Sunday, June 29, 2014

Other Cultures

Here’s something that I’ve been pondering, Ent-like, for over a year, and still have not come to a decision.  I’ve been feeling a pull to immerse myself in another culture completely and in totality, like plunging off a cliff into a small but very deep pool of water.  Learning everything I could about it – it’s history, geography, people, beliefs, language, technologies, wars, you name it.  Not for any practical purpose, mind you; just for the sheer intellectual beauty and exercise of it.

I’ve even discussed it with my wife, and she’s sees the merit in this when it’s explained this way.  So we’ve come up with a list of cultures I’d be interested in exploring.  In no particular order –

The American Indian

I have analysis paralysis about each one.  India – I’m worried that delving into their rich philosophic and religious thought would be a betrayal of my own religious beliefs.  China – the difficulty of the language (in both its spoken and written form), the lack of familiarity with names, it’s past century of communistic genocide.  Russia – ditto on the language and ditto on the genocide.  The American Indian – the lack of good books on the subject (admittedly, from some quick google and library searches).

All interest me deeply, though.  The American Indians because of my newly-discovered enjoyment of traditional western novels.  India exactly for its 180-degree view of man’s spiritual life.  And China and Russia precisely because they are America’s current global rivals.

What to do, what to do …

I guess it’s just another existential crises.

No comments: