What is a Paradigm?

"A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline."

 

A paradigm is a map of reality as it has been reported to the system.

 

In other words, what's not on the map, does not exist or is not being acknowledged as "real."

 

We guide our daily actions by means of paradigms that shape our view of the world. But since the map is not the territory, whenever features in the territory come up in our journeys that have not been included in our "map of reality," we either incorporate them by modifying our worldview, or we ignore the new elements and move on as if they didn't exist.

 

However, there are certain paradigms that are just too large, too deeply ingrained in our society, to simply, and individually, ignore them.

 

Like the time when the world was believed to be flat, and the horizon the end of the world where a cliff led into an infinite abyss. Ships did not dare to sail beyond the horizon, to stray too far from land. Navigation used mainly coastal features to help in orientation, and the stars were limited to pointing north, or south.

 

The shift in worldview implied not only that there was no "end" to the flatness, but that it wasn't flat at all.

 

A worldview crisis ensued.

 

The world wasn't flat, or even round, but spherical. The stars, the heavens, our place in the universe shifted.

 

Or rather, our perception of it opening up new dimensions.

 

And so it happens with every single one of our worldviews, where a shift brings greater freedom to how we can act, and live.

 

But such freedom of the mind is a dangerous thing. Control of the masses is based on the fact that they all sing to the same tune, and walk the same paths, and do not stray from the common worldview.

 

The problem is that the symptoms of a paradigm shift are very similar to the symptoms we have when someone very dear to us, someone very near, dies. It is a feeling of loss, a deep pain, and sometimes we would rather not face that pain.

 

With a paradigm, we can have the luxury of knowing there is a different way, but not acting on it. Usually this happens because something is holding us back, something physical, something deeply tangible yet paradoxically also something we don't understand.

 

We think we do, but we really don't.

 

The more convinced we are, the less likely we'll be ready to look at the inconsistencies ingrained in our worldview, at the larger picture, because usually those "things" are too close to home. Leading to something known as "confirmation bias."

 

Because our worldview is what makes us who we are.

 

It is what allows us to survive …

 

When in fact they are what have made us the slaves of our own delusions.

 

Until we experience a paradigm shift.

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