Paradigm Shifting: Creativity Through Paradigm Shifting
A paradigm is a fundamental world view. It’s how you see and understand the world you live in. A paradigm is formed from a mixture of current scientific ‘fact’, best guesses and the comfortable fictions of belief. Most people are deeply engrained with their paradigm. Changing it in even the slightest way causes deep anxiety and discomfort. Depending on the nature of the person they will adapt to the change quickly, slowly or not at all. In the latter case, they will resist the evidence of the change in paradigm.
Paradigm shifts occur when an old idea is replaced with a new idea. Ideally, paradigm shifts are evolutionary and progressive. This is not always the case. Examples of paradigm shifts
include Columbus proving the world was round not flat, Gallileio introducing the concept of heliocentrism rather than geocentrism, or the people of the world coming to terms with an alien invasion in the movie, Independence Day
.Unconscious becomes conscious
Paradigm shifts can be likened to unconscious bits of information becoming conscious. Like those moments of illumination when you suddenly recognise a pattern of behaviour as emanating from some childhood event. Paradigm shifts are revolutionary. They stop you in your tracks. They surprise you because they break the skin of your accepted beliefs and comfort zones, and inject new knowledge, energy and life into your experience.
Some paradigm shifts are global. The pictures taken of the ‘Earthrise’, during the first moon walk, are said to have caused a paradigm shift in humanity’s understanding and appreciation of our shared planet.
Some paradigm shifts are personal. Like when you discover your guru is a sleaze bag or your preacher is a pervert. Your cherished beliefs are assaulted by the rude awakening. You are forced to question what you have been believing in.
If paradigm shifts cause new awareness, new understanding and ‘movement’ in your mental positioning … it’s got to be a good thing for creativity, insight and discovery.
So, we want to explore the idea of deliberate paradigm shifting.The role of paradigm shifting
Deliberate paradigm shifting can start with your 'trying-on' of various existing paradigms. In this instance, you want to take the attitude of being an actor taking on a new role for a season on the stage, or for the duration of a movie. He or she goes into it, knowing that it is for a limited duration, and that they will emergy from it the other side. Knowing also that it is just a mantle that they assume during the play or during filming. They put it down again afterwards. However, while in the play or during filming, the actor attempts to become that character, and fill that role completely.
This is a good attitude to have when exploring paradigm shifting.Who you are
Start by defining your own current paradigm. Make thumbnail notes on what it is you believe about ‘life, the universe and everything’. Most people define themselves by their beliefs. Your paradigm is an important reference point for defining who you are. Without it, you can feel lost, like you don’t know who you are anymore. If you take the time to define your own personal world view, you can leave it there, written down, while you explore alternatives.The 'current paradigms' changing room
Next, look around you and explore alternative paradigms. Perhaps you can explore the paradigm of someone like Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion
. And contrast that to the paradigm of Sai Baba or Pope Benedict. Compare the paradigm of Gandhi to that of someone like Carlos the Jackal.
You can explore scientific paradigms, social paradigms, racial or sexual paradigms. As you shift through paradigms, what will you discover?What it takes to shift paradigms
Paradigm shifting takes a certain amount of courage and a great deal of awareness. You will be shaken up. You will be stretched out of your comfort zones. And this is a good thing. We are too comfortable in our definitions. Too at ease within out accepted limits. Too stubborn about what we know. We treat our paradigms like hammers and see everything else as a nail. We stoically apply what we know to every situation regardless of whether it really works or not.Breaking up the ice
By paradigm shifting, you break up these crusted formations in your mind. Like an ice breaker, your paradigm shifts allow the water of life and creativity and insight to flow again. Paradigm shifting makes minds more flexible, fluid and adaptable. You become more creative by having the mental fluency to adopt new ideas, new insights and incorporate them into your thinking.Paradigm Tolerance
This concept of paradigm shifting may help you develop a tolerance for the real ground-shaking paradigm shifts that may occur in your lifetime. Paradigm shifts occur on a heirarchical scale of importance. Your insight that your backache only occurs when you get scared about your finances may shake your personal paradigm… but it wouldn’t rock your world like someone inventing and making widely available an anti-gravity suit so you can fly.
Go on! Lever open your mind with deliberate paradigm shifting.
Labels: belief systems, change, paradigm shift, transformation