IISC and the Paradigm Shift

June 28, 2012 Leave a comment

It is early Easter Sunday morning before the ham and scalloped potatoes go in the oven but after sunrise and meditation. This particular holy day/holiday brims with meaning and metaphor about death and resurrection: the suffering and darkness that always precedes awareness and light, the old giving way to the new, the biblical nature of the times within which we live.

No small challenge to be making our way through the complete collapse not simply (did she say simply?) of the structures and systems that have held this world together for the last 300 years but more daunting, even, is the collapse of the very beliefs and thinking that produced those systems. Therein lies the real challenge…changing our minds.

I recently came across a quote from the classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig:

“If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a government but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves… There’s so much talk about the system and so little understanding.”

With all the talk of how quantum mechanics and the new science has completely restructured how we understand reality it is puzzling that our thinking remains more old world Newtonian than new world “Tao of Physics”

Our poor sad selves can’t seem to stop compulsively stoking the monkey-mind fire with e-mails, voicemails, instant messages, facebook check-ins, tweets, meetings and channel surfing long enough to allow the mind to quiet the hell down to create, to intuit and know rather than judge, opine and attach.

Seriously could it be that simple or paradoxically that hard??????

No Comments

  • Linda Guinee says:

    Beautiful post, Marianne. I must admit that I know absolutely nothing about physics – so couldn’t tell you the difference between Newtonian physics and the Tao of Physics (even if I sat down with them for dinner).

    Your post does raise for me questions about who the “we” is, which “our” we are talking about. The wide diversity within our communities means that there is a wide range, from the early adopters who run ahead of us and live into the future to those who want some assurance before being willing to change – and all sorts of us in between. Which raises a question for me of power (no surprise to those who know me) – in the sense Clarissa Rile Hayward talks about, of “defining the field of the possible.” How do we make those kinds of shifts – in what we see as possibilities? And yes – how do we quiet our minds long enough to know this? Living, growing systems, it seems, do this all the time – if we can only listen and learn…

  • Gibran says:

    Thanks Marianne for the generosity of your blog, I truly appreciate a voice that can inquire and propose at the same time. Your words resonate very deeply for me, you seem to capture an important aspect of my own quandary.

    As I read Linda’s reply, I’m not sure what to do with this question of assurance or how to be towards those who seek it – how can I offer something that I’m not so sure exists?

    I think part of the ethos of the Newtonian paradigm you speak of is precisely about this quest for permanence and predictability as we grasp for security in an unpredictable world – well, it’s falling apart anyway!

    So how do we all learn to be in the uncertainty of “what is” and realize that our fullness is right here?

  • Linda says:

    Since reading this this morning, I’ve been thinking a lot about William Bridges work on working not just with change, but (perhaps more importantly) with transitions. He has a wonderful piece online that seems relevant: http://www.wmbridges.com/pdf/getting-thru-wilderness-2006-v2.pdf

  • Here’s to hoping that the barrage of emails, tweats, and other forms of information overload that you’re speaking of create the kind of mountain of ‘disconfirming evidence’ that is needed to dislodge one paradigm and make way for another!

  • Andria Winther says:

    How to dislodge one paradigm and make way for a new? Cells come up for me. What’s stored at a cellular level — and heaven forbid if the old paradigm is stored in our fat cells (lots of stuff are, this may sound like a joke, but it’s only a half a ha-ha).
    Back to the broader cellular question…..Carolyn Myss offers that “biography is biology”, our history and lived experience translates to our physical beings — mind, body, spirit……..sounds like no part of us or our structures can be left behind in a paradigm shift–

  • There is certainly a great deal to know about this topic. I love all of the points you made.

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