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"The Universe is not only queerer than we suppose;
it is queerer than we can suppose." - J.B.S. Haldane
A New paradigm
Some people are quite sure that facts and/or evidence
are the most important things in dealing with issues. They echo the
words of Jack Webb, the indefatigable detective in the old Dragnet
radio and TV series, "The facts, ma'am, just the facts." But facts
and/or evidence don't tell us anything meaningful until they are
interpreted in a context and paradigm. This is ALWAYS true. USA president Bill Clinton
is famous for his saying, "It's the economy, stupid!" This was his
reminder to himself before campaign speaking. So, before we get too
excited about intellectual and/or spiritual ideas, we should say to
ourselves, "It's the paradigm, stupid!"
A few words about paradigms
A paradigm is most like a container. It is a structure
that holds, handles and organizes evidence, information and issues in a related,
consistent way so that the whole--greater than the sum of the parts--can
be seen, and so that new information can be positioned in its proper
relationship. Paradigms are not just important; they are crucial.
Paradigms are NOT optional; everyone has them and uses them whether they
realize this or not. A good paradigm is one that is able to "contain"
and organize effectively ALL the evidence, information and issues, so that as more
is learned, the picture that emerges makes more and more sense. A bad
paradigm is one that cannot effectively "make sense" out of some or much
of the information.
Being somewhat simplistic, a paradigm is analogous to a milk jug used for holding
milk. A one gallon jug will not hold 5 gallons of milk, and if you try
to pour all of 5 gallons into it, 4 gallons will just run over the side and be lost.
If you want to receive 5 gallons of truth and understanding, you better have
5 gallons of capacity in your paradigm when you place it under the spigot.
A paradigm is also analogous to a jigsaw puzzle, within the
borders of which ALL the pieces must fit. How do we know that a jigsaw
puzzle has been put together properly? Because all the pieces fit
together and the picture becomes graphically visible.
Maybe the most apt paradigm analogy
is a house. Most of us live in a house that has specialized rooms for
different aspects of living, including storage. Imagine having all your
possessions in a pile in the sole room--you could not even see things that were covered
up by the top layer. A good house is one that covers the full
range of domestic activities and allows us to easily find and access
what we need and that supports every aspect of domestic living. So it is with a good paradigm; it covers the aspects
of the edified life and allows us to see and readily handle truths that are impossible to
see or handle otherwise.
One major difference is that even though we live in
our physical house, we can leave it to go do non-domestic activities.
Not so with paradigms! We live constantly within our paradigm and can
never leave it. We can only change it. So, we should always be more
in the mode of challenging our paradigm whenever needed rather than
being defensive about it. If our paradigm has withstood the deepest
challenges that our due diligence can bring to it, then we will NOT be
insecure or defensive about it, nor probably have a need to be arrogant
Given the above, paradigms become sacrosanct, even
though they may be wrong or inadequate; even though they may have major
flaws and leave their inhabitants living uncomfortably, or in a state of
major denial or hypocrisy. Your paradigm is what you have organized
everything with or into that you know and believe. Having your paradigm
destroyed is tantamount to having your house burn down. You now have to
salvage what you can, examine everything to see if it is serviceable,
and throw everything else out into the garbage container. Piles of
things are set aside in storage, maybe to be forgotten and never
examined again. Temporarily, you have to live uncomfortably, like in an
extended but unwanted refugee camp without the normal amenities. It is a
devastating loss, and most people do not recover the same degree of
peace that they once had.
Changing your paradigm yourself only happens under
pressure from its inadequacies, and is usually more than a remodel. It
is comparable to tearing down a major part or all of you house, and
living exposed somewhat to the elements until you have the exterior in
place and sealed up. It is usually a tiresome process, and many are so
exhausted that they live safe from the elements but in a crude,
unattractive interior, one in which they generally don't do a lot of entertaining.
Some seekers come to understand that they were born into
or lured into their current dwelling place, and simply look around for
something more suitable, and when finding move out and into the
different abode. Some brave souls get so disgusted, frustrated or hurt
that they destroy their own paradigm, and set about rebuilding, usually
with whatever from the previous structure they can salvage or
incorporate. As uncomfortable as they might be, they are heartened by
the vision of a new and better house, a dream house to look forward in
which to live.*
The new paradigm bringer,
the voice of sanity, the great teacher gave two parables and a caution that pertain:
"And no man puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old
garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear
is made." Matthew 9:16 & Luke 5:36
"Neither is new wine put into old wineskins;
if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins
are destroyed; but new wine is put into new wineskins, and so both
are preserved." Matthew 9:17 & Luke 5:37
"But no one drinking the old wine desires the
new, for he says, 'The old is better.'"
