What does “Positive Paradigm” mean to YOU? I have to wonder, because the word “positive” has 17 (!) discrete definitions which span the Life Wheel’s continuum from center to surface.
The word “paradigm” is becoming equally diluted and compromised. For example, Francisca Moors recently tweeted me from the Netherlands: “What’s todays paradigm about your self?” Her question implies that paradigms are personal filters (not culture-wide agreements) that can be changed like clothes from day-to-day to suit immediate whims.
In response, to clarify, I drew a picture showing the shifting levels to which the same badly abused word “paradigm” is applied.
Please. Let me be very clear. When I use the word “positive,” I’m referring primarily to the core: “that which is absolute, unqualified, and independent of circumstances; that which has real existence in itself.” [See wp.me/p46Y5Z-9R.] Whether the effect of religious beliefs, social theories and economic policies is beneficial depends on the extent to which leaders and their followers are functionally connected with the eternal center. To the extent that they’ve lost their mooring, they’ve forfeited inherent power and validity.
Positive thinking becomes delusional when taken to mean “I can have whatever I want.” Positive Paradigm thinking humbly accepts that “With God, all things are possible.” The emphasis is on with. And all includes everything, hard and happy lessons in balance — not just whatever it is one wants.
Let me also be clear about how I use the word “paradigm.” It’s comprehensive and stable, foundational and basic beliefs — not something personal one can change on convenience, shifting with current fashions. What I call the “positive paradigm” is an inclusive, complete and correct worldview. It answers Joseph Campbell’s call for a universal “myth” (creation story), capable of recognizing the humanity of those living on the opposite side of the planet.
The Positive Paradigm of Change embodies what Aldus Huxley called the “perennial philosophy” — the core reality which the world’s great teachings share in common. For just as the sun is the center of our solar system and as there’s a nucleus at the center of each atom, there’s a central timeless experience of life which everyone everywhere shares in common.
Put the other way around, any belief system that’s not founded on eternal wisdom will inevitably, like the sands of time, be blown away. It cannot endure through the variable seasons of change. An incomplete, false paradigm, like the biblical “feet of clay,” will crumble when struck with the iron mallet of destiny.
The poet Yeats wrote “the center does not hold.” But that is the subjective experience of those who deny or forget their center. Nevertheless, acknowledged or not, the center remains, unchanged and eternal. It’s the true “common core” that (misleading label aside) is dangerously overlooked by the current, politically-driven educational fad.
Restoring the Positive Paradigm with its potential to outlast Titanic Times is an urgent matter of human survival. How urgent? Let’s see. The past week’s news alone offers several terrifying examples. Putin is saber-rattling again, doing a repeat of the Khrushchev-Kennedy death dance. “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers,” he threatens.
On other fronts, terrorists are planning to build missiles capable of spreading bubonic plague. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued a dire warning: “Jihadists could reach Europe and America in a matter of months.” The chaotic Texas/Mexico border is increasingly feared to be a likely entry point for terrorists. Not to mention the “chatter” of a significant event to “celebrate” the approaching 13th anniversary of 9/11 in honor of the 13th Imam, possibly involving “home grown” American terrorists.
Adding insult to pending injuries, America’s fund-raiser-in-chief announced that America is safer than it was twenty years ago. In response to this statement, two references from earlier blogs come to mind. One is the pictured definition of sheer evil in Positive Paradigm context. [See “How Bad People Become Leaders,” wp.me/p46Y5Z-9B.]
The other is the game show described in “To Tell the Truth.” [See wp.me/p46Y5Z-dA.] In that scenario, the rules of the game are that impostors have no rules. They can lie, deceive and misrepresent their intentions. Alinsky-like, their ends justify any means. An Obama observer on Glenn Beck’s website TheBlaze gave me a new word that describes Obama’s otherwise mystifying behavior exactly: TAQIYYA. It means religiously sanctioned deception. Its purpose is to infiltrate enemy organizations, undermining them from within.
In the face of all this “bad news,” I refer back to Mike Lehr. He’s the one who asked for my explanation as to how bad people become leaders (along with its implicit solution). In addition, he wanted to know whether dangerous circumstances result in the selection of better leaders. My answer: different faces won’t make much difference.
Leader-selectors (both formal and informal) have long since identified, trained and placed look-alikes to follow in their footsteps. Anyone who threatens that status quo has long since been driven off or otherwise destroyed. So insiders from the available candidate pool will continue to operate on the same variety of false paradigms.
There may be a few experienced but disenfranchised survivors left, ones who tenaciously hold to the timeless truth embodied in the Positive Paradigm. But as Old Avatar observed, it’s because they’ve had the good sense to hide out (like Yoda), perhaps to reemerge should another Luke Skywalker come forward. My best hope still remains with the as-yet untested Millennial Generation. From their ranks may emerge a handful of visionary leaders with the combined wisdom, courage and endurance to rise from the ashes of the approaching NELC.
It will be their blessing/responsibility to make the urgently needed Fresh Start clearly foreseen by the biblical dream-reader and prophet Daniel — the one who told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.