Intercultural Errors Versus Transcultural Solutions

A Blueprint

Textbook, 2011

273 Pages






The Dawn of an Intercultural Metascience.
An Epistemological Blue Print for 360° Transcultural







The purpose of interculturalism should be

To connect heaven and earth, God and man,

Men among each other and man and the environment

Rather than dividing them.

To set them free from their conditioning and to liberate them;

To realize the liberty and unity

Of mankind’s diversity.

Copyright © Gebhard Deißler 2011


Intercultural competence is frequently presented as the key to the solution of the age of globalization with its human relational challenges. It has become a gigantic industry and few are those if any who can lead out of the intercultural maze, in which this business sector has manoeuvered the world. And the danger is that many young people are educated with this limited and limiting assumption about solutions of human relationship questions in our age.

Some scholars who are motivated by their own insecurity and disorientation are trying to bring an order in an otherwise disturbingly anarchic universe to them, as man seems to become neurotic and sick if he cannot see any order in human affairs. He wants an order that is predictable and calculable and if there is none perceivable in reality he tries to impose one by means of physical or intellectual power.

He wants to translate the order of nature to the human domain, as he is part of nature and therefore supposed to be similarly programmed to display a predictable order like growth, maturation and death in a foreseeable way. This thought is not unreasonable but in our technical age we alienate that order through the addition of technical order and postulate that mechanistic order form human beings. We impose an order instead of reading an order.

Therefore the cultural order created by some intercultural approaches runs the risk of being an alienating order motivated by personal agendas of insecurity and the absence of predictability. Our rational age requires order, particularly by its rationally conditioned individuals, for the sake of their own psychological continuity.

Beyond the legitimate need of order and the quest for psychological security some interculturalists would additionally like to impose a global pecking order. The motive of the desire to wield power over others is also evident in this approach. Can it be an unconscious Anglo-led attempt - in the sense of people educated in the Anglo worldview - of wielding power over the rest of the world and to which diverse cultural foci might respond in time and thereby trigger a culture-theoretical war on culture war, because they feel misrepresented by state-of-the-art intercultural theory and assumptions?

In other words, is the prevailing intercultural approach the translation of the hegemonic assumption and pursuit to bring about a rather questionable world order that fulfills the need of establishing a follow-up bipolarized world order with the same purpose of establishing Western, in particular Anglo values as the measuring rod for civilization? Obviously, the cultural world with its scientifically seducing appearance is a multipolarized world with myriads of players that nonetheless are clustered and reduced to cultural blocks in line with former ideological block assumptions. It appears as an intellectually seemingly more sophisticated carbon copy of previous eras’ block templates which can be further traced to ethnic affinities. Finally, we can unveil their own ethnocentrism which they pretend to manage across the world. But quantum-cultural intelligence and perception clearly postulate rightly that the cultural observer should have an awareness of the perceiver’s perception and that there is the true key to sustainable cultural action. Full circle analysis by interculturalists should therefore have a boomerang effect and send the ball back to them into their field to play the game of culture according to the rules of the highest scientific standards and ethical values, to carry their own cross as cultural beings instead of having others shoulder it by decree of cultural theories which at best are milestones on the roadmap toward an integral and integrative management of culture in the interest of the peoples, nations, languages and cultural groups of the world that constitute that dynamism by which evolution is completing its work.

Cultural nemesis does not leave us a lot of margin for maneuvering. So much we learn from history. Therefore a critical evaluation is not inappropriate. Therefore one will have to pragmatically take the good and leave the bad of state-of-the-art interculturalism and to be truly appreciative to the pioneers of intercultural research for their good work, but to complete their efforts on the basis of further reaching evidence. That is a productive premise of our work which everybody might subscribe to.

It is surprising that the prevailing intercultural approach has been pioneered by the weaker allies of the Western superpower with more or less conscious hegemonic pretension. The weaker allies’ cultural researchers, rather than the superpower’s itself instrumentalize it by allying themselves intellectually with the superpower, thereby using the combined physical and intellectual power accessible to them to promote their need of imposing an order that ultimately serves their own ends.

Hitler, an Austrian, has similarly been instrumentalizing a culturally weak (regarding national unification and identity) but materially strong Germany. Some interculturalists may be said to similarly instrumentalize a culturally young and intellectually weak but materially strong Anglo-American culture. Both are usurping cultures and try to establish a world order in favour of them. A clear-cut cultural us and them reminiscent of enduring divides. They tend to be divisive and, however, intellectually seemingly attractively fragmenting rather than promoting the integration of the world.

Our assumptions about ourselves and others are not without consequences, as I shall try to show in the course of the exposé. If they set man free, they are good, if they enslave or limit him, however subtly, they are questionable and need to be dealt with in line with the timeless wisdom of the above parabolic statement. A mental straitjacket may only be indicated in a humanly dysfunctional – an inhumane and uncivilized – environment.

Fascism, the ideological divide of the world and interculturalism present a certain continuity in the sense of an attempt to establish a world order that is culturally, epistemologically and humanly deficitary, i. e. lacking true democratic, humane and ethical values which are the sine qua non of the effective management of a globalizing age with myriads of diverse interacting players. Those are some of the more or less conscious motives of some key intercultural theorists.

