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Monday, November 30, 2015

Paradigms


This I contend is the insight that leads us into the postmodern world: We not only use the fictions and symbols of imagination to know our world--as did our premodern and modern ancestors. But we now know that we do. That gives us tremendous power and responsibility.

There are no absolutes out there. Although things, including us, are not absolute, neither are they relative. They are relational.

The world is neither determined, nor random. We construct it. The universe is not a choice between mind or matter, but rather of mind in matter.

The postmodern person realizes that there are paradigms--imaginative mindsets. Indeed the paradigm of paradigms is itself a paradigm. And none of them are true. Even the one that is now shaping my beliefs. And then the postmodern person goes on, as Donella Meadows says "to regard that whole realization as devastatingly funny." It is why the Buddha laughs.

"People who cling to paradigms (just about all of us) take one look at the spacious possibility that everything they think is guaranteed to be nonsense and pedal rapidly in the opposite direction. Surely there is no power, no control, no understanding, not even a reason for being, much less acting, in the notion or experience that there is no certainty in any worldview. But, in fact, everyone who has managed to entertain that idea, for a moment or for a lifetime, has found it to be the basis for radical empowerment. If no paradigm is right, you can choose whatever one will help you achieve your purpose."


We can ascribe that purpose to whatever deity we want, to a special intuition, to our upbringing and education, or to our experience with others. Whatever the reason we give, we choose our purpose and can modify the imaginative order that helps us achieve it.

Shall we go for it?

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