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What Is A Paradigm Shift? Should I Worry?
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What Is a Paradigm Shift? Should I Worry?

A paradigm shift?

Before we discuss what is shifting, let’s first address what a paradigm is.

A paradigm is an idea, thought, or concept that serves as a mental pattern for our behavior. It is a set of assumptions or values, perceptions, and practices. And it is a way of viewing reality. A paradigm is a belief that is shared by a large group or community. It is changeable. Over time, a change or shift in paradigm is inevitable.

To be blunt, I don’t like the word paradigm very much. It strikes me as being haughty and untouchable. However, it is a word that aptly describes what is happening in our world today, and has been happening throughout history.

Paradigm shifts are real and natural and have been happening on our planet for eons.

There are different kinds of shifts and they happen concurrently.

Think about change. How many ways can we change? Any accepted belief can change, not in a minute, not in a day, but over time. Most of the time, we don’t even know it is happening until the shift is well underway or complete.

We have the potential to change intellectually, physically, and spiritually. Humanity’s collective consciousness can change and does.

The phrase “paradigm shift” is used to describe changes in scientific beliefs.

Thomas Kuhn, the well known author of “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” tells us that paradigm shifts are intellectual revolutions in which one conceptual world view is replaced by another. Every time a scientific discovery is made, and when it replaces an old accepted belief, it’s a form of revolution.

In many different aspects of our culture, we mutate from one way of thinking to another. These changes are all brought about by agents of change.

A familiar agent of change, one that we can all identify with, is new technology.

When the Industrial Revolution began in Britain the latter part of the 18th century, it brought with it massive changes in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and mining. The Technological Revolution of the 1860s to WW1 brought about more change. The way people performed ordinary tasks, and the skills people had to acquire in order to earn a living, changed. It did usher in new prosperity. People had disposable income they never had before.

Was the adjustment uncomfortable at first? I’m sure it was. Some people rebelled.

At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (1785), a group called the Luddites rose up in resistance to change. They were thought of as reactionary and not moving with the times.

The Luddites actually made some excellent points. They didn’t want to be forced into factories, having to work on machines. Did they earn more money? Probably. Did they experience a diminished life style? In many ways, yes. They lost some freedom.

There were fine craftsmen during that time who were made obsolete by machinery. A person’s art or craft was no longer valued? It was to be replaced by a machine?

The Luddites didn’t want to be “forced from village self sufficiency into urban dependency and servitude.”

Can you blame them?

A modern Luddite wants a choice. He wants to retain the important values of the past, such as community, non-materialism, and a respect for nature. Isn’t choice what it is all about? Not everything that changes is for the better, but “better” is a relative term. Having individual “choices” constitutes the difference.

Balance is key in everything. Is our “run-away” consumerism causing us to tip the scales of balance?

It’s a double edged sword. Humanity has gained much as a result of the Industrial Revolution, and it has lost much over the past 200 years. Where are our lost values? Where is our freedom? What time do we have to live our lives as we want to live them? Do we have any free time? Must we always be in servitude to an employer, and shackled by financial concerns?

With the rapidly growing technology of the 21st century, many people are rebelling. It’s not because they don’t like technology. They are circumspect about the backlash.

Many people have lost their jobs as a result of new technology.

Certain technologies, such as asbestos, nuclear power, pesticides, an assortment of drugs, silicone implants, GM foods, were all presented as offering great benefit to humanity. Now, we are learning that these so called “advancements” are actually hurting us.

If paradigm shifts are a form of revolution, then will there be a counter revolution? Will a counter culture evolve? Will there be a community based, counter culture, or tribal society that is more empathetic and supportive, and in which we sustain our life styles within the smaller community?

Our technology is leading us to more and more consumerism. In order to justify itself and bring in the huge profits required by industrialists, industry needs to find more and more consumers. Sell more cars, more everything, resulting in more pollution, which will bring about its own set of new challenges. Is this really progress? Are we chasing our tails only to end up biting ourselves in the end?

What is the big hope of humanity? That we finally know who we are, not who we think we are.

Who are we? Will this paradigm shift also bring enlightenment? Will it bring us closer to our divinity?

I don’t know what is in store for the human race and the world. I do know we are changing at a rapid pace. I know we are growing larger than our wildest imaginings. We are growing into ourselves. That has to be good. It is not contingent on technological advancements.

Are you a cautious optimist like me?

We have been experiencing a major paradigm shift for many years. It has been a challenging adjustment, as evidenced by worldwide economic hardship and disillusionment in our institutions.

My fervent desire for all humanity is that as a result of this paradigm shift, we find a much better outcome, that we co-create a much better world.


