non-cultural approach has its value, it does have its limitation.
Many people today, particularly in the West, have rejected the
cultural side of spiritual teachings, not to transcend culture but
to remain immersed in materialistic or intellectual cultural
patterns which are contrary to the spiritual path. They have not
taken up a spiritual culture, like the study of yogic teachings,
chanting, ritual, spiritual art, but instead have continued with the
popular culture of entertainment or an intellectual culture of art
and science. Some people in India are following this trend as well.
It is important that
we recognize the nature of the culture we surround ourselves with
and are clear as its values and how they affect us. While we can
apply spiritual teachings outside of any particular cultural context
this does require that we ignore the culture we follow. We cannot
graft spiritual teachings onto a non-spiritual culture and
life-style and expect them to work. Nor do we need to reject the
cultural side of spiritual teachings when it may be useful in
enriching our lives.
We are all surrounded
by culture, the collective culture we live in and the personal
culture created by our daily activities. Culture is our environment
and life-style which determines our nature and consciousness on a
subtle level. We are all creators of culture both for ourselves and
for the world. The culture we create is the forms and actions we
follow and thereby allow to spread. Our culture is the food we eat,
how we exercise, the entertainment we seek, the programs we watch,
the books we read, our meditations, and all else that we do.