But the deeper problem is that interculturalism is a half-truth. And a half-truth is not the truth, however scientifically seducing it presents itself by pretending to a mathematical, statistical - an unquestionable axiomatic; a mathematical scholarliness to which, however, the enigma of the simple number ONE may elude. So, the intercultural discourse may possibly appear, at least in part, as a false discourse.

However, it can be made more representative of the cultural reality and thereby more effective for the management of diversity at the individual, corporate and global level. This can be achieved by drawing on more advanced scientific concepts. Such is the leitmotif of this epistemological blueprint. And the serious attempt to enhance something is not destructive but rather creative and constructive. How can a science otherwise evolve and provide more substantive evidence of its effectiveness than we have been observing in recent times in the domain of global corporate and geopolitical interactions and transactions, as well as in globally scaled intercultural dialogue and cooperation?

Intercultural limitations

Viewed from a metaphorical quantum-cultural standpoint, intercultural thought requires a relativization and complementary contextualization. Culture means difference and diversity. So far, so good. Difference and diversity can, however, not be thought of independently of the underlying and complementary concept of unity. Interculturalism that is only based on the diversity assumption is therefore only half the truth about the differences human beings display at certain levels of their being across the world. So, to make it concise, one should learn a little form truly hard quantum science hypotheses that instruct us to view the world in complementary terms and not in a one-dimensional exclusive way that produces an incomplete view of the world. The incompleteness is the actual cause and not the remedy of cultural challenges. But there is no need to throw the baby with the water and to be iconoclastic, for all things created are subject to the cycle of birth, growth and disappearance. That also applies to the entire culture-cognitive edifice as well as to cultures.

This paradigm shift from monistic views of the world to complementary views of it has occurred many decades, nay, nearly a century ago, but our personal motives of intellectual and physical power and security seeking weakness seem to resist science and to lead to epistemologically deficitary assumptions about the world. They perpetuate the continuity of former collective and individual historical agendas and can be said to be part of the past, because they reproduce the past with its untold historical misery in new ways. Only if one penetrates deeper one may discover identical roots which are bound to yield identical fruit in time. This perception motivates the caveats formulated here.

Unenlightened interculturalism therefore runs the risk of reproducing exactly that which it has pretended to remedy. It was supposed to appear on the world’s stage in order to enlighten the world about the seemingly uncontrollable impact of cultural scripts that perpetuate the logic of strife between individuals and groups across time and space. That latter is what one can objectively observe and which the history of mankind, irrespective of cultures, has recorded whatever culturally diverse interpretations may have been imposed on it. The problem therefore is not only a cultural but also a universal one. Therefore a pretended quest for world peace and global cooperation should not and must not ignore that universal fact (the complementary perception of diversity is unity) which is part of the culture-complementary awareness of and insight into human relationships.

The incompleteness of the intercultural approach from a history of science standpoint and the replication of lead paradigms.

The personal and collective agendas of power and continuity blind the researcher to a 360° historical and scientific perception of the matter in its totality and a deficitary or deficient perception can neither bring about sustainable insight nor solution. The subjective motive creates a limited construct for its own finality. This is part of the subconscious reality of some forms of interculturalism. It inhibits logical thinking in the sense of complete and complementary thinking. It may serve for some time until it is superseded by a more representative and effective approach to the management of human affairs as Newtonian physics has and still does serve the world in its own field but has been superseded by various generations of modern physics that serve more effectively in more sophisticated larger scale fields of science as electronics, photonics and space science.

Newton’s worldview and therefore his personal needs have led to his pioneering but limited assumption about nature. Similarly interculturalists’ views and assumptions about the world and personal needs lead to relative assumptions about the supposed specifically human laws. So far we have referred to personal, ideological and epistemological relativism of interculturalism. But the myopic and naive human classification is a painted tomb that paralyzes and inhibits the most precious gift man has been given by his Creator or that Evolution has provided, depending on what worldview one may adhere to in one’s freedom of thought. Human classifications and categorizations do not meet the highest standards of freedom and liberty. They appear as non non-Western and in particular un-American values. It is the highest human ideal and the most precious jewel of manhood consecrated by culturally diverse symbols as the statue of liberty and the coins of diverse cultures. While I proof-read this exposé half a dozen peoples of the Arabian peninsula, the regions of the Maghreb and the Mashreg presently display their non-negotiable yearning for freedom and act accordingly. For that universal value, the superordinate human value all men cherish in their hearts, more people have died than for any cultural value. Physical human classification as happened and happens in fascism and which, in extremis, legitimizes genocide should be closely monitored as well as its mental corollary which is but a different shape and form of classification, but which also may disunite and further fragment the world with pseudoscientific pretense and might end up in producing the opposite of what it pretends to do – unless it is done with an appropriate integrative spirit. It is frequently done by self-interest against the interest of man. There is historical evidence of it at the moment across the entire world and last but not least in the country’s recent history in which I am writing.

Human classification should therefore be appropriately contextualized so as to defuse its corrupting potential with regard to the gift of gifts of man: his boundless and stainless freedom. And that can be achieved through the transcultural approach as a corrective of - in some respects - the intercultural error, as we shall see later. The specificity of man that sets him apart from all creatures in creation is his freedom, which all -isms need to destroy in order to enslave him. It is a priceless gift and can therefore not be bought by interculturalism either. These words sound clear. Yet, it has been said that true words are not nice and that nice words are not true. I claim this truth for this passage.