Paradigms, Reality, and Sanity
Paradigms help us understand reality, whether that
reality be scientific or theological. What is not rational nor
reasonable is to have a paradigm that does not deliver anything
meaningful nor hang onto a paradigm when it fails in too many
significant ways, i.e., when it presents us with too many enigmas or
anomalies. Neither is it rational nor reasonable, in the face of a
failing paradigm, to reject a new paradigm a priori
without seeing if it:
firstly, solves major problems and resolves major issues.
secondly, deals with or handles issues that are
thought to be handled by the old paradigm,
thirdly, deals consistently with more issues and/or new issues raised.
Entertaining a new paradigm is usally not only thinking outside the box
but thinking outside the warehouse!
Rebellious, Fatally Flawed, or Insane?
What is wrong with human beings on the earth, and how do
we get fixed? This is one of the most important and vexing issues! If we are
inferior, intrinsically rebellious, or fatally flawed in our nature, there is not a
lot we can do. If god is the one that fixes us, then what is he waiting
for? Many people ask god to fix them without bothering either to listen
or to find out what is really wrong, and they go on pretty much the
same as before. They finish out their petty, little, unremarkable lives
and "just die in their sins".
However, if we are insane--have an insane belief
system--and the deity has revealed the revelation that we need to make
us sane, then we should be paying attention to and understanding what
has been revealed and move toward success. That would be the sane
response that is evidently being waited for. We should not feign this success
until we have been led ("That one will lead you into all the truth") into
and learned all the truth ("That one will teach you all things"). And how
do we know we are there? There will be no room for doubt when we arrive
or achieve understanding .
Societies, relationships, and social
interaction--virtually every facet of our lives--are all built on some
level of trust. When trust breaks down, there WILL BE problems and trouble.
Although it may be difficult, imagine a perfect society
with a perfect level of trust. No one has ever dissembled, no trust has
ever been betrayed, no rupture in the perfect fabric of good will has
ever appeared. There is no evil, no suffering, no lack, and no death;
instead there is everything the human soul could desire including
equality through supremacy. There is only greater and greater levels of
fulfillment and morale. The creator has created a perfect cosmos or
organized system to work under the aegis of trust.
The site paradigm
The paradigm of this site is inspired primarily by a thirst for and belief in the
goodness of truth, and by logic and reason applied to the life and
teachings of Jesus. It is shaped by the deepest needs and desires of the
human soul; and it is informed by the sciences including biology,
geology, psychology, chemistry, physics, cosmology, by the study of
philosophy, comparative mythology and religion, and history. It is
further enriched by the experience of being a husband and father, by
thousands of hours of discussion and more thousands of contemplation, by
the messages and sentiments couched in the arts of music and literature,
and finally by a lifetime of experimentation, mistakes and tragedies,
successes and failures, and social interaction.
Paradigm Premises, Facets and Issues
a. The psyche or soul of the original creator is, was, and
ever will be totally and only human.
b. The psyche and character of the creator is that of a perfectly mature,
loving, compassionate, gracious server, not that of a lawgiver,
controller, sovereign or a superior.
c. The purpose of the creator is to enhance his life by sharing social
intercourse with an ever growing family of peers, and to increase his
own morale by loving and serving his fellow human beings.
d. There is no life form higher or more privileged and valued than human.
e. There is no dual nature for the great paradigm-bringer to this world.
f. The creator designed a plan to maximize pleasure, fulfillment, and morale for all.
g. The creator shared himself and all of his aspects and abilities with
each new human being; thus creation is now done by an inclusive committee.
h. Together they then created through mental projection a minimal physical
universe and took on physical form, and irrevocably "moved" into that
i. Some time along the course someone conceived two gender psyches, male and female,
together representing fully every aspect and dimension of original
faculty, ability and potential.
j. This idea was enthusiastically embraced and adopted.
k. Each, including the original, took on a gender role and began to create humans
in the manner with which we are familiar.
l. As the family expanded, so did the creative power and potential, and so
the physical universe began to grow dynamically.
* This latter experience is my own, and now--even though
I am living in a world that is alien to the norm--I couldn't be happier
with my new spiritual dwelling place.