Does your Worldview Development include this comprehension? Westerners, people in the Occident, Europe and English-speaking countries, don’t think like Easterners, people from Asia.
Now, that’s a broad sweeping statement, and a little further down the post I’ll tell you why I bring it up. But what’s it got to do with you? Much, because your (I’m in Paris and grew up in the West) and my worldview development have been jaded by our Western culture.
I authored the first two books of The Explanation series especially for this Western audience and I’m writing this post to explain this and in particular, why the ‘categories’ (in the right-hand column) are set up the way they are.
West and East – Think and Reason Differently
If you’d like a quick and/or in-depth look into this question, I highly suggest a book by Richard Nesbitt entitled ‘The Geography of Thought‘ (if the link doesn’t work in your country you can enter the title into a search engine). To get the idea, all you need to peruse are the first few pages (about 3-10) of the book.
What you’ll see there is that in the West the individual is primordial. The individual’s rights are of prime importance, s/he has freedom to ‘express their individuality’. Individual rights are high priorities and ‘censure’ is almost a dirty word. The corollary to this is that there are many regulations and laws to curtail what they can and can’t do. These controls are there to put a lid on excesses and maintain peace as much as possible. This is the worldview development in which we grow up and thrive, it influences our way of thinking, education and the organization of our lives.
The above is in singular contrast to the East, where the collective is primordial. Collective rights are of prime importance. In Asia, control of self to fit harmoniously into society is the key to understanding how Eastern culture works. There are clear mutual obligations within a hierarchal system, and each party is trying to do their utmost to conform to the group directives. Ethical submissive conduct is the norm to maintain a peaceful group. I never realized this, but as Nesbitt says on page 6, even their monophonic music reflects concern for unity.
There are two totally different ways of thinking, reasoning and therefore acting and doing. The behavior of the two societies is fundamentally different. The East is more ‘community/welfare/interior peace/mindfulness/well being’ oriented while the West is more individualistic/interior struggle/brainfulness/physical-outward appearance.
If I had to give one example, I think I’d look at the way the East and the West treat the ‘elderly members’ of society. I won’t go into the details here. And please remember that I’m talking in general terms. There are always exceptions and even many exceptions to these concepts, especially with globalization where East and West meet.
What have the Occidental and Oriental ways of thinking got to do with the first two books of The Explanation series?
Inventory of the Universe
In the right hand margin you’ll see numbered categories (from 1 to 14).
Numbers 1-10 represent the chapters in ‘Inventory of the Universe’.
This first book was written to give readers an OVERview of the Universe. In the West we have a tendency to think ‘I am the center of the Universe’, everything revolves around me, me first, my importance, my role in society. As President John F. Kennedy put it: ‘My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’. In other terms, the first part puts society in service to the individual, while the second part puts the individual in service to the whole. Kennedy was asking for a ‘holistic approach’. He was asking the country to reconsider the ground rules of their way of thinking.
Inventory of the Universe with its 10 chapters takes a holistic approach for Westerners who tend to practice ‘navel gazing’. Living in France for over 35 years sometimes I have to look up the English translation of certain expressions like ‘regarder son nombril’ which is navel gazing. On that page there’s one quote that states, ‘incapable of contemplating anything beyond its national navel’. I thought that was beautifully put… how about ‘incapable of contemplating anything beyond one’s own navel’. Does that give a good idea of how the West thinks?
Inventory of the Universe paints the BIG picture of which each of us is nothing but a very small cog. An important cog… but a cog nonetheless. If we want to understand how to bring peace and prosperity to the Earth, we’ve got to first get in mind the VASTER FRAMEWORK in which we find ourselves. We’ve got to take that spacecraft in the image and RISE ABOVE self and one’s own little world. That’s worldview development.
Audit of the Universe
In the right-hand column the indented (using a hyphen like: – 9. Audit: Brain and Mind) categories refer to the 2nd book, Audit of the Universe. Audit is just that, an appraisal of each of the Inventory parts to see the STATE of AFFAIRS. It asks you, the reader, the question, ‘Is the proverbial half-full, half-empty glass getting fuller or emptier with peace and prosperity?‘
Each chapter in Inventory (1-10) will eventually have a corresponding category in Audit (I simply haven’t written a post for each of the chapters yet). As of this post, only chapter 9 and 10 have blog posts.
Chapter 11 through 14 are specific only to Audit of the Universe.
– 11. How Humans Function
– 12. How Humans Socialize
– 13. How Humans Rule
– 14. How Humans Reason
Audit and these chapters will help you grasp an OVERWIEW of the condition of each of these aspects of the Universe as well as the way Man is conducting himself. By the time you finish this you’ll have an excellent comprehension of the real OVERALL situation this world finds itself in at the beginning of the 21st century.
We, as Westerners, will better understand the GLOBAL COMMUNITY of which we’re a part.
I will help you develop, distill, craft and formulate a worldview that will bring into focus various aspects, pieces of the puzzle you may not have realized are there. My intention is NOT to force MY worldview on you but to help with your Worldview development as you assemble, build and synthesize your very own viewpoint. Tell me if there’s a particular area you’d like me to develop for you to ponder.
This is the launch of a fruitful learning journey. Get your ticket for the ride of your life, destination: The Explanation. Welcome aboard.
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