Unqualified this epistemologically incomplete division of the world is unethical, undemocratic and lacking historical wisdom, while it pretends to promote human understanding and cooperation which may therefore be cynical. Due to the uniqueness of man he should not be dealt with in the manner of zoological taxonomies. It is immoral to tear apart the world intellectually and expect others to unify it again. That is playing with fire which, as all the ideological fires as well as the physical fire of weapons, can be used to ravage the world. And in hindsight the authors of those fires regret and cannot undo the effects of the consequences of their naïve scientific “good intentions”. Whoever relativizes the jewel of jewels of man betrays man, wittingly or unwittingly. There is no substitute and no price for it and it is therefore non-negotiable by anyone under any circumstance.

What mitigates the severity of this picture and what has to make us compassionate about this dire state is that it is human weakness in general that is at the origin of deficitary ideas of what the truth is and the logic of evolution of epistemological paradigms in the sense that the brief history of intercultural research is in an early phase of its evolution and does neither have the maturity nor the possibility of its longer term historical evaluation as century and millennia old sciences. Humans and sciences are learning entities. All learning is fraught with error and its correction. But Nemesis, the ancient Greek goddess of revenge, is a metaphor for and a reminder of the fact that there is a price to be paid for errors due to ignorance, myopia and self-interest at the expense of mankind. Yet, a simple shift of attention towards complementary perceptions of culture would constitute the beginning of a turn-around, a change management process of the present day intercultural paradigm that can defuse the liabilities of prevailing interculturalism: more managerially speaking an unfreezing of the old intercultural model, a change towards complementary cultural optics and a refreezing thereof which leads to the following agenda for change management of interculturalism in three phases:

1. Unfreeze interculturalism
2. Change towards quantum cultural optics
3. Refreeze integrative transculturalism

This 3-phase model can be approximated and correlated to Bartlett’s, Ghoshal’s and Birkinshaw’s physiological change management model in the following sense:

1. Psychology: Create full awareness of interculturalism (Change Attitudes)
2. Physiology: Correlate the inter- and the transcultural approach (Change Relationships)
3. Anatomy: Integrate them in an scientifically grounded profiler (Change Structures). See Transcultural Profiler, page 41.


Break-through discoveries in one field of knowledge have in impact on other fields of knowledge. The world of knowledge is an interconnected fabric of a continuous field and a light kindled in one coordinate of its interconnected tissue is reflected throughout, a sound produced somewhere resonates in the entire field of consciousness. Personal agendas can, however, erect a barrier to the receptivity of the new insight und understanding. And a fundamental epistemological revolution takes a certain amount of time to affect other disciplines which have to evolve organically, step by step, in order to become solid intellectual edifices. They have to rewrite and adapt the epistemological scripts from lead-sciences like physics and biology in and to their own discipline, semantically and semiotically. Thus there is a delay, whose variation depends on the creativity and open-mindedness of the respective scientists and the urgency inherent in the science. It is pressing forward or conservative for reasons of subjective agendas referred to above?

The intercultural landscape tends towards conservatism because it is motivated by power, security and control, implicitly desiring to freeze old power relationships in a new language. What culture or researcher would give up acquired privileges or assumptions about themselves and others on the basis of a more beneficial insight for the sake of humanity? There is a considerable inertia in human matters, while a forward pushing spirit prevails in technology that knows no boundaries. That is the reason for the apparent overall discrepancy between technological and psychological evolution. And intercultural research is part of the latter.

Based on my personal reflection scientific lead-paradigms and intercultural research can be correlated approximately in the following way. It is a gradual progression which is modeled in categories below. I have identified it in the past and presented it in various papers:

A Synopsis of modern intercultural studies:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Whereas, not surprisingly, intercultural research is still in the phase of identifying and describing culture and cultural differences, what biological and physical sciences have done for centuries. They have systematized the object of their research in differentiated classifications with detailed specifications of all the variations within a species or a genotype. But they have gone far beyond the identification of genotypes and the description of phenotypes by the complementary identification of the microbiological or subatomic axioms that underpin the myriads of diverse variations within a category of nature. More peripheral description of nature has been completed long ago and one has decrypted the DNA of organic live, while in modern physics one has identified common laws of matter and energy that characterize the building blocks of nature. That has put man in a position of control over nature and provided the capability of engineering and reengineering it. In order to similarly be able to practice cultural engineering the corresponding next step of intercultural research needs to be taken. That is the quantum leap to a quantum cultural notion of interculturalism. It is possible and I have discovered it in transculturalism. By understanding the neurophysiologic and psychological axiomatic of the building blocks of culture one can similarly acquire greater control over cultural challenges. This involves and understanding of the psychological architecture which I have modeled and described from the point of view of global management and integrated in a transcultural management master model.

Indeed, the dictum “ripeness is all” - in the sense of the degree of progress is all - , seems to apply in the diverse fields of the arts and sciences here as well as elsewhere. Intercultural research is still trying to establish itself as a serious field of research and might for that reason have to sacrifice the more complex questions to the sacred cow of statistical methods and thereby lose the issue as a whole out of sight. A simple quantum optical effect of intercultural research which is not necessarily in the deeper interest of intercultural researcher and practitioners.

