Thursday, 15 December 2011

Cultureshock: Outside the box.

Cultureshock: Outside the box.

Do you know what this expression means? As someone who has been thinking outside the box since the beginning of 1973, it is absolutely certain to me, what most people identify this expression with is the small realignment of their thinking when their main comfortable belief constructs are shaken by new ideas.A good many of us have heard the expression: thinking outside the box, in this context it is quite often used in the past ten years or so as a political ploy to lull the long suffering electorate into thinking that this or that side of the political equation is about to let one of their colleagues, who has displayed a little more concern that their fellows for the plight of those they govern, and often pillage without too much conscious consideration in depth for their well being.

All too often, after the honour of a pep talk from the Might One, a good natured pat on the back from the media. The latest sacrificial goat from the back-benches disappears, charged to come up a year or three later with a number of solutions to a list of problems so they can be used to muddy the waters of indecision and maintain the lack of focus. This continues to handicap any real evaluation  of the situation and how it may be overcome. The real point is that nobody who values their life, liberty and freedom wishes to put their name to list the obvious constructs that should be included in any box needed to be considered in the case of really original thinking outside the box. To start with perhaps the most obvious point to illustrate this confusion is not that we have too many people in the world but too little organisation.

The recent navel gazing brought about by the calculated arrival of the seven billionth citizen on Plant Earth threw up the fact that all the people in the world could be placed in the state of Texas, USA. I doubt whether the Texans would appreciate their sudden lack of space? To put it another way. It was also opined  that France could accommodate the World's billions but even with space to spare the friction might be a little too much even for those with sharp elbows? A second vital point which is worthy of more than ribald laughter, is the length of the life span, which, after many centuries considered to be around the seventy year mark, has for some decades been increasing steadily.

Much of this increase can be put down to the ability of the human race to collect, collate and disseminate the good survival practises that have evolved in the twentieth century and have now been extended into this century. These advances worry many people who see a time when their own standard of life and well being will be eroded by the influx of people who, with the wealth of new communications opening their eyes, understanding, and desires of the less well off. This pressure to protect, and maintain what you have worked to achieve, or inherited by good fortune, often encourages a rush to re-erect the barriers of prejudice: anything will do; colour, race, gender,  status, real or imagined. Blindly rejecting the evidence of our own experience and lives that the world has changed and continues so to do, at a breakneck speed.

Humanity is an intense mixture of good, bad and indifferent. Really we have not even begun to think outside the box yet. One thing is certain we are not going back to the old status quo. The genie is well and truly out of the bottle. All the old rocks of faith, certainty and acceptance  have been washed away by a tsunami of new knowledge and empirical experience which refuses to be denied by old traditions and misplaced comforts. When my mental upheaval occurred in December 1972, the vision and experience left me not just thinking 'outside the box,' but totally, bodily removed to the outside, at least that for a time was my feeling experienced.

Difficult to give a satisfactory explanation to but the nearest description I have been able to relate is that of having my total knowledge condensed into a tiny spot of existence then exploded rapidly. Putting this experience into words is totally and utterly inadequate to do it in anyway justice. For months after this 'happening,' I spent many hours weighing up the possibility that my vision, or whatever it could be described was a viable experience and worthy of record and logical analysis. As I said it left my old constructs and rocks of faith completely shattered. Over the past four decades I have examined the whole approach to the accepted and ingrained concept that: give or take a few years, human life is limited to a span of seventy years.

Why should this be so? My own feeling that humanity started to evolve goes back to the acceptance of  the greatest tool that the creator has placed into the mind of mortal men and women. Abstract Thought. To my thinking this greatest tool of all the creator's gifts has been, in the main, been overlooked, ignored and perhaps worst of all distrusted, or at least mistrusted. Often because it is a gift which is often discovered in the ignorant, poorly educated, the mentally unstable, or the disabled. In a phrase those who are outside the box, and think that way. Which obviously often makes their modes of expression and communication a chore, difficult, or at times impossible, unless the patience and encouragement is cultivated, when these minds are striving to express their alien ideas then the whole richness and this avenue of great potential this opens up can often be lost.


  1. In my quest to try and get some discipline and a little more pattern into my blog entries I decided to try this one next.At the moment it has the lowest interest rating. Let me try and stimulate things, to try and improve matters?

  2. Really pleased with this entry as it turned out after a day of vague feelings of inadequateness, finally managed an excellent last few final lines and sent the post to four closest to me.