Street Talk

Yep, change happens!!! Good article.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Yes, I'm a cautious optimist like you Joan. Part of the paradigm shift has been that being able to measure the growth of wealth in terms of profits has aroused tremendous greed. I guess that's the word! In the Bible, I remember one story about a man who built a new building to store all the wealth he was collecting. Then he died. I'm not suggesting gaining wealth is bad in and of itself but it sure seems that focusing on wealth and the accumulation of wealth destroys people.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

What concerns me more than anything is that "profit" is the first and last consideration of too many industries, such as the health industry where the first consideration should be the health and well-being of people. I'm referring to the medical industries (Pharms, AMA) that reject effective therapies from nature because they are not profitable. The scary part is as soon as direct from nature remedies are recognized by these industries, someone will find a way to corrupt it. The greed in the world today is out of hand. Thanks for your comments Cynthia.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

very interesting article Joan, thanks for sharing this.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Thank you Shawn. You're welcome.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

A very nice read Joan, thanks for sharing

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Happy you like it Maria. Thank you.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Those hardships that you speak of will be the very catalyst that drive the next paradigm shift that we are currently experiencing! We are seeing more and more people turning to the internet for things I never in all my born days would have never thought of. I can stay home and shop on the internet for every essential of life that I need. I don't need a car now, if I want to get my steak delivered to my door, I order it at a website (Omaha Steaks are my fav!) LOL Need water, bread, veggies, fruit, even milk? Yup, order in the net! Bicycles, shoes, books, and the list goes on! Yup, order it on the net. Oh and don't forget work! More and more people are turning to the internet for their employment! Yup, and boy Howdy, I am too!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

It's a whole new world. People are shopping more and more online. Yes, the Internet is already putting people to work. That's a great thing. It's still wild, like the wild west, but people are managing to make good incomes online. Thanks for commenting.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
AnnMarie  

Great Article, Joan? Very well written and researched. Sometimes I think the paradigm shifts happen before we are ready for them. As with the internet and its rapid advancements, we were not prepared properly for it. If the powers that be had anticipated things like spammers and hackers ahead of time, we would not be inundated with all the problems we have on the net today. As for rebellion, history shows that people are sometimes not ready for change at all. Most people just don't like it. Was it Pythagoras that first introduced the concept that the earth was a sphere? And was put under house arrest for it so he couldn't spread that theory since everyone at the time would be outraged to learn that their whole perception of a flat earth was wrong?

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Hi AnnMarie, yes you're right about Pythagoras, even though many Greeks alluded to it before ultimate credit was given to Pythagoras. Herodotus suggested the earth was round in 431 BC because of the Phoenician sailors who sailed all over the world. None of them dropped off the edge. And Plato taught the concept to his students. We are very resistant to change. I think we are facing quite a lot of change. Thank you for such a good comment.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
AnnMarie  

You are quite welcome...it is well deserved. I thought someone 'alluded' to it prior to Pythagoras. I believe Plato was a pupil of his teachings later but Plato did uphold Pythagoras' theory.

  
  about 9 years ago

Is there another industrial revolution on the horizon? Can we continue to exist with the job loss and unemployment the world is facing at this moment? Can governments continue to pay and feed the unemployed? There certainly seems that something has to happen.. I cannot see things continuing in the present vane. A blast has to happen.. the more technology continues to expand and machines replace workers, a bomb must burst at some stage. With the rich enriching themselves at the cost of the poor who cannot afford it... I see a Paradigm Shift....

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

It's going to be interesting to see how it resolves itself. We certainly cannot continue on the same path. I keep seeing smaller, self sustaining communities, and a trend toward growing our own foods and maybe a new style of arts and crafts movement, in that our cultures have been replaced by the mediocre and generic. Human expression always finds a way to express itself. Global world control is extremely unappealing to me. It's dangerous and boring. I know I'm not alone in that. Another article is emerging from that statement. It'll be one that relates to my niche, which is the visual arts. I'm always excited about reading your thoughts, Rob. Thanks.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

An excellent and thought provoking article Joan. Thanks for that.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Interesting time to be alive Kim. The veil is lifting.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Nice read .. you touch on some pretty volatile points here. Issues that are at the very foundation of who we all are and what defines us. Shifts like these hurt at times and I have a feeling a pretty big one is on our doorstep. Thanks for the article and when we going to Bora Bora?

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Agree Wayne. My bags are packed for Bora Bora.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Meredith  

In reading your article Joan, I focused on the technology aspect and how a lot of "it" is good. Unfortunately, so much of it seems to control our lives instead of us controlling "it". Cell phone and the Internet.are just two inventions that have altered the world and how we connect with each other. When was the last time that any of us wrote a hand written letter or received one? No one has time so, send an email instead.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

It is making life more complicated, not less. People spend too much time on cell phones. I worry about radioactive rays. Nothing can compare to a hand written note. Many of the kids don't know how to write anymore. They just text.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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