Based on the hypothesis of a replication in time of lead paradigms one can infer that a similar shift from the research phase of concepts, terminologies and taxonomies that establish a first form of order in the otherwise intellectually unmanageable diversity, to the next phase - possibly the transcultural paradigm - that unveils the laws underpinning cultural phenomena, is only a matter of time. It is part of man’s subduing of the world in line with the Christian Civilization’s understanding of the mission of man on earth. But stopping at what makes the difference between components of nature, the diverse species and phenomena is only a milestone on the road to the insight into their true nature. And it is the understanding of their nature as a whole that subdues them to man in the sense of making them sustainably manageable and controllable in the interest and to the benefit of mankind as large.

A long as the complete trajectory is not covered the map is not complete and without a complete mapping in biologically as well as other sciences, man - researcher or layman - will be disoriented in the maze of nature that of inner as well as that of outer nature. Based on the leader-follower logic in paradigm replications one may expect that the next milestone of intercultural research might be, literally as well as metaphorically speaking, the quantum leap, in the sense that complementary perceptions need to be leveraged of cultural phenomena alike in order to make intercultural research more productive as successive insights into the nature of matter and energy have made hard science more productive through the translation of a fuller understanding of nature in more sophisticated technological artifacts.

What is called subatomic, microbiological and quantum mechanics, whose route towards a scientific universalism goes deeper and deeper towards the microstructures, may be called supra- or transcultural (noetic) in the social world. Universalism in natural science passes through the microcosmic, universalism in human sciences tends to pass through the macrocosmic, while accounting more completely for the microcosmic human actor. It allows to square most singular individuality with in a unified field. In physics and biology feedback processes between most minute perceptions of reality and human scale phenomena are among the complementary views that enable progress. So the social translation of effectiveness of phenomenal and subatomic complementary perception would be the complementarity of human cultural and transcultural perceptions. Creativity results in both cases form the feedback between and integration of complementary perceptions of the object under scrutiny. They form a creative complementary energetic antagonism which translates as a spiral or a dance of creation where one vista, the minute in physics or cultural in the social world, triggers a response at the phenomenal or transcultural level. This energetic potentialization-actualization principle underpins epistemological creative processes translating as enhanced artifacts and performances.

Based on this energetic dynamism interculturalism needs to find its complementary pole as suggested by the two strands of the double helix of the DNA in biology or the particle – wave duality of the complementarity principle in microphysics. So, what is required is the identification of the complementary quid that can enter in a creative dialectic with interculturalism. Without this energetic dynamism nothing of relevance can happen in the cultural world, because it remains bloodless and energyless; lacking the vital flow of life it cannot grow and evolve unless it can benefit from an energetic dynamism that creates movement, evolution and spirals of creativity. Such energetic dynamisms seem to be active within the subatomic and microbiological domains as well as in the perceptual processes of scientific research itself. For a deeper understanding and a more effective translation of scientific paradigms it would be advisable to work as inter- and transdisciplinary teams that provide mutually complementary feedback and thereby trigger an interdisciplinary creative dynamism.

In addition to the intercultural dynamism which is limited to the diverse socio-cultural realm an additional inter-transcultural energetic dynamism of a higher order and greater potential can similarly be initiated. That would be a translation of scientific insights into the intercultural world. I have been saying that the lead paradigm developments require a step-by-step organic translation and integration, a science specific rewriting in a target science if the scientific edifice is to be solid and to have bearing power and sustainability. In order to achieve this sine qua non of a transculturally enhanced intercultural science the above synopsis of intercultural studies correlates the progression of hard and intercultural science paradigm shifts. The known does not need to be detailed as much as the identification of the upcoming paradigm shift which provides the complementary quantum optical (perception based on the quantum metaphor) cultural add-on required for a more holistic perception of culture and for the triggering of a creative feedback process between complementary perceptions of culture. In order to be systematic and to provide a little guidance to those who are not familiar with the development of intercultural epistemology I would like to briefly describe the major approaches and detail the above table “A Synopsis of Modern Intercultural Studies” somewhat:

Hofstede displays characteristics of Newtonian determinism as he allocates fixed positions to particular cultural actors. However, he relativizes this predetermined perception of the global cultural landscape by calling it a preprogramming which the cultural player can use at his discretion. In any case it soothes the insecure mind with regard to an otherwise anarchical intercultural chaos, comparable to a ship without an anchoring and lighthouse and instruments for orientation. The data from this research are particularly useful if they are contextualized in my integrative transcultural approach. Both together constitute a complementarity-based interactive dynamism that is effective.

The light of indeterminism appears in the guise of Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (THT), where fixed slot interculturalism becomes aleatory. Not the fixed cultural slot with its specific interfacing properties is prominent but the dynamics of interfacing delineate themselves. It can be viewed as a complementary, slightly varying optic that somewhat relativizes the predetermined positions of particular cultures. THT introduce hues of the complementary wave concept and of the momentum of the particular cultural positions. Yet they cannot specify what determines the wave or the momentum. It can be seen that there is a dawning awareness of what in physics terms Bohr’s complementarity theory and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle suggest. They make use of these dynamic concepts as well of the dance motive of interfacing values suggested by the biological sciences in the guise of the double helix of the DNA. Synergy implies an interactive dynamism and as such they are aware of the need of complementary poles for creative processes to take place.

