Creative Insights into a Planet's Cultural Diversity
Léonie E. Naylor & Michael L. Naylor, Authors

About the Book

Whether you read the text, listen to the CDs, use the Forum or Network and other materials to engage in thought and dialogue for your own growth and enjoyment, or, you are using this program as part of a course or study circle, we hope that it will enhance the quality of your life experience, interests, and perspectives. The pervasive themes of this project include the following:

  • Cultural "justice" is essential to a balanced and open perspective of our world. This text assumes there is no superior or inferior culture or music. Rather, all music is expressive of human experience and worthy of appreciation, which we equate with respect. We will not assume that Western European or Euro-American music or culture is superior or worthy of greater attention simply because it has received greater attention in the past, nor will we exclude these cultures, as they too are "ethnic" and must be a part of our global dialogue;
  • The manner in which cultures fuse, exchange, and transfer their thoughts and values will be given far greater emphasis than the adherence to the ancient principles of categorization, labeling, and culturally-centric visions can accommodate;
  • Most of our mind's files about "others" (information we have about culture groups which are not a part of our intimate personal life experiences) may not have been acquired from a diversity of experiences or over an extended time period, or may be culturally-biased as a result of cultural imperialism, culturally-centric education, or economically-(not educationally) driven media. Since much of our information comes through sources that have spoken for other cultures, it often emphasizes the separation of humanity by race, nation, or cultural/artistic (discipline) separation that can distort the human and creative reality of their evolution and blind us to the history of multi-cultural exchange. To capsulate the visions of the cultures and artists represented, we have turned to the artists, educators, and professionals themselves asking: "What would you like us to know about your (musical) culture?" The result is this project.

WHY MUSIC?

Although there are many discussions and representations of visual art, architecture, linguistics/languages, dance, and other forms of human expression included in OMW, to dialogue the perceptual tools that might liberate us to practically dialogue both the scientific and cultural reality of our being single human race; we have chosen music for its strongly accessible and emotional power. Through the window of music we have addressed (see OMW Unit PDF samples):

  • (Unit I&II) The universality of the human experiences;
  • (Unit III-X) Interpreting cultural symbolism;
  • (Units IV-VIII) A potentially more accurate view of ancestry/history and the influences of imperialism, capitalism, and racial/national constructs on cultural perception; the connection of "religion" to our world's values (and inter-connection of the world's religions to each other);
  • (Units IV-X) Understanding the ancient history of multi-culturalism; the impact of our world's repressed and historically marginalized cultures on our world's most sophisticated models of community and creativity;
  • (Unit IX) The potential of achieving "balance" (healing) through the arts,
  • and finally - (Unit X) a discussion of alternatives in visualizing fusion, exchange, and inter-connectivity through the model of "creolization."

Finally, we offer numerous suggestions for self-exploration of your own creativity and passion or the development of your own creative gifts both individually and in the context of community.