All Tomorrow’s Cultures

Usually when we join university friends for dinner, talk turns to careers, technology, programming, etc. I can follow everything that is going on, and I can even add my only little insights to the conversation. But, it generally doesn’t interest me all that much. Since leaving university, I’ve pretty much changed my interests. Banging out code doesn’t inspire me anymore. (OK, I will admit that when I occasionally fool around with simple, simple programs and get into the zone it still feels really good.) Instead, I like to spend my time researching what is generally called the “occult.” Discussions about religions interest me, not discussions about MS’s latest product.

So, last night, quanta and I went out for dinner with V. V is Hindu. (Actually, every one of our friends from university is a different faith. Two different types of Buddhists, a Hindu, a Catholic, a Baptist, a Moslem, two generic Christians, a charismatic Christian, etc., and me, a Wiccan. ) And, for some reason, talk over the sushi turned to religion. We had a very interesting discussion about how much of Hindu culture has been “borrowed” lately, often without attributing it. And, of course, Wiccans are some of the people who have done this borrowing. V described karma in simple terms, and it is very similar to the Law of Return; the Hindu version of reincarnation is very similar to the version believed by some Wiccans, etc.

quanta brought up the point that William Gibson, in the novel All Tomorrow’s Parties, suggested that in the future culture and subculture will be endangered species, because we will have mined all of them for the useful pieces and nothing will be left. I am inclined to agree. While I support eclecticism, being an eclectic Wicca, I also recognize it’s dangers. Thanks to the internet, world-wide TV, movies and music, culture everywhere is becoming more and more alike. There are a lot less differences between me and my friend in Britain then one would think. There has to be some what to include aspects of different culture/faiths/whatever, without loosing what is special about either culture. I’m not trying to be culturecentric, just aware that we could be loosing some beautiful cultures in the mad rush to be all alike.

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