Brannen and Salk go one step further and say “forget about the complementary pole 1 and focus on complementary pole 2”, i.e. the momentum or the wave as opposed to the position of the particular cultural particles (fixed slot cultural assumption or country cultural values). The particular cultural data cannot determine the outcome of intercultural processes. They have shifted the attention from complementary pole 1, the position of the cultural particle, at the expense of that one to complementary pole 2, the momentum. It seems to be a dialectical energetic response to the fixed positions intercultural theory, the mirror image of Hofstede. They got stuck in the complementary perceptual slot to Hofstede’s slot.

What all three seem to ignore is that, energetically speaking, the two arms of the cultural process are required for its sustainable management, the precise slot and the interfacing dynamics. And they need to be correctly correlated and integrated. Otherwise they are as useless as two uncoordinated human arms that would be unable to perform any effective action in the physical world. The quantum model summarizes is aptly: Position and momentum as well as particle and wave and their integration constitute the complete perception of cultural phenomena and their management. But where should one obtain the dynamic information which determines the behavior of the particular culture’s particular positions with regard to particular values or value preferences. The logic of position and particle is known if one gives credit to intercultural research data. The dynamic specification is more unknown. That is where intercultural approaches end. In order to and this siege one has to create an energetic dynamism that generates the energy that allows a break-through of the beleaguered mind by its own cultural constructs. The energy generated by this dynamism will provide the information about the momentum and the actual specification of the second complementary pole. This second arm makes culture manageable in line with the translation of quantum paradigm to a quantum cultural complete optic and allied greater effectiveness of the management of intercultural processes.

The diverse cultures constitute one level of complementarities but the transcultural perception is the actual pole that enables a powerful actualization-potentialization dynamism and specifies the momentum and the dynamics of the interfacing of the particular cultural particles. Diversity being established and described we need to identify the actual complementary pole to diversity in the human psyche. In a way one has to create awareness of and connect precultural and cultural man to transcultural man’s capability that has been provided for teleologically by evolution for the integration of the diverse human race.

The linear concept of time is not a complete one again. The diversification and integration thereof have been potentially there at the beginning, exactly as the complete diversified organism is there in the seed, in its DNA. Culturally diversified man and transculturally integrated man have been and are there concomitantly in man. This perception corresponds to a higher spiral turn of culture awareness building. In that sense the memory of the past is identical to the future of man at different stages of evolution. So the complementary transcultural pole is as old as man on earth an as new as the unknown tomorrow.

Biology and evolution transcend time by integrating them in the sense that all that has ever been there and will be there is there potentially and simultaneously at different levels of consciousness. That applies to diversity and unity to the cultural and the transcultural. At certain phases of evolution one is highlighted while the other eludes human consciousness in line again with the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle that states that while the position of a particle can be determined, its simultaneous momentum eludes and vice versa.

However, human consciousness can transcend this dialectic and be simultaneously aware of the position and the momentum of a cultural player’s particular cultural tendencies depending on the state of integration of the culture-time axis, that of diversity and its integration. Any cultural behaviour will be largely determined by an individual’s consciousness resulting from the integration of his perception of himself as being a culturally unique subject while partaking in the oneness of life per se. His position and awareness on this evolutionary continuum will determine at least his antagonizing and synergizing, ethnocentric, idiocentric or allocentric behaviours.

A fuller understanding of the time axis leads us further on the route to identifying the complementary poles underlying the creative energetic actualization–potentialization dynamism which can, comparable to the rockets of a space craft, lift man out of the realm of the siege of his mind by cultural man’s constraints of time. The integration of the time axis in consciousness leads beyond the prison of time and therefore of culture in which he has maneuvered himself due to his culturally conditioned lopsided perceptual processes, in line with the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle which, culturally translated, confirms the difficulty or impossibility to simultaneously determine diversity and unity of life or cultures. The integration of the two is the integration of time, of evolution and of cultures and this constitutes the transcultural launching pad towards a higher level of integrative, of transcultural awareness and therefore greater global managerial effectiveness in all spheres and walks of life.

So, based on the quantum paradigm as a metaphor and the teleology of evolution we could identify the complementary quid the second energetic pole that enable a potentialization-actualization dynamism which is integrative of time and therefore culture a fruit of time. The solution of the question of time as foreseen by evolution is actually the solution of the all questions of culture and the management of its diversity. The solution of the question of time as the determinant of culture solves cultural questions at their root. To illustrate this I will visualize the psychological architecture of an international manager in the concrete management context in the following chapter, in which the cultural and the transcultural complementary poles are integrated and form an intercultural evolution spiral in the sense that the higher one evolves transculturally the more integrative intercultural power one achieves.

A major key to the distillation of the transcultural dimension or level is the integration of the time axis, it is its result and is helped by the awareness that it is a priori provided by the teleological wisdom of ontogeny and phylogeny. The reason why it eludes man is explicable by a principle of energy itself in the shape of the uncertainty relationship which states that in the energetic subatomic world one can either determine the positions or the momentum of a particle but not both simultaneously.

Cultural man has been conditioned to look culturally and universal man eluding him. He materializes an analogous world to his perception. Now man has to become aware of his conditioned lopsided awareness and work on the reintegration of the two optics, i.e. that of time, mind and culture on the one hand and that of time transcending transcultural consciousness and awareness on the other hand. The integration of the two happens naturally as a consequence of the awareness of the complete axis of time and its impact. The concomitant perceptions are there. They are one. In this oneness resides the master key to all cultural diversity management issues.

