Changing the Way You Think about Change
In five books on change, I share my personal journey of loss, confusion, search and discovery. In sum, they offer practical ways to achieve the holistic, compassionate manner of thinking which Einstein, a fellow violinist, called for as a matter of human survival.
Rethinking Survival: Getting to the Positive Paradigm of Change tells the story of early events that turned my life upside down. Secrets surrounding the death of my cardiologist father were one mystery to be solved.
So were other riddles: how to accept myself as a woman in a world that taught me to despise myself; how to restore trust when the people I was supposed to believe and respect betrayed me.
And then there was the burning question, Who AM I? Really. A nagging voice deep inside kept calling me to remember something I’d forgotten. It was as if a missing part from my ancient past wouldn’t let go until I recognized and restored it back into my life.
I searched for what was missing in all the books I could get my hands on; went to schools and got degrees. I traveled widely, even living briefly in India at a ashram, and practiced yoga. I intentionally balanced theory with experience, working in a variety of business and law settings.
The end result: the Positive Paradigm of Change. I was astonished to find that it embodies of the Unified Theory of fellow violinist Einstein’s heart’s desire. Ironically, without yoga background, he had no idea of what he’d received. Amazingly, I found that the Life Wheel with its concentric circles, the levels of manifestation joined in an infinite loop, is equally compatible with the perennial philosophy shared in common by the world’s enduring wisdom traditions and with modern physics.
This universal reality “road map” answers comparative religion legend Joseph Campbell’s call for a creation story which recognizes the humanity of everyone, everywhere. It is a profoundly simple yet complete and correct model upon which scientists and sages can agree.
All this began with a hint from an Asian history course that kept coming back.
So in the early 70’s when I left the U.S. to live in Europe, all I carried with me was my 200-year-old Mathias Thier violin and one small suitcase. Of what I packed, part was clothing. The rest was sheet music and one small book. . . the Legge translation of the I Ching (The Book of Change). Though I could barely get through a page or two before giving up, I knew this was the beginning of something really really important.
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The Common Sense Book of Change evolved as an easy-to-read version of this classic. Because I found it so difficult to reach the fundamental value buried beneath layers of unnecessary sexism, elitism and scholarly jargon of available versions, I felt compelled to produce a book for others that rings true to the timeless essence that helped me answer my own urgent questions. It confirmed what I knew deep within, even and especially when the world did not.
The Introduction includes clear, easy-to-read instructions. Accessible to anyone with basic English skills and an open mind, the text gives a direct, hands-on experience of the decision-making tool used by truth seekers and leaders in every walk of life for thousands of years.
Following Jung’s example, I asked, “What does The Common Sense Book of Change have to offer its readers?” The result was AWARENESS. One changing line leads to GAIN.
Because comparisons develop an appreciation for the universal idea, deeper than words, which underlies individual modes of expression, I followed with a section called “Other Versions.” It quotes from complimentary comments on AWARENESS.
I recommend that The Common Sense Book of Change be used first to increase self-understanding, then to create harmony between the inner world of self and outer world of others. The title Common Sense reflects my experience that the interactive Book of Change is a powerful way to get in touch with the native common sense we’re all born with, but too often forget under the pressures of hectic daily life.
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Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change evolved as a companion to the I Ching. Few realize that this universally loved mystical, poetic book is seeped in I Ching science and philosophy. So too, those unfamiliar with the Yoga Sutras don’t appreciate how closely the Tao Te Ching resembles yogic wisdom. Two Sides was produced to connect these dots.
The book’s title comes from the first Passage:
According to legend, Taoist immortals actually attained the heightened state of awareness which Einstein knew to be possible. Practicing yogic methods to master their inner nature, these sages succeeded in transcending the illusion of time. Their attainment is described in Passage 2:
Thus, according to the enduring philosophy and science of change, true fundamentalists and radicals (both words originally meant the same thing) are not those who meddle with events on the Life Wheel’s material surface, but individuals with the courage and vision to change themselves from the inside out. From that inner change, all outer changes follow.
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Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide was written to link the I Ching and its next generation spin- off, the Positive Paradigm of Change, with calculus, the binary digital code of computer science, yoga anatomy, DNA and the modern medical tradition.
The title came from brain-storming with a business consultant. She had no idea what the I Ching was about. She asked me to tell her. When I described the many benefits of working with The Book of Change, she was impressed. As if a light bulb clicked on in her brain, she exclaimed, “It sounds like the ultimate personal survival guide!” She was exactly right.
Shirley came to the book with the usual set of assumptions and prejudices. So in addition to describing its little known origins in math and science, I included a Q & A section to dispel common myths and misconceptions.
Many confusions also stem from careless language use . . . what I’ve come to call The Tower of Babel Factor. People use the same words to mean different things. They miss each other coming and going, not recognizing the disconnect.
So I also included 64 Essays on each of 64 value terms from Action to Virtue. They serve as examples of how we all can use the I Ching to clarify our thinking.
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The Positive Paradigm Handbook: Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change
Dysfunctional paradigms tie us in knots. They tear us apart. They drive us crazy. They push us to murder and even suicide.
To survive intact, we must cleave to the essence of the perennial philosophy. The Positive Paradigm of Change is a snapshot of the essential truth which the world’s great religions share in common. It offers us a way out of global madness. It gives us a means for restoring sanity to our world outlook.
It is a question of which worldview will prevail. Everyone must choose. (Failing to choose consciously is also a choice.) Do we cling to dysfunctional paradigms that have brought us to the brink of Titanic disaster? Or do we opt for Einstein’s new way of thinking? Do we choose to be, or not to be? To survive or perish from the face of the earth, that is the question.
In Positive Paradigm context, peace necessarily begins one individual at a time, and is accomplished from the inside out. So long as dysfunctional paradigms put individuals at war with themselves, general ignorance will continue to escalate into worldwide conflict.
The autobiographical section of Rethinking Survival: Getting to the Positive Paradigm of Change details how I began drawing concentric circles long before attaching much significance to them. And how they gradually grew on me. And grew.
In the end, I recognized that the Life Wheel can be turned into an elegantly simple analytical tool. I can compare my own life as a perfect snow flake, one small atom in a large universe to see whether I am whole. Or if I’ve gotten bent out of shape. Whether all the layers are there, in balance and harmony. Or what needs work to bring my life back into alignment with the original pattern of life.
The Handbook is the practical sum and extension of all earlier work. It operates on the same basic philosophy and works for all the same reasons the Book of Change does. It begins with the premise that qualitative change necessarily begins one person at a time, and from the inside out. Yet, while cut from the same fabric, there important differences. It is a fresh approach, free of cultural baggage. It is also easier to work with, especially for today’s left-brain dominant thinkers.
In it, I offer to others the same hands-on METHOD of integrated self-analysis and decision-making that works for me. By balancing right- and left-brain modes of thinking, it accomplishes in a new way the same results as ancient contemplation and meditation practices. This old-new, universal way of “thinking like a genius” is a vitally important tool that meets Einstein’s standard: “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”
Today, the Handbook offers change agents in every walk of life a practical way to achieve the positive, long-lasting change which all of us want, many promise, but only few can deliver.
Areas of immediately practical applications for creating positive change include but are not limited to: personal growth, organizational leadership, and policy making.
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