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What is a Paradigm Shift?

“We all live in the same world but we all live in a different reality”.

To me, in my reality, this feels like a correct statement but some may disagree, so I’ll put forward a few suggestions.

Wikipedia defines paradigm as “a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns”. This term is usually used in the field of science and philosophical  theories but lets apply it to real life for a moment. Bruce Lipton talks about the frequency of brain activity of a child up to the age of 6 or 7 being at a very low level called theta waves. This is where they download information without question. Bruce’s discussion focuses on how this affects our behaviour on an emotional level and our relationships with others but also as we are brought up we are exposed to certain beliefs and ways of doing things that affect every aspect of our lives from the way we eat to the way we tie our shoe laces. This then becomes our reality and it is also how we gauge what we perceive to be normal and what is not. It is your paradigm, your model by which you live your life, how you judge things, how you interact with others, how you define what is acceptable behaviour and so on. We’re talking about a situation where someone can be so deep rooted in a paradigm that it will often lead them to behave in a way where they don’t question their behaviour but other people would find it ridiculous or unacceptable.

So generally speaking you could say that certain groups of people live within certain paradigms. I say generally because even within that paradigm there will be sub-groups of people who have additional or differing beliefs based around things such as religion or local or family traditions. And even on an individual level every person’s view of the world is going to differ depending on their personality and the experiences they have had. It is their personal paradigm, their version of reality.

What if something happened to you that created a paradigm shift? If this happened to us as a child, especially before the age of seven it would be easier to challenge the beliefs we had already established and downloaded because we are still in a state where the programme can be changed easily. This probably doesn’t happen that often though, because a child of that age in a normal situation would be with their parents and members of their family group who have alot of shared beliefs and they wouldn’t interact enough with others outside of this paradigm to create a shift.

Really what we’re talking about is in adult life, being in a situation where we are consistently exposed to these new beliefs. It is almost like your new environment becomes a constant affirmation of these new ways of thinking and slowly but surely you feel less challenged by them and start to take them on board. How often does this happen? I’m not sure to be honest and it will be challenging because there is almost this unseen force generated within your existing paradigm that stops you from making the full shift. It’s so strong that even moving to another country and a new environment you often gravitate towards those that resonate with you and have shared beliefs because it’s comfortable and it isn’t challenging.

And this is the crux of it. It’s about being comfortable and not being challenged isn’t it? We are happy to reinforce each others’ beliefs to ensure that nobody changes too much. God forbid we should look into things and find out what life is really about! Better to just accept the status quo, no one needs to deal with difficult emotions or traumas, most of which have been established within the family unit or school or some other imbalanced environment, between being in the womb and age 7 where the information is just downloaded without question.

So even though there is a shadow side to our personalities and unprocessed traumas, that we had to split off from when we were children as a survival mechanism, best leave it all buried so as not to have to deal with those memories and associated emotions. The only problem is that these suppressed emotions could be consuming vast amounts of what Neil Kramer refers to as our “light energy” and even preventing us from reaching our highest potential.

Some people don’t even know any better, they don’t even know there is a different paradigm out there for them. Even if you were brave enough to go there, there are people who don’t want you too. They couldn’t bear to see you break out of the chrysalis and move onto the next stage of your journey. It would just push too many buttons for them. They would swear blind that this is not the case but within them the turmoil would reach insanity levels bringing up emotions of fear, jealousy and anger which would often get projected onto you. Within their paradigm the accepted norm is to be happy with your unhappiness, to numb yourself and suppress any feelings that are “not quite right” with the various distractions that are provided and considered normal by society.

Wow, so it sounds really hard to make a paradigm shift?? Not always, it could just be that change in environment or moving to another a country, or simply meeting and spending time with a person who has a different view on life. Of course, your beliefs and emotional balance will be challenged even if for a short time but the support provided by that new environment or new friend will ease this. Alot of the time, however, it will take something big to create the shift. In counselling circles this is often referred to as a “crisis in transition”. A person gets to a crisis point in their life where they end up making choices that they would never normally make. These choices challenge the paradigm because it is their paradigm that has contributed to them reaching this crisis point. We continually accept things either because, as I said before, it is comfortable and non-challenging or we don’t have the courage or are too afraid to change the situation.

This crisis can manifest in many ways, a drink or drugs overdose, losing a job, the loss of a loved one, an accident, mental health issues, a relationship break up, your child experiencing vaccine injury, an illness, witnessing a traumatic incident, losing your home, the list is endless. Some people may have to experience rock bottom and for others it may be something small but just enough for them to start questioning their current paradigm.

Despite the fact that you have to process some challenging emotions, deal with a possible shift in your circumstances and face the negative reactions of others, you are willing to do this because of the situation you are in. It is never an overnight process, it takes time and courage especially when those around you, mostly on a subconscious level, don’t want you to change. But the catalyst is there, you will have a lot of questions along the way and you will make umpteen mistakes, you may also get drawn back into old habits, but under the surface it will feel so uncomfortable that you will need to keep on pushing for answers. It could be suggested that the change you need to make as a person could be made within the same paradigm but this isn’t the way it works. Because it’s your current paradigm that has created the crisis or the way you view the crisis then the entire paradigm has to shift for you to move on and for the metamorphosis to happen.

Eventually you will become a more centred, confident, less fearful person with more self esteem and self worth, more openess and a greater connection to the world. It’s that greater connection that hopefully will allow you to continually shift and change going through several paradigms before settling for one that really fits with you once more “layers of the onion” have been peeled back.

Don’t wait for a crisis to happen before you make the shift. If something doesn’t feel quite right, don’t push it down, question it and see where it takes you.

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2 Comments on "What is a Paradigm Shift?"

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Rose
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Thanks Jamie, it’s good to remember it’s a process, a process that continues throughout our lives.