This intuition has been formulated by cultures and civilizations across time and space and due to the duality of perception of either cultural particulars or their dynamic one or the other has been privileged by certain cultures and certain eras. But what is required is the integration of the entire continuum to create the cultural energy resulting from the cultural and the transcultural interactive dynamic that generates an unlimited space and scope with a cryptic kind of unexplored resource to be leveraged at that moment of human evolution. This latent cryptic resource provides the integrative momentum.

The proverb “When the one-eyed man leads the blind they both fall in the ditch” and the complementary Asian koan’s invitation to clap with one hand are complementary cultural perceptions of an imperative necessity, i.e. that we have to investigate and we have to find, at least hypothetically, that complementary transcultural pole to the intercultural which provides the energetic momentum required for cultural higher evolution in the interest and for the benefit of global man. The complete perception of culture integrates the requirements of diversity and unity alike. They are part of the human DNA. As means and motors of evolution they are not antagonistic to each other but mutually necessary; a perception which eludes the exclusively time and conditioning-based mental cultural approach. The reintegration of the view is the reintegration of time and therefore of cultures. This integration is compliant with a biological order and not lopsided mental abstraction.


If one can integrate the time axis based on the understanding of evolution all potentialities of the psyche are available. It can function in the cultural and in the transcultural mode, in the diversifying or integration mode. The two modes and their integration are present in the draft of a master model of transcultural management on page 41. Time, evolution and the cultural modes which might be called precultural, cultural and transcultural are complementary aspects of man’s heritage. The actual perception of the totality leads to their integration and their transcendence.

The intercultural mode of the medium and bottom levels of the architectural metaphor of the transcultural managerial psychological infrastructure and the transcultural mode of its top levels are not only complementary vistas – based on the quantum notion – that represent the cultural fact more holistically and effectively with regard to global management challenges, but based on an analogy of the neurophysiologic principle of functional subordination and structural integration, the transcultural mode functions as a higher nervous center capability that has the power to integrate the subordinate structure of the mind which is the storehouse of cultural programming. The two sections of the edifice fulfill these two powerful laws of microphysics and neurophysiology and additionally constitute an evolution spiral in the sense that one achieves ever more culture integrative capability as one evolves higher on the transcultural section of the psychological edifice. So, one can conceptualize it as a cybernetic circuit.

It thereby additionally fulfills the conditions of an actualization-potentialization dynamism between the transcultural and the intercultural modes of the psyche if the transcultural capabilities are, whose interactive, creative dynamism sets in motion a self-perpetuating problem-solving and management process based on the structurally and functionally integrative virtues of the superordinate transcultural dimension.

This master model of global transcultural management is last but not least a 12 times 12 dimensional, or 12 octaves model. 12 squared further implies completeness to the power of two, as that number is usually related to completeness. As such it can be said to cover the totality of registers of the human cultural as well as transcultural mind. And based on the complementary wave conception of culture (derived from the particle – wave duality of the complementarity principle Bohr’s), the transcultural registers can accord and harmonize the lower intercultural registers. Here the conventional particle conception of culture is complemented by the wave conception and translated as frequencies which cover a range of 12 octaves. The cultural virtuoso is only the one who can also use the upper harmonizing, integrating and according registers where true sustainable cultural integration and reconciliation originates.

The draft of the master model thus embodies a range of natural laws and axioms and as a 12 times 12 dimensional architectural DOME metaphor it is symbolical of completeness and the sacred and suggests an archetypal structure that is also present and replicated in other domains of science and technology.

Therefore I have also multi-modeled it in various technical metaphors for technically- minded interculturalists and students of intercultural management as follows:

Multi-model of the psychological architecture of the intercultural manager in the managerial context

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Redirecting one’s gaze at the consciousness (dimensions 1-3) behind the conditioned mind (dimensions 4-12) and accessing that resource reestablishes structural and functional integrity and embodies the natural cultural management principle based on an integrated phyisiological, physical, psychological and philosophical axiomatic.

In the next section you will find a detailed visualization, legend and explanation of the transcultural management model or transcultural profiler; transcultural profiler because it can be used to describe, compare, diagnose and match cultural profiles and provide a true roadmap for cultural integration in a cultural complex, multifactored world in a scientifically consistent way. What I have described repeatedly from various angles does not need to be reinvented. So, for the purpose of familiarizing the reader with the transcultural approach as a powerful enhancement of intercultural management, I shall insert my paper “Masters of Culture – Supreme Cultural Intelligence” which I wrote last year:

And in the subsequent section I would like to address the German readers more specifically by summarizing the history of intercultural research by Hofstede, THT, Hall, Brannen and Salk and by showing how the transcultural approach can consistently and beneficially integrate those diverse approaches, for which I obviously am merely a mouthpiece and a relay, a humble messenger of the work of those eminent intercultural scholars and do not pretend to any credit whatsoever for this section, except for my contribution of a multidimensionally derived logic for their integration.

