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World Destroying Paradigms
From:
Jack Beauregard --  The Wisdom Company Jack Beauregard -- The Wisdom Company
Cambridge , MA
Tuesday, February 18, 2020


World Destroying Paradigms
 

Mental paradigms provide a shared framework for how we understand  reality and ourselves. They form the basis for the mindset that we have,  the way we think, make decisions, perceive ourselves and the world  around us. Paradigms are so pervasive that we do not even know they  exist, but they are the underlying cause of the existential crises we  are facing in the world today.

There have been four predominant paradigms in Western civilization. They are:

 

Magical Paradigm

The Magical Paradigm emerged during the time early man tried to  control, or stop, natural events by performing magical rituals.   Everything was magical, since people had not yet developed to the point  of being able to understand how the universe worked. That is why the  only way they could feel connected to the universe was through  ceremonies and repeating formulas which they believed had magical powers  that would insure their survival and satisfy their basic needs.

 

Classical Paradigm

The next major paradigm transition in Western Civilization was to the  Classical Paradigm which emerged around 800 BC when Homer wrote the Iliad and Odyssey. The Classical Paradigm reached its height during Greek and Roman times.

 

Scholastic Paradigm

The Scholastic Paradigm was next to emerge during the Dark and Middle  Ages in Europe. It was the Age of Faith, a time when religion permeated  society. The Scholastic Paradigm, which is inherently imbalanced  towards Idealism, continues today under the name,Traditional Paradigm,  which is the mental model of fundamental religions and the alt-right.

 

Mechanistic Paradigm

The fourth paradigm to emerge was heavily influenced by Isaac Newton  around 400 years ago. Newton envisioned the universe as a clock  mechanism that was created by God, the ultimate clockmaker, who after  his creation, retreated to let the clock universe run by itself. The  purpose of machines is to produce, which is why so many people today  believe in the Mechanistic Paradigm and that the sole purpose of their  lives is to produce and make money.

Personally I was brought up in the Traditional Paradigm which  resulted in my being religious. I later transitioned into the  Mechanistic Paradigm where I was totally focused on achieving success.

 

The Myth of Progress

Myths provide an underlying meaning and structure to our lives and  provide explanations for social realities. The Myth of Progress in the  Mechanical Paradigm is one of the most powerful forces in the world  today. It promises that industry and science will transform the earth  into a material paradise and bring about a golden Age of Prosperity.  This myth is reflected in the expectation that people's income will  constantly rise. Progress is one of the highest virtues of the  Mechanical Paradigm, and growth and expansion are the engines behind it.  Many people around the world are angry and rising up because they have  become aware that the Myth of Progress is simply a myth which is not  only unsustainable, but prevents us from doing what we need to do to  survive.

 

Inflection Point: The End or Creation of a New Paradigm 

Ever since I was a teenager in high school, I knew, and told people,  that we were living in a trap gate of history. This was decades before  the concept of paradigms had been developed. We are living in an  inflection point in the history of civilization. The Traditional  Paradigm leads to Armageddon, while the Mechanistic Paradigm leads to  global destruction due to excess, greed and the denial of climate  change.

The old paradigms are not able to deal with the issues that we face  today. The increase in income inequity and the creation of imbalance in  the life sustaining global system of the planet are natural outcomes of  the inherent imbalance of the Traditional and Mechanistic Paradigms.  Either we move beyond the outdated prevailing paradigms, or we, and  civilization as we know it, will cease to exist.

 

If we do not heed the wisdom statement: "Don't fool around with  Mother Nature," over 300 million people will be homeless due to rising  seas caused by climate change in the next 30 years. As Robert Sternberg,  the former president of the American Psychological Association and  developer of the Balanced Theory of Wisdom (which will be covered in  future blogs) said:

"If there is anything the world needs, it is wisdom. Without it, I  exaggerate not all in saying that very soon, there may be no world…"

 

The  Wisdom Company is an international organization whose mission is to  make wisdom operational in people's lives and to be a touchstone for making decisions to solve our national and global problems. 

 

Conatct Jack Beauregard to leran more about how the Company's integrated platfor practically applies wisdom to creating civility and solving the world's problems. 

 

 
Jack Beauregard
Cambridge, MA
617.299.7363