“Bim Bom Bim Bim Bom Bom”
Culture is the fabric of meaning we create to make sense of the cycle of life and death.
People do similar things around the world and across time because we share the same human nervous system. There has been only one living human species for the last 30-40,000 years. Yet our minds and bodies are so flexible that we have been able to adapt to every possible environment on Earth (at least until now).
These adaptations are human culture and our cultures are all related. Africa is Mother from about 300,000 years ago. Civilization began in Mesopotamia (Iraq) and developed in Egypt between 4,000 and 3,000 BCE. Civilizations rose in the Indus Valley (India) around 2,500 BCE, China around 1,500 BCE, and Central America (Mexico) around 1,200 BCE.
Colonial thinkers teach us to see our differences to cover their own thievery and violence, but what is truly wonderful is how similar we are. “Bim Bom, Bim Bim, Bom, Bom.”
Culture is The Hero with a Thousand Faces
“The Hero with a Thousand Faces” is a book on comparative mythology written by Joseph Campbell in 1949. Campbell’s thesis is that the human hero story is the same around the world and across time.
It goes something like this. A young person is cast out of her or his people. They wander some kind of desert for a long time. One day they meet a wise older figure who gives them some special knowledge or tool. Meanwhile the people are suffering some calamity. The hero returns to their people and saves them. They “slay the dragon” if you will.
If that sounds like a Biblical story, it is. If that sounds like an Australian Aboriginal story, it is. If that sounds like “Star Wars,” it is. George Lucas acknowledged spending a lot of time with Joseph Campbell.
The artist is meant to put the objects of this world together in such a way that through them you will experience that light, that radiance which is the light of our consciousness and which all things both hide and, when properly looked upon, reveal.”Joseph Campbell, “Pathways to Bliss,” 2004
On our pages about “others,” we hope you will see some of yourself and through that recognize our common humanity. That’s the Latin experience because we are the children of all peoples, the great mix.
Separation is an illusion. There are no “others.” There is no “them.” There is only us.
Humans make culture, and culture makes us human.
“That’s the way I want my song. Just two words they call Bim Bom. Sorry but my heart has made it so. Only Bim Bom, Bim, Bom, Bim.” (João Gilberto, “Bim Bom,” 1959)
A todos com coração humano, paz e amor.