To trigger a dual language based interactive dynamic and to pay heed to my German readers I shall present the emergent transcultural paradigm in a step-by-step approach. For this purpose I will introduce a chapter in dual German-English mode. The English part is again highly relevant for the committed monolingual English reader as well because it explains how state-of-the art intercultural synergy methods as developed and popularized by THT can be similarly enhanced by the transcultural management approach.

Based on notions of physics and metaphysics as well as other paths of knowledge the intercultural and the transcultural approaches to the management of intercultural issues in an enhanced way are complementary whereby the transcultural approach assumes an integrative lead role consistent with scientific evidence to be validated. There is no substitution intended by one for the other, because it would disenable the interactive, energetic, creative dynamism which requires a bipolar and integrative construct. Therefore the two need to be dealt with simultaneously, aware of their interconnection. For that reason the final chapters cover inter- and transcultural approaches alike.


In this heading a twofold monumental assumption is hidden: Supreme cultural intelligence can be equated to true cultural enlightenment. But in order to be truly enlightened in cultural matters a shadowless light is required. And as culture is part of the psychological architecture of man, the entire mental infrastructure needs to be illumined, for if one component of the whole casts a shadow, the entire mental architecture and with it the cultural contents will be affected and darkened and thus impair the desired uncorrupted cultural intelligence which can only blossom in a pristine, pure mind. This rather perfect state is that of mastership of culture, for it will only radiate the pristine purity of the mind in the outer world and soothe cultural tensions, wounds and conflicts.

Such mastership is cultural healing and mediation of the highest order. Supreme cultural masters will not need any technique, because their state of being and their mere presence - and even at a distance - they will benefit mankind. They approach sainthood.

And such saints rather than intercultural manipulators we need in today's world. We need the supreme intelligence of cultural masters to remedy eons of cultural and other conditioning of man. The cultural specialist more often than not is not of such a caliber, although the saint and the specialist may reside in the same physical garb. But culture experts might not want to be true cultural masters for then the expert would no longer have a need to be. The cultural master-saint makes any expertise irrelevant. The master has left behind himself the toolkit of mental and cultural instruments and techniques. He has transcended the mind which is the carrier and creator of the cultural problems as well as of the instruments and techniques for their resolution.

Recently I attended an organ improvisation concert: Every virtuoso appeared before his performance in front of the select professional audience to introduce the theme of his improvisation. One would improvise on the Marseillaise or on some other known theme. After some outstanding technical improvisations an organist appeared in front of the audience and declared that he didn’t know what he would improvise on but that he might know once had ascended the steps of the staircase to the powerful instrument. His technically and thematically non-premeditated performance touched the audience because he was a masterful improviser. The budo expert who is beyond technique defeats his opponents by his mere presence because he is in tune with the universe. And who would attack the universe unless he wants to risk a complete loss of face? The Bible states: “if you can believe you can move mountains.” Those three examples from music, martial arts and religion illustrate the possibility of drawing on a principle that transcends the purely mental realm of man. It is the rationale behind superior performance from a more potent source than that of the mind which cannot contain and encompass that resource. And this capacity to transcend the mind is the hallmark of the masters in all three instances. They have mastered the mind which along with its extraordinary capacity also causes the problems and engineers the problem solving techniques.

Having fully mastered the mind they have become masters. They are fully aware of its capabilities. The awareness of its relativity provides access to vaster resources. A master of culture therefore analogously has to have the ability to master and thereby transcend the cultural component of the mind which is part of the entire mental architecture. Thus he will have to master the entire interconnected mental architecture. The entire mental edifice will have to be illumined so as to cast no shadow that would pollute the inner environment. Such is the mental stature of a master of culture. As culture is recorded in the mind cultural and mental mastership are interdependent and interconnected. Its achievement leads to cultural enlightenment and that enlightenment illumines the entire environment. A darkened inner environment with strong personal, professional cultural and cultural egos will act as a barrier to the transcendence and the mastery of the mind along with its cultural contents and prevent masterhood. Those professionals who do not at least aspire at masterhood - however expert and highly paid - cast a cultural shadow and their work will backfire over time. Here, the adage “who does not aspire at the highest partakes in the lowest” seems to apply.

The cultural master does not have to preach. “Veni, vidi, vici” is his strategic motto. His seeing is doing, his presence cleanses and mediates. He works by resonance and radiation. He is in tune with the ocean that simply resorbs the ripples and waves of clashing cultures. That is his very nature. The serious seeker and aspirant to cultural masterhood needs to expand his conscious awareness beyond the confines of mental cultural intelligence in order to connect to the ocean of cultural intelligence beyond it.

The growth process towards cultural masterhood and enlightenment is the birthright of any man, cultural expert or layman. To resolve the world’s cultural challenges cultural enlightenment in the sense of an all encompassing cultural intelligence is required. Otherwise cultural intelligence remains part of the sphere of cultural problem creation and cultural problem solving, at a level at which the problem scenarios cannot be solved sustainably but merely reconfigured. Cultural solutions at that level remain reversible and will reemerge in different shapes, forms and configurations. The sustainable solution offered by enlightened cultural mastery will connect the problem to the pristine source, the clashes of the cultural waves to the ocean. This act of reconnection in consciousness is a reintegration which implies the return to integrity, wholeness and health and unity through transcendence.

