Inner culture, inter culture, outer culture: I would like to explore the deeper meaning of this interconnected triad in order to gain some new insights into culture and its management.
What is inner culture? Most interculturalists might answer this question by saying that it covers culture one, the refinement of the human heart and mind through the arts and sciences as well as culture two, i.e. the collective programming of the mind, mental programmes or mental software.
To me this type of understanding amounts to a merely horizontal perception of culture and more specifically inner culture because it does not seem to fully account for the mechanisms of the mind that operate behind the perception and the processing of culture. And therefore I would like to introduce a vertical dimension that also deals with the levels of perception of culture. The two together provide a more complete picture of what the term inner culture may mean. So, inner culture refers to an art and science of perception, of creative perception and processing of culture – which impact the perception of cultural diversity as well as its interrelated processes and outcomes. This expanded contextualization of culture leads to enhanced management options and capabilities.
From this reflection a number of models will emerge which locate culture and its various aspects contained in the threefold expression in an expanded micro-macrocosmic continuum (this term refers to the totality of the culture phenomenon) which includes the manager and the managed and where the processing and managing of culture can become less complex as well as more effective, because complexity is meaningfully structured under a new integrative roof of the human constitution. Let me simplify: As one ascends a mountain or as maybe astronauts and cosmonauts are marveling at the wonders of the blue planet which they have never been aware of before this premiere of viewing the earth from this new optical outer space perspective, so can the various optics of culture in the human mind and consciousness, i.e. the inner culture provide new vistas and insights hitherto ignored and which may henceforth be fed into the way of how one interrelates culturally.
It also covers what I have referred to as quantum cultural optic which provides radically different but complementary perceptions of culture such as an atomistic perception of the world of culture or a holistic perception of culture. In analogy to the quantum cultural paradigm, in particular to Niels Bohr’s complementarity principle - as well as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, while both are used as metaphors in the world of culture - one can view the cultural universe as consisting of n particles of specific cultures or one can look at it as a continuous ocean of waves. One can look at a specific culture and then contextualize that specific culture within the unified field of human civilization. So, one can either emphasize the more static, specific or the dynamic in its totality.
The quantum approach is important because it has an impact on the management of the cultural subject-object continuum, in which the position of the observer impacts the observed or one can disconnect the continuum and assume that the cultural atom can be managed independently of the inner cultural position of the observer. The interconnection or the disconnection of inner and outer culture impact intercultural effectiveness.
The integration of the two cultural spaces, of the inner and the outer, creates a continuous space, in which the two interact in the sense that if the perceiver perceives waves and unity and the dynamics of the totality, the individual cultural atom of the specific culture is eclipsed and moves to the background of perception. Here the observer focuses on that which unifies the observer and the observed.
If the observer on the other hand perceives the individual atom, the dynamics of the totality are moved to the background and remain unperceived. So, the adoption of the cultural optic (Bohr’s particle-wave duality also entails that a particle detector detects particles, whereas a wave detector detects waves) is crucial because it conditions the perception of outer culture: either one sees only unity, while diversity remains a quantité négligeable or one sees diversity while unity remains a quantité négligeable. Of course this is a mental model and the user needs to fill in and bridge the gap between its nature and real life.
One practical consequence is that the unified field optic – the integration of the continuum – ignores cultural dilemmas, not in the sense that it cannot handle them and therefore avoids them, but rather in the sense that it transcends them by operating only in that space of consciousness which is integrative and non- divisive. The extent to which this optic can be reciprocated by the outer cultural environment depends on the evolution of the inner cultural optic of the outer cultural human environment.
The disconnection of the referred to inner-outer culture continuum can only see the divisive, diversity and at best the synergistic potential between the inner and the outer cultural environment at the expense of the unified field, in which there are no cultural problems to be solved nor reconciled, because they do not exist in this optic; there is only oneness.
One can see that the positioning of the inner sensory system fosters a state of mind and consciousness which determines the way the perceiver observes and perceives outer culture. And these perceptions can be diametrically opposed but equally valid and complementary.
So far we have been applying the complementarity theory Niels Bohr’s as a metaphor for the perception of culture. In both modes of complementary perception the instruments of perception determine that which is perceived: the perception of particles in the subatomic world corresponds to the perception of specific cultures in the cultural world, whereas the perception of waves in the subatomic world corresponds to the perception of the dynamic field in the cultural world. The wave particle-duality can be translated metaphorically as a unity-diversity duality.