By the deepest concepts of culture are we made whole. But to get there we must find out first what culture is and why it matters. From the point of view of the primitive, culture is irrelevant. That is the problem with primitivism which is the state of nature as it exists in the minds of humans that live without any notion of honor or ritual. This is the essential difference between that which is primitive and that which is cultured. A cultured individual has a protocol and honors that protocol. A primitive has no protocol and honors only his or her whims.
Here I must state the fundamental basis of all protocol for the record of the collective that requires it. Protocol is based on principle. Principle is rationality through sacrfice by means of deference to any Ideal, Virtue, person, or thing, but specifically it is the grounds of one's argument. When any philosopher speaks of principle they usually are referring to ideal principle. Ideal Principle is the perfect image of an abstract principle fully conscious as a platonic form. Virtue is most often the emotionally centered reality of any principle in action through the changes it induces in others by it's transformational capacity as a living essence surrounding a single actor (she or he that acts), most specifically a person from our point of view.
There is, as I have stated before in my Philosophy of Knowledge notes, a natural hierarchy of prioritization which exists that influences the deliverance of conscience through values, desires, principles, duties, virtues, and even conscience itself. That hierarchy is constructed by individuals naturally in the course of their lives as they discover what it is that motivates them to take any actions. As such it is primarily the ground of reasoning of Formal Moralism and used by Formal Moralists to justify their own actions as part of the accounting of personal argument.
But beyond this reasoning lies the other, who is or is not aware of any of this. Communicating with the other requires that one understand that all just communications are based upon the notion of Transactions of Honor. Roughly stated a transaction of honor in the field of communication is the idea that one listens in return for the right to speak and vice versa that one speaks with the intention to listen to the response.
Here we must get into the nature of honorable communications and just honoring of the other and the self. Listening is followed by listening. A speech is worth a speech. A thought is worth a thought. This natural transaction of experiences and minds is the basis of the protocol of honor. Since everything begins in communication, we begin here for those who wish to participate in Honor Culture which is the culture of true wealth.
The self is revealed in stages to the other based on interest. Questions and answers form the basis of the transaction of relationship. Actions taken are the measure of the value assigned to the relationship. Each action is met with an equal and opposite reaction until full intimacy is achieved. That full intimacy is one of friendship, the true measure of all intimacy.
Not all want to participate in this transaction as they would prefer to only think or talk of themselves or spread rumors. As such the world is divided between those that practice honor and those who do not. There are commandments unwritten that govern the entire cycle. Beyond this stage, there is living in the moment to total connection with the stream of conscience that surrounds us at all times.
This is a very short introduction to a very complex and elaborate truth about perfectly honoring the experience we are having as people specifically with relation to ourselves, other people. the planet, and by extension the universe. Honor culture does not end at people and things. It extends into the honoring of any tradition of communication with any hypothetical reality one has heard of. As such one's relationship to ideas, methodologies, and hypothetical non physical beings are included. Included in this is one's relationship to skepticism and doubt as well. Honor is a very, very complex beast.
Very much of our extended lives are tied to what we honor in ourselves and in others. The subtlety of existence is defined by that experience internal to ourselves. While the majority of our experience is the honoring of our gross selves, the body and it's needs, the rest of our experience collectively is determined by the nature of how we honor everything else about everyone else including the abstract notions of being and beyond that, for those that have it, the psychic perceptions of the those gifted of conscious subtly in it's many various forms. The set of all the possible combinations of this conundrum is the basis of formal study of Mystery, Art, Music, and Kaballah.
The essential question is what makes us different from each other from the point of view of the universe or Goddess and God depending on your point of view. When we try to understand someone we look at the whole of their experience, the whole of what they know, the whole of their choices, the strength of their conviction, the strength of their character, and the physical strength of their body. Their identity determines their viewpoint. Their potential and their intention determines what the Oracle can and can't tell them. The choices they are offered are a part and parcel of those offering those choices and their stories as well. As you can see to honor all of that is something truly magnificent and time consuming for those doing the honoring. As such we honor those closest to us. Such is the way of things.
Again there is one road deeper than this that I have learned from another further along the path than I. This road takes us into the emotion itself as experienced through the whole of the breath into the lifestream of consciousness as it is lived. Here, the protocols of honor still exist, but they become secondary to the experience of an inner guidance that is beyond what is normally experienced. Here listening becomes a skilled fused with full human consciousness honed to create an experience called Natural Synastry, A person who has this experience is free of the need for formalism and becomes the living embodiment of the Virtues for others. Jesus was the greatest of these examples of those who truly managed to see past the need for transactions of honor to arrive complete honoring through pure consciousness through embodiment.
But the need for honoring remains to the extent that it is necessary to consider the perspectives of all. The world cannot avoid the full honoring of every other and simply jump into Natural Synastry. Before Natural Synastry is the astrologically timed Unnatural Synastry as well which is the honoring of the cycles of existence as interpreted through astrology. Some elements of Unnatural Synastry can also be found in lesser forms of divination such as tarot. But the problem of character emerges when these interpretations clash with the Natural Synastry of the awakened person who will not simply allow an interpretation to be the decider of their fate. This is a tricky ground for the reader and the querrant (the person getting the reading) alike.
Protocols of honor extend to all these fields of endeavor. Perfecting them allows one to read or interpret perfectly. Failure to create a protocol of honor in the absence of the necessary psychic and/or mental gifts necessary for Natural Synastry creates disturbances in the consciousness of the self and others. Further refinement is always required. Perfect readings lead to perfect outcomes. It is possible but requires learning and an acknowledgement of imperfection. Yet this is all part of the greater picture of honoring choice and honoring methods of ordering action.
Who is it that one must follow when one is not sure? This is a great question of both the advisor and the advisee. We all wish to speak with an authority on this matter, but at times we find ourselves puzzlingly enough as the authority seeking advice from others on the question of our own authority to decide. Most don't care enough to test their own limits, to ask themselves where they should stop and seek the advice of others. But as luck would have it sometimes they stumble upon someone both competent and honorable to the art and the other person alike.
A massive subject is this thing we call honor. Honor is not a perfect measurement of our selves, but an acknowledgement of our imperfection without the other. There are limits of course, for honoring one's self is required as part of the idea of honor or honor itself is destroyed by it's opposite dishonor. The balance is delicate and requires experience to teach us the limits of this methodology of culture. But as long as civilization exists and as long as there are those who wish to remain civilized, we'll be hearing a great deal more about honor in the years, decades, centuries, and millennia to come.