The act of reconnection to the source is not an antagonizing logic and strategy, but an action of a different order and of recontextualizing the issue in consciousness so that the totality of consciousness can provide its integrating power, which is its very nature. It does not in any way act on the problem directly but the change of the optic, the widening of it liberates an integrative momentum and energy which resorbs the trouble into its source. It is a form of cultural reverse engineering or trouble shooting when the cultural conflict has occurred. The process rewinds the conflicting mental recordings and thereby deletes them. Once the tape is deleted and the slate wiped clean one needs to be actively aware to keep it in that pristine state of high level cultural intelligence. Supreme cultural intelligence will autopilot the process and instantaneously reconnect to the cleansing source when a problem appears at the horizon. Conscious contact with the ocean, the source, the light, is the hallmark of a professional who has achieved supreme cultural intelligence. That means that he is immune because the source is always new.

The roadmap towards cultural enlightenment which this day and age yearns for follows a personal track record of cultural turmoil or the sensitively intelligent awareness of fellow humans’ cultural sorrow and suffering. The confrontation with the own and the world’s cultural shadow will induce the aspirant to seek that cultural light which can illumine the shadow. Fighting the cultural shadows of the world usually further narrows the horizons of awareness of those involved in cultural antagonism and tends to increase the severity of the problem to be solved, for only light can remove darkness.

Similarly cultural enlightenment can integrate and dissolve cultural shadows by expanding mental horizons. This is a more promising and sustainable response by virtue of a logic that transcends mental, cultural dialectics. The mind’s pendulum-like swinging energy is brought to a standstill. This standstill is not the end and death but the stillness and peace brought about by a liberation from the constraints of cultural shackles; a peace which needs to be reconquered continuously in consciousness and awareness for the antagonistically swinging pendulum of conflict will set in as soon as it slips out of awareness, as a dog may run away when one drops the lead; then your consciousness drops back into the old grooves of the mind with its natural dialectics. But the light of transcultural consciousness with its supreme cultural intelligence has the ability to always renew itself. The ocean of consciousness and intelligence behind the cultural streams and waves has the same restorative power as the real ocean has integrative power of myriads of currents. In the longer term its access can become a new learnt state of being, enhanced awareness and transcultural bliss instead of cultural turmoil. Thus one can reengineer today’s global cultural challenge in a launching pad towards global peace.

However, one has to be aware of and also master a potential antagonistic dialectic between the transcultural and the cultural mind. If consciousness is not anchored in the pristine ocean, the mind seeks and takes its chance to drag you in a devastating fight between its shadow and the light of transcultural intelligence. Therefore only supreme cultural intelligence is the solution to this potential tension between the problem and the attempts to solve it in a non-invasive, non-destructive, non-dialectical manner. The nature of the mind tends to be dialectical. Pure consciousness tends to be non-dialectical. The latter integrates the former and not the other way round. It is an integrative hierarchy. That is the inner landscape and its interplay is a strong determinant of the totality of the field of the inner and outer landscapes of man. The seed is inside, the flower is outside. The seed contains the totality of the potentiality of the nourishing wheat and the polluting weed alike. Supreme cultural intelligence requires a constant attendance to the condition of the inner humus and to the nature and quality of the seeds one sows there, because they will manifest analogously and seamlessly in the outer world. Due to man’s psychological and ethical evolution there will be a concomitance and an intermingling of weed as well as of wheat. The biblical parable of the dialectic between the wheat and the weed points to the same strategy as the transcultural intelligence approach, where the situation is cleared from a superordinate vantage point rather than through antagonization.

The Christian Bible’s supreme command is first and foremost love, which is supreme intelligence and which also encompasses supreme cultural intelligence, because it draws on the non-dialectical ocean of all encompassing and all forgiving love as a panacea and for man’s salvation. Here, love heals the wounds of the erring human mind. The fact of accessing a higher order understanding brings about the solution in the cultural as well as the biblical approaches. And both approaches are born from higher wisdom as well as ethical. And as the Christian world and beyond has been socialized to supreme cultural intelligence throughout its history as one can see there is nothing exotic nor esoteric in my supreme cultural intelligence proposition. It has been a command for ages based on timeless wisdom irrespective of cultural background. But the mind has different inclinations that tend to ignore the timeless, most precious gem and most noble value. It slips out of man’s awareness because the “dog of the mind”, due to its dialectical nature from which it seems to derive its energy and pleasure, likes to engage in a tug of war at the lead of consciousness which is its guiding and integrating master. But the mind is therefore not a culprit. It simply requires its natural reconnection and reintegration to be whole and fully functional, as the dog requires an orderly relationship with his master. For, disconnected from the source, there is no continuity which translates another Biblical dictum, namely that of “separated from Me you can do nothing”. It follows that from a Biblical or consciousness research standpoint the mind as the carrier of cultural conditioning needs a mooring in a superordinate dimension of awareness or truth which is supported by neurophysiologic research.


Excerpt out of 273 pages


Intercultural Errors Versus Transcultural Solutions
A Blueprint
Interkulturelles Management
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ISBN (Book)
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with a passage in German
intercultural management, transcultural management, international diversity management multicultural management, cross-cultural management, intercultural consultancy, intercultural training, global management, intercultural mediation, intercultural communication
Quote paper
D.E.A./UNIV. PARIS I Gebhard Deissler (Author), 2011, Intercultural Errors Versus Transcultural Solutions, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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