According to AXIOM SIX, “Used as a Linguistic Tool, the Positive Paradigm Wheel Promotes Clear, Accurate and Effective Communication.”
Like humanity itself, the English language is an endangered species. Clear and effective communication can no more be taken for granted than any other aspect of the civilization.
In tracking the meanings of words, their devolution is found to be systematic. In some cases, the same word means not only one thing, but its exact opposite as well. The inherent danger is that people often talk at cross-purposes. They think they understand each other when in fact they’re missing each other coming and going, only vaguely aware of the disconnect.
It’s well worth taking the time to pay attention to what’s meant by specific words in common use. Working with the Positive Paradigm Wheel explains the dynamics of shifting definitions. The same word takes on different meanings at different levels of the Wheel.
Here is one example of how the single word “discrimination” changes meanings depending on where in the Wheel it’s used.
Another example is the word “positive.” Webster’s Dictionary lists seventeen (!) different uses. They span the continuum from center to surface, with many gradations along the route. At the core, “positive” refers to that which is absolute, unqualified, and independent of circumstances; that which has real existence in itself.
At the middle, energy level, the term is used describe an electrical valence. As an attitude, positive can mean either confident or dogmatic. At the surface, positive may mean showing forward progress or increase, making a constructive contribution.
As this one example serves to indicate, it’s extraordinarily difficult to communicate so as to be understood as intended. The “Tower of Babel” factor issue is addressed both in Rethinking Survival and Conscience. This excerpt represents ongoing concerns:
The Tower of Babel Factor
The gift of language sets humans apart from animals. It provides the building blocks of communication. It’s the foundation of civilizations and the necessary glue of cultural continuity.
That being said, humans are the only creatures capable of using language to rationalize greed, lie to others about their actions and deceive themselves. . . .
That’s was quite the opposite of the language I’d learned to love and respect in high school. There, we were taught to regard language as the premier tool of logic. When used with Sherlock-like diligence, applied the powers of keen observation and heightened awareness, it could solve mysteries — not only to detect the crimes of evil-doers and the nefarious plots of national enemies, but to reveal the mysteries of life and the universe.
Turned inwards, used with self-honesty, language becomes an essential means of introspection and cultivating self-awareness. For the truth-seeker, language is the necessary vehicle of information both on the inward quest and on return journey to share its benefits.
“Leadership” and the related concept of “power” are two words whose meanings require careful attention. They shift depending on the level that they’re associated with. “Power” is a word often associated with “lust” and “abuse.” But it’s also a key component of “democracy” defined as “power to the people.”
At the center of the Wheel, all-powerful is an attribute assigned to God the Creator. Omnipotent. At the middle level, power is associated with energy. High-energy people are said to be magnetic. Attractive. Sexually potent. Forceful. Vigorous.
Socially, towards the surface, powerful people are influential. Effective. They tend to dominate others and control material resources, whether formally (institutional authority) or informally (behind the scenes).
Lao Tze’s Tao Te Ching, translated as The Way and Its Power, hints at the possibility of linking the levels of power. Failing to do so results in dangerous either-ors. For example, a leader whose power depends on controlling material resources, but who has neither compassion for others nor a viable connection with the center, is likely to rule as a tyrant, bringing poverty and misery to unwilling subjects.
A leader who holds the power of middle level charisma over followers may dazzle. However, cult leaders whose connection to the center is unstable (claims to the contrary notwithstanding), can seduce, but not truly lead from darkness to light.
Those whose connection to the center is secure, but whose grounding in the practical skills of day-to-day governance is tenuous, are also incomplete and undependable as leaders. Regardless of how inspired or well-intentioned, they may be forced to rely on staff who are less than loyal or honest, and find themselves undone because of misplaced trust.
Ideally, the true leader links the levels, balancing enlightened vision with compassion, charisma and practical administrative abilities. Plato recommended the total leadership of a philosopher-king, and training aspirants to be equally competent on all levels of the Wheel, able to integrate and balance them.
It’s especially important to define another pair of complimentary words. “Virtuous” and “moral” are often used interchangeably, with misleading results. Technically, “virtue” is an energy concept best used in the context of the middle level of the Wheel. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), compassion is a composite of complimentary virtues that includes empathy, courage, kindness, calmness, gentleness, and joy.
Each of the virtues is associated with a specific internal organ. When circulation is unobstructed and the internal energies are full and balanced, the mind is clear and virtues are present. When the circulation is blocked or stagnant, in excess or deficient, negative energy expressions present themselves as toxic emotions: anger, fear, cruelty, hate, anxiety, and grief.
Virtues are natural and inherent. They’re common to everyone, everywhere. The potential for positive expression of the virtues is primarily a function of good health, meaning, in Positive Paradigm context, unified wholeness. Conversely, the opposite, negative expressions (vices) are the result of poor health. Appropriate responses for healing them rest with medical interventions, not judgmental social sanctions.
In contrast, morality is a social construct, a relatively superficial layer of cultural conditioning that may or may not be compatible with the expression of deeper, inherent natural energies. Moral codes vary from place to place, and shift over time. Codes of conduct in subcultures, from medical and religious to military and underground gangs, are uniquely context-specific.
Some would say that moral codes are useful, even necessary for maintaining order within a social unit. However, when they’re enforced with harsh sanctions, including an unwholesome admix of self-interest, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy, they’re at best a mixed blessing.
It’s possible to be moral without being virtuous, and vice versa. It’s instructive to ask, How moral are we, and by what standard(s) of conduct? What about our leaders? If there’s a disconnect between virtue and morality, what are the consequences? What’s to be done about it, by whom?
Corollary A. Using the Positive Paradigm model as a standard, the current worldwide leadership deficit and related budget deficits can be explained and (with good will and training) corrected.
Corollary B: In Positive Paradigm context, “good” and “evil” (as well as “friend” and “mortal enemy”) are defined in terms of those who honor versus those who violate or even intentionally tear the universal pattern of life apart. By this standard, those of good will in every land are friends of truth, while evil doers, whether at home or abroad, are the common enemies of humanity.
Corollary C: Politicians who would set nations against each other and who flirt with nuclear holocaust for the sake of petty ego satisfaction and personal power are evil-doers. Even when they cloak evil actions in moral terms, their rationalizations are a danger to us all. The ultimate good requires unmasking their double speak and rescuing the language in the interests of human survival.
Corollary D: Just as the basic genetic structure of all mankind stems from a few original strands of DNA, universal ideas and archetypes are inborn and inherent to our psyches. They’re not restricted by political or national boundaries.
The basic axioms of the archetypal Positive Paradigm pattern and its use as a clarifying linguistic tool offer a foundation upon which to build upon a common sense discourse, reestablishing the universal basics common to everyone, everywhere.
Corollary E: The Wheel gives us a model for redefining love, authority, science, crime, stress, and a host of other key concepts whose meanings are con-fused (lumped together inappropriately), making it difficult to communicate. The 64 Essays on Change in Conscience are a start in this direction.
Corollary F: The chief strategy of the “alien invaders” described in Rethinking Survival is to paralyze the populace by polluting the language and corrupting the paradigms. They prevent people from recognizing the difference between true friends and enemies, between true dangers and boondoggle distractions.
Restoring the Positive Paradigm to general use now is a powerful way to undo this damage, forge better alliances, and prepare to meet whatever dangers are to come.