top of page


Living beings have to cooperate to build an equilibrium, an equality,

to be able to survive inside their contexts.

2-Equality / 1-Culture / 0

Built in a culture

Beyond its construction by nature (see the page "Being by nature"), a living being has an existence that is inscribed in a history and a context of the group to which it belongs.


In particular for the human species which has highly developed capacities for representations, communication and life in society, in comparison to all its other living congeners (ethology), its representation of the world and of society seems to be built and integrated into the context in which he lives.


In particular its means of communication (languages between congeners, groups, family, etc.), its lifestyles (culinary, social, cultural, clothing practices, etc.), the description of reality (the Earth is flat, the center of the universe, ...) with its value scales (weighting of the description of reality shared in society, which allows the individual to prejudge and anticipate the effects, ranging from safe to glorious, of his actions in this society) and its mysteries, leading to beliefs, can be different between groups (anthropology, sociology).


2-Equality / 1-Culture / 1

A construction that "freezes" as we grow up...


If a newborn child, adopted by any family anywhere on the planet, will be able to learn the language and make his own the lifestyles of his adoptive family, a human being who has already reached maturity adults will be much less able to fully question their culture and adapt to a very different context (Les Héritiers, Les étudiants et la culture - The Heirs, Students and Culture - French sociologists Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, 1964).


The example of language, directly visible, is a very demonstrative example of this "freezing" of our modes of operation when we reach a certain age. Indeed, an adult in average will not have the capacity to relearn other languages at the same level as his mother tongue, except by providing a colossal daily training effort.

Oral language is a good concrete example of the Nature/Culture border:

  • The "capacity by nature", innate biological capacity, is to be able to make the air vibrate (vocal apparatus: vocal cord, mouth, tongue, etc.), to associate meanings to some sounds, shared in a group, that the ears and the sound processing part of our brain will be able to decode following the learning of these meanings.
    This ability to use air vibrations to exchange information is spontaneously created in the living, and common to many species, notably the human species.

  • The “cultural capacity” is one language. It is an ability acquired by transmission from elders corresponding to a certain way of using this biological ability. This training carried out from the first moments of our lives shapes all of the organs which make it possible to produce and process these sounds, to the point that certain sounds outside one's own language may be very difficult to produce or distinguish.

Hence the interest in opening ourselves up to different languages ​​very early on, to train your vocal and hearing systems to be robust to a wider range of sounds.

From a theoretical point of view, the way we make the air vibrate to exchange information, we could invent an uncountable infinity of languages.
From a practical point of view, having a common language shared among all human beings to understand us is the first necessary building block to enable coherence and concord between human beings.

In the same way that our language "freezes", a whole set of functioning modes stabilize when we reach adulthood, and a variation of these lifestyles can be an effort of adaptation which would be too important for many of us to be accepted.


To cite just another very illustrative example, eating habits: asking an entire population to switch from bread to rice, or conversely from rice to bread, as a condiment to accompany all meals, is a change in lifestyles which could be unacceptable to the vast majority of these adult populations.


In the same way that these "externally visible" lifestyles freeze, our world representation and our scales of value, which are mental construction of our brain, also "freeze" and cannot be challenged instantaneously, without requiring a greater or lesser effort to accept and learn these changes.


Just as many of us would not be able to give up bread and replace it with a bowl of rice at every lunch, or reversely, if it were ou culture, as simply as it may be difficult to say indefferently tomato [tə.ˈmɑː.təʊ] or [tə.ˈmeɪ.ɾoʊ], we may not be able to let go certain representations that we have acquired since our childhood.

2-Equality / 1-Culture / 2

... thus the necessary respect of the differences...


Because of this "freezing" of our ways of life in adulthood, the principle of secularism is born: we cannot ask ourselves all the time to be in the effort to transform ourselves, knowing that there is no good or bad cultures.

Acceptance and respect of differences is therefore necessary to allow a peaceful coexistence of human beings.

2-Equality / 1-Culture / 3

... but a construction which may "be wrong"


However, all cultures, with all their differences, face the same boundary of respecting our living being nature. As presented in the page "Being by nature", if the three dimensions of a living being protect/feed/reproduce are not respected by a given culture, the vital self-defense functions of the assaulted individuals may intensify up to revolt against the established order.

In this sense we could say that these cultures would "be wrong", that is to say, not respecting our integrity as a living being.


Thus, many cultures in our history which carried within themselves a strong domination of one group over another, sometimes going as far as the voluntary application of physical and/or moral pain on a given group, can today be analyzed as "wrong".


To name just a few examples:

  • the domination of whites over blacks;

  • the superior man, woman as an object;

  • the culture of excision: one form of female genital mutilation.

  • the culture of the bandaged feet: mothers, from generation to generation, who broke the feet of their own daughters to miniaturize them;

  • the heir son: fathers who absolutely wanted a son, to the point of denying their daughter, to the point of killing their daughter (one-child policy), paralyzed by this obsession to get an heir son their whole life on.

