The invention and societal adoption of commonly spoken languages and in particular the unique human ability to concoct fictional narratives, that language, in concert with the neural processes of our left hemispheres speech center endows us with, when consistently enough applied, socially structures the dissemination of information from person to person through everyday interactions and gossip; affords we humans with an efficient strategy for large groups of disparate people’s to effectively enough cooperate via a currency of a tentatively structured trust hovering around shared culturally generated beliefs.
*Fictional Narratives: the ability to abstract and thus believe in things unseen and unseeable through which theoretical conceptions (ideas) are transferred to and through the masses, via effective and consistently applied communicative metaphor and propaganda.
Such trust then, is implicitly granted to the balance of westernized civilizations’ masses via this mechanism that substantiates the validity of the continued confidence in the shared meaning and shared value of such shared beliefs.
Beliefs, themselves, originating from any number of culturally reinforced stories and the inventions they inspire and buttress (money, rights, traditions, religions, institutions, etc,.) result in a fictionally bonded, yet socially effective web of socially interacting groups.
In this way, through the cultural mechanisms that arise as a result of our unique ability to fictionally abstract ideas, common beliefs of reality are established which in effect structures an intersubjective reality for the beneficial workings of the evolving social order.
Because civilizations are always initially structured internally, through the ideas and the subsequent narratives fashioned around them by the originators and contributors of any culture, and relative to the actual structure and functioning of our human neural apparatus, the many roles that individuals play within said culture tend to become confused with the individuals sense of self and purpose by the ongoing conforming experiences of the culture itself.
Ultimately, through the practice of standardized educational practices and the condition of socially rewarding individuals to emulate cultural norms (and correspondingly punishing those who fail to comply sufficiently), such an individuals’ understanding of themselves, relative to the beliefs and demands of operating within their culture, produces a tension, a psychically palpable polarity, stemming from the internal disparity felt as a result of our nomadic hunter-gatherer evolved DNA (evolve over millennia) and its resultant biologically supported physical apparatus (our bodies) relative to the seemingly arbitrary physical and far removed psychic activities that seem to busy us incessantly.
The individual day-to-day psychic demands of effectively functioning within a given culture, is the social basis of ego formation in the first place, and hence the major contributor to resulting neuroses, stresses, and the generalized discontent felt by the many.
As described so deftly by Carl Jung and the underlying motivation for the development of the psychic therapeutic practices of Eastern spiritual disciplines, such as Taoism and various forms of Buddhism and the like, there do exist techniques that can help enlighten individuals to their own cultural conformities, personal blind spots and deluding beliefs that unwittingly bind the plurality to their roles in deference to their souls, leading to unactualized lives, personal overwhelm and cultural dissolution.