The symbolic language of the crucifixion is the death of the old paradigm; resurrection is a leap into a whole new way of thinking. What happens is consciousness operates in mysterious ways. One of those ways is that the old paradigm suddenly starts to die.” — Deepak Chopra
Remember these words from the Beatles song . . . . “Imagine Peace. Imagine all the people Living life in peace… You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, And the world will be as one.”
What do you think when you hear the phrase, “A world that works for everyone”? The idea that there could ever be anything that works for everyone is huge, and to further imagine a “world” that works for everyone is gigantic. Is this pie-in-the-sky thinking and we are simply kidding ourselves, or is there a deeper knowing? A more expansive possibility?
This post is about exploring the concept of paradigms and why general principles, sets of ideas, beliefs and/or systems of theories generally called paradigms serve us until they don’t.
As we know, it is not easy to take new ideas into old consciousness; it is not easy to take new possibilities of seeing into an old way of being. We have all seen lottery winners who in several months time are back in their previous financial situation. Why? Because their consciousness wasn’t aligned with the new paradigm consciousness of prosperity. They won outwardly but were not able to sustain their new found wealth, because nothing had changed inwardly.
Before we yield to the temptation to tsk, tsk the lottery winner/losers, as a quick experiment to illustrate how our experience can influence our perception and expectation, I invite you to reread the following quote a couple of times. Even though I have given you a heads up, see if you experience as I did, what psychologist call confirmation bias:
|Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.
How did you understand the second sentence? Did you have to think what it was actually meaning? If you caught it the first time around, kudos. If you didn’t, join me and most of the human race.
This is where confirmation bias kicks in. Notice that the word “like” is being used in a particular context. The first sentence defines the context and so because of our prior experience, the brain expects the second sentence to be similar. When the context is switched in mid-sentence, it tends to become confused.
Paradigm and Expectations
However, the good news is paradigms are a part of the way our brains work
and we all rely on them. We develop habits and routines and turn over certain activities to autopilot. Going on “autopilot” is useful so as not to overburden the brain with trivialities, thus freeing it for important things, like surviving.
On the other hand, what happens when what we have accepted as the model, pattern or example of how things work in the world and the usual way of thinking or doing no longer serve us. What if a new and different way calls for a paradigm shift?
Perhaps we can envision what a paradigm shift might look like in our individual lives by considering some scenarios that may be more personal.
As we know, the new exciting possibilities call for a change in your thinking; letting go of old beliefs and behaviors and essentially becoming what it is that is wanting to emerge through and as your life. In other words, it requires a shift in a new paradigm.
Otherwise, the new habits, new behaviors, new possibilities for improving our lives get lost and we find ourself back into the old patterns and routines. What happened? I believe the keywords are, “nothing changed.” Hmmm! Sounds familiar to the lottery winner/losers story doesn’t it!
New Ideas and Old Mind-sets
Jesus addressed this kind of situation when he used the powerful parable of wine and wineskins to make the point you can’t put new ideas into old mind-sets. You can’t get new results with old behaviors when he said, “No one puts new wine into old wineskins: otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins: but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” — Mark 2:22
To put fresh wine into old wineskin is asking for trouble. The old wineskin
has assumed a definite shape and is no longer pliable. It is fixed and somewhat brittle. The activity of the fermenting new wine will stress it beyond its ability to yield. And both the wine and the skin are lost.
What if from this parable Jesus was teaching that the seeming failure to carry out our exciting ideas and new possibilities are less about willpower, weak faith, or low confidence, and more about an old mind-set or old behavior that is stuck in an old paradigm that doesn’t fit the new paradigm?
So what is the secret to our taking new ideas and bringing them in so that we will have a real and lasting change in our lives?
In the New Testament we find Paul speaking to his friends in Rome, saying, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude…” Romans 12:2 Amplified Bible
As we know for most of us it is a process. In the Buddhist tradition, it is called Kensho. Kensho is a process through which we all are evolving spiritually. It is a gradual process where a person keeps learning from his or her experiences and receives various insights that slowly pushes him or her towards their next stage of growth and expansion.
New and Old Paradigm Perpectives
For the purposes of this post, I am referring to this process as paradigm shift because it does require some degree of awakening and willingness to let go of what is no longer serving us. I have created an acronym 101 of an example of new and old paradigm thinking and consciousness. The purpose is to enlarge upon what new wine and old wineskin consciousness might look like.
I love the way Stephen Covey puts it, he writes, “If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.”
However, while I have illustrated a dramatic contrast, actually the nuances between your current paradigm and the changes necessary to move into the new paradigm to which the Universe is calling you can be more subtle.
Wherever we are in our growth process, it is important to be aware without self-condemnation. As we open ourselves to divine wisdom and become aware of the things that no longer are serving us, let’s bless them as we release them.
While moving into the paradigm of the world that works for everyone is a huge shift, Leroy Hood offers this comforting and reassuring statement, “Don’t underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems.”
Is the wineskin of your consciousness soft, pliable and capable of containing a vision of the world that works for everyone?
As we know, we are what we think all day long. Let’s align ourselves with the Infinite Source of Life and let Life flow through us as right action and true expression.
As always, on this site, there are, affirmations, and meditations to support you on your journey to self-empowerment.
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LOL = Lots Of Love