Though differences exist between the cultures of the world, to place one above or below any of the others for any reason would create an open door to prejudice, racism, and genocide. As Maori elder Rose Pere has said, “No culture is more or less important than another—to suggest that there is, is to criticize the Creator.”
Some say cultural growth is random, others that it is directional. But this is not a simple “either/or” matter. Our collective evolution contains elements of both randomness and purposeful direction, though purpose appears to be winning out.
In the long run, it’s looking like our collective journey has brought us to the threshold of our long-awaited collective coming of age. Seeming signs of randomness, such as prejudice, exploitation, and wars, have marked our immature stages, but can inspire us to more seriously take on the responsibilities of collective maturity.
Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory identifies a direction to culture, with stages of growth each having their own qualities. Traditionalculture, with a mythic-literal religious orientation, sees belief in the Bible as literally true, and holds nationalistic, ethnocentric, and patriarchal views. Modernculture, with a rational or scientific orientation, sees universal, scientific truths as more evident. Postmodern culture maintains a plurality of worldviews. But is this the highest level of cultural evolution?