This article allows us to further explore other biases/assumptions that exist in our western society, biases that are so deeply imbedded in our culture that, for the most part, we are no longer capable of objectively examining them.
In this society, unlike most others, we carry a belief that we are essentially independent of the group. It appears the majority of the world sees itself as being a part of a whole, of being inside something looking out, rather than being outside looking in.
From this western mindset, how would you conceive of the other? How would you treat them? How would you see your relationship with nature? Over a prolonged period of time, what would be the legacy of such a cultural position?
From the article...
“Westerners (and Americans in particular) tend to reason analytically as opposed to holistically. That is, the American mind strives to figure out the world by taking it apart and examining its pieces. Show a Japanese and an American the same cartoon of an aquarium, and the American will remember details mostly about the moving fish while the Japanese observer will likely later be able to describe the seaweed, the bubbles, and other objects in the background.”
“the culturally shaped analytic/individualistic mind-sets may partly explain why Western researchers have so dramatically failed to take into account the interplay between culture and cognition. In the end, the goal of boiling down human psychology to hardwiring is not surprising given the type of mind that has been designing the studies. Taking an object (in this case the human mind) out of its context is, after all, what distinguishes the analytic reasoning style prevalent in the West. Similarly, we may have underestimated the impact of culture because the very ideas of being subject to the will of larger historical currents and of unconsciously mimicking the cognition of those around us challenges our Western conception of the self as independent and self-determined.”
This mindset of “rugged individualism”, of the individual as disconnected from the group may explain to some extent our ability to create a path and remain on that path despite overwhelming evidence that this path is leading to our destruction. It is also preventing us from acknowledging the spiritual truths that will set us free.