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orionx103

Blending Western and Eastern Cultures

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This is a writing problem I''ve always struggled with for some reason. How can you perfectly blend Western and Eastern mythologies? I''ve tried to do it for some time and I''ve never been able to do it. Have you seen some examples of perfectly mixed cultures, or have you been able to do it yourself? Do you have any theories as to how to mix cultures seemlessly?

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Well it depends what you mean by blending western and eastern culture, but I''ve found that having a thematic vision for a new alien culture will allow you to create a seamless blend of other cultures. You have to identify the archetypal cultural practices you want to use and re-instantiate them with different details such that they are not too obviously linked to whatever culture you took them from in the first place. And eastern and western cultures are not totally different, you can build on the things they have in common. Marriage ceremonies for example. Communal feasts are pretty much universal. And social and ceremonial uses of alcohol.

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I doubt it''s possible to "perfectly blend" them, but hybrids are surely possible. Your question poses the problem, but offers no constraints, so I''ll just make an example up:

The western (Greek, in this case) concept of hubris is a constant companion of Greek and Roman mythologies, and is tied into the stratification of being, or metaxy. When Odysseus angered poseidon by mocking one of his children, Poseidon punished him for his hubris by condemning him to a decade of wandering at sea. To aspire above your position is excessive pride, and you should instead aspire to excellence within your teleological niche. In Eastern (Chinese) mythology, a variation on this theme is found in the legend of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Sun Wukong masters mortal arts so thoroughly that he gains godlike powers, and he becomes a nuisance to the gods. When nobody can defeat him, and he begins to assert authority, Buddha demolishes him in a fight and traps him under a rock, until Sun Wukong learns the error of his ways and becomes a bringer of Buddhist Wisdom to China. For Buddhists, the illusion of strength and greatness is a deceptive veil that you cast over all of reality, blinding yourself to the true nature of Being. To attain true understanding you must cast aside your pride and adopt a sense of humility.

The pride/humility dichotomy is nearly universal, and can be used as a core concept in defining a hybrid philosophy and culture. Nietzsche would disparage this idea, calling it a "slave morality", but there aren''t any ideas out there that everyone agrees on.

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