  • the culture of conquering kings: a king going into battle to demonstrate his strength; famous battle of 1515 at Marignan, Italy, where the very young French king François I, in his first year of regency, had gone to demonstrate his power, massacring a population with full rights, and his own army at the same time, and giving this king his glory that runs through history.


All these ways of life which have passed through history show that most adults, integrated into their contexts, seem to spontaneously repeat the cultural heritage they receive, to the point of being able to become torturers, even torturers of their own children.


Simply analyzed, the respect, the spontaneous absolute confidence, the natural love that we have for our parents (our elders) during our first years of life, could lead us to a crystallization, a form of paralysis on certain benchmarks, on certain requirements in force when we arrive on Earth, simply because we love them and wish to be loved by them and recongnized as "successful" in that current society.


All these examples of culture above illustrate how this principle of transmission of practices from generation to generation can lead to a real cultural confinement on a large scale, then locked up by an entire society, to the point that we can altogether break the feet of our own daughters (culture of the bandaged feet in China)...

Just as we would not be able to give up bread and replace it with rice at every lunch if that was our culture, just as we could not change our own language in one day, we cannot imagine asking an entire region of the world to stop a given practice (e.g. to stop excising children, or to stop breaking and miniaturizing the feet of young girls) because "it is good", and hope that it will be done the next day.


The need to get out of these "wrong" practices persists, to transform these cultures so that they are able to respect the nature of everyone.

2-Equality / 1-Culture / 4

Commitments, ignorance, tolerance



Our cultures and our conventions should thus allow everyone to maintain their ability to adapt at all times, keeping in their hearts the fact that nothing is immutable. They should therefore avoid messages and practices that propose to publicly lock in an absolute and definitive manner certain realities, decisions, commitments which can be linked to the knowledge of ourselves in a given context at a given moment.

Betrayal on a personal scale, the failure to respect what is explicitly or implicitly (by an established way of life, habits) agreed between people, would remain a pain of nature as exposed in the page "The origin of life?"

A culture that places a decision, a personal commitment on a public scale (commitment made in front of a large audience and not contradicted in session) can therefore generate a feeling of betrayal "towards everyone" in the event that this commitment is no more held
: social judgement, the opinion of others then may add weight to the already difficult change.

A culture that places a commitment under the "eternal sacred public" yoke of a religion then amplifies the weight of the non-respect of a commitment to its climax by placing it as a betrayal "towards God", meaning what should be the essential of everything for everyone in the Universe: by not keeping this commitment, have I betrayed my own essence and what brings us all together ? The question is terrible and can come to end up amplifying the pain to its paroxysm, "our existence in itself" being nothing more because of the failure to keep this commitment in the face of "the absolute essential".

So we see that our cultures may sometimes be the origin of functional paralysis and pain amplifier
in already difficult situations. On the contrary, our cultures should therefore avoid this multiplication of the feeling of betrayal by respecting the exclusively private nature of some commitments.

In terms of commitment on a personal level, it is therefore very important to honestly share between the people involved what we feel and what we can hold on to at a given moment (and not for eternity), in order to be able to r
espect what has been said, what we mutually agree to. "To commit for eternity", "to be everything for another", "to expect someone else to be everything for oneself" would be over-requirements which would suppose absolute knowledge, a constancy and a mastery of oneself, in perfect adequacy with that of others, and in an absolute way for the entire life, which may not correspond to our nature.

Our capacity for tolerance and adaptation should therefore leave room for our own ignorance of ourselves and of the world at all times.

2-Equality / 1-Culture / 5

The balance of each individual seems to be a balance between his own living nature and the requirements of the society in which he evolves. Then, as human development achieved to brought peace on an extended surface of the earth in these recent decades, the work has to be continued in enhancing our understanding of our living nature, to make our society always more resepectful of what we are and able to give us all a living place everyday of our lives, from the first to the last day of our journey on earth and beyond in the universe.

In terms of the politics of Nations, it would therefore be interesting to avoid exacerbating our cultures as the “soul of a Nation”, which would define us deep within ourselves. Cultures are very real but would constitute the “visible part of the iceberg”. The fact that we are living beings spontaneously constructed in the Universe would be our first common reality of nature, the “submerged part of the iceberg” ultimately preponderant. “The soul” would then be a construction of the living whose origin would be a permanent principle of the Universe (unknown until then), and not a “property” of a group of living beings passing through at a given place and moment, which would appeal to this “soul”, to this original principle, to authorize itself to destroy a living neighbor to preserve the sustainability of its group, of its culture.

Our capacity for tolerance can then be worked on daily, not only in the sense of accepting the difference of the others, but also in the acceptance that our own world representation and our own manners may not be respectful to our living nature, in the acceptance that we may have to make the effort to transform ourselves to keep on adjusting our consistency with our living nature...

bottom of page