manifests in the refusal to vaccinate and wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID. Despite the scientific data showing vaccines and face masks are practical, simple measures, some people place their rights above the laws and reasonable behavior.
It also manifests as systemic racism combined with other forms of social cancer. We see it when police officers use their fear of people of color to use deadly force.
It measures the autonomy of rights each gender has on a continuum from full autonomy to zero freedom to make decisions about their lives. It measures the control over gender-based rights and privileges. It’s the tendency to emphasize stereotypical masculine or feminine gender roles, attitudes, and traits.
Some cultures still impose backward views regarding female rights, which extends into all aspects of culture, such as paying male employees more than female employees for the same work. Many cultures regulate reproductive issues such as abortion and stem cell usage.
Japan has the highest masculinity score regarding its restrictions on career opportunities, but the USA has the highest overall score; it legislates everything from control over female reproductive choices to unwritten laws hindering the earning power of female employees.
The same unwritten rules apply to the career options for people of color. There are equal opportunity laws and protections in the USA, but lawsuits for race discrimination persist.
It’s the emphasis a culture places on short-term versus long-term goals. The survey shows people in the US rate highest on the scale for expecting immediate results and instant gratification. It follows that companies here are focused on short-term results. The stock market and CEOs get paid based on current results. Many companies in other parts of the work are the opposite valuing long-term sustained results. These generalizations of the culture don’t apply to all members of any society.
Focusing on quick results makes it more difficult for people of color to succeed because of cultural communication barriers. Thus, giving white employees an edge in meeting short-term goals.
Disparate Treatment and Impact
Disparate is Intentional discrimination, and disparate impact is unintentional discrimination. People can claim not to be racist but still act in discriminatory ways. The alt-right movement is an example of a culture that speaks about equality, but in reality, it translates to preferential for only those in the cult.
Humans are wired to select people with similar traits or traits they find attractive. (3) Storytelling strengthens the desired values and alters the criteria we use to select those we want to associate with and develop relationships.
A narrative can also be used to demonize, marginalize and ostracize people or ideas. The world’s largest genocide occurred in the USA from 1491 to 1691; during this period, the Indian population was reduced by 95% an estimated 130 million died. (4) Yet, the story in the USA was that they found a mostly uninhabited country. The indigenous people were treated as inhuman savage invaders.
The same kind of storytelling is used today to demonize immigrants. They are portrayed as “job stealers” and leeches who use government benefits. People of color are portrayed as sinister and evil. When they try to integrate, they are often seen as criminals.
A prime example is the case of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who lived in Brunswick, Georgia. He was a high school football star and went for a jog in October 2021. Three white neighbors observed him running, so they assumed he was a burglar, chased and shot him fatally.
Contextualized and Synthesized History
Contextualized history is connecting events from a specific perspective. Combined with synthesizing, it enables one to craft a storyline to fit a goal or agenda. It is the thinking that propels both religious extremists and racially motivated crimes.
If any signs of social cancer offend or antagonize you, perhaps you are harboring this disease. Do you want to treat it or ignore it?
Tools For Questioning the Cultural Narrative
Critical thinking is the foundation of logic. It’s part of a holistic approach to developing the mind, body, and spirit. Enhancing your critical thinking also includes doing what’s appropriate for your health. That means every day can be a starting point to freedom.
If you are going to investigate anything, you need the right tools. We recommend starting with the study of logic and Rational Thinking Skills. It will give you a foundation to understand deductive and inductive logic. Next, we recommend studying two other related mental tools, 10 Common Logical Fallacies and Spiritual Axioms.
A comparative analysis is a strategic and structured approach to comparative religious research. It bases this approach on the scientific model. This way, we can systematically compare ideas and beliefs from different worldviews and religions.
True freedom starts when you have the right tools. We recommend using a process called Comparative Analysis, which is a scientifically structured form of comparative religious study. It helps us investigate our beliefs by comparing them with other religions’ concepts.
Emotional Check-In Process
The Emotional check-In is a process that helps us maintain our emotional equilibrium. It helps to minimize our emotions’ effects on our ability to evaluate and analyze data. In addition, stopping to consider our feelings ensures we minimize internal bias.
It ensures we stay as unbiased as possible. As we begin doubting our cultural narrative, it can bring powerful emotions.
Beyond the National Folklore
“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he’ll look for his own answers.” ― Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear
When we begin questioning, we discover how much effort they spend denying our spiritual side. The cultural narrative suppresses and demonizes information about anything that threatens its control.
The dominant culture promotes counterfeit worldviews, distracting us from the inner journey. They want to ensure that what you believe supports their superstition and mythology.
We are creatures who have an undeniable drive to explore the unknown. But, the national folklore does not support this quest. Instead, it presents us with the counterfeit of the Abrahamic religions (5). These are also known as Western organized religions, the mythologies of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
There are many varieties within the Abrahamic religions. They all sell a version of the afterlife to divert us from exploring the unknown existential fear of death. However, there is a more direct way to explore the unknown. We call this approach spiritual exploration using a variety of spiritual technologies.
Don’t settle for what you believe. Instead, start questioning, start doubting the cultural narrative. Learn to challenge everything, including the government, religion, and cultural standards. It will help you become a freethinker, even if you cannot fully exercise it in all actions. Many people undertake this journey solo or with others on the same mission.
(1) Critical Race Theory Unmasked in the Cultural Folklore.
(2) Skewed Cultural Orientation.
(3) Humans are wired for prejudice, but that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
(4) Genocide of Indigenous Peoples.
(5) What We Know About the Shooting Death of Ahmaud Arbery.
(6) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia