Where should a paradigm shift take us

These days we hear a lot about paradigm shift as a phrase that is being applied to many different fields. Whole networks have appeared that make use of this concept, like the shift network, which focuses on online teachings of spiritual guides, shamans and scientists that have welcomed the shift in their lives.

But what is this shift about? There are things that are utterly obvious, things that urgently need to change -or shift- in this world. One of them is the current life model -or paradigm- that causes climate change. Under this goal -prevent or stop climate change- many actions are being taken and many others are not. In this specific matter we have seen how ideologies and even religion -beliefs- play a crucial role in determining the outcome of mayor political decisions that threaten our very existence.

Shifts in our way of thinking and feeling, our spirituality and our philosophy is then pivotal to the outcome of actions that affect everything else in this life and this world. It is here where a lot of the discourse of paradigm shift has centred, and were things should continue to focus.

Nonetheless we have been educated and raised in a paradigm that portrays a modernity of false advancement that is constrained by a mechanistic scientific mindset. This leads important decision makers to focus on evident problems and envision pragmatic solutions for them, which in turn leads to no shift whatsoever, since problems cannot be solved by the same logic that created them.

A dichotomy we must avoid is that of religion and science. Religion in one hand deforms spirituality and has been doing so for centuries for profits. On the other hand pretending to have science explain and solve everything without a holistic, human, mystical and spiritual understanding of the universe will always lead to failure. Failure of today’s scientific mechanistic paradigm is all so evident, just take a look at how protestant religious political movements and leaderships are taking over the world today.

For a few decades, generations have been raised with a science fiction view of the future. It has been programmed deep within us by books and films, and through the years fiction has become fact, we have been to the moon, we use submarines and fly on aeroplanes. But progress has been but technological, and everything else has been procrastinated.

We live in a world today were inequality, illness, ignorance, waste and corruption rule the world. Civilisations outside of Europe, in Asia, Africa and America, had highly developed and dignified societies that had well overcome many of what today seem like insurmountable problems. However, we look back at them as if we were superior, because they based their advanced living system on an epistemology that included symbols, cults and a relationship and understanding of the invisible.

Today we have lost connection with the invisible realms, and far worse, we have lost connection with the biological realm: the earth we live in. When we imagine progress, evolution, development and advancement, we tend to imagine a world filled with machines, advanced technologies but with few if no connection to nature, to the earth. This is absurd. We are so far from being able to fully reproduce the intelligence and complexity of biological organisms and you would wonder, why would we have to?

A domination agenda has been successful in stealing not only the balanced and happy life that could be possible and that already existed in the Americas before the European invasion, it has succeeded in stealing our imagination, our visions, our knowledge. We have fallen deep into the caves of spiritual ignorance and even the most remarkable scientists and intellectuals lack this connection and this vision.

When we grow spiritually, we advance into a world were we require less commodity and less physical things. When we advance spiritually in a community -something uniquely hard to accomplish- we gain true love, happiness, accompaniment and quality recreational time that would otherwise be filled with entertainment, gadgets and machines produced by this unsustainable modern paradigm.

When we become wiser, we find wiser things to do, we seek less entertainment and activities that only take our time; we seek art, music and self cultivation. When we become more sensible, we seek to discover the true wonder of being alive: learning about and sharing with other living beings, animals, plants and ecosystems. When we become wiser, we discover that health is found in nature, that a lifestyle that requires the use of our bodies is the truly healthy lifestyle, that the most entertaining and amazing thing can do is walking through a forest discovering and learning about new species. When we become wiser, we discover that there is also a profound internal universe within us, and that it is one we have access to without limitations, and that it is us that have the power to produce richness and art by sharing this universe with others.

In the last climate change summit, carbon emission reduction advocates were struck by the comments of India’s prime minister, who arguments that energy is a basic human right and that developing nations will not be constrained by the carbon emission reduction agenda to provide this basic human right to their citizens. But how about the right of its future citizens to a livable planet?

Technical, economic and social arguments are used and abused by demagogues to keep the status quo and to halt any true shift in their countries. A lack of sensibility, connection and wisdom touches everyone without distinction of their livelihood or social position. We must find ways to show them that a more honourable life is better that quick fame and money and obligate them to be true leaders and to lead us to a livable future. We must teach by example and India has a good one, the Auroville ecovillage.

A true paradigm shift will not lead us into a sterile world filled with machines and where the greatest invention of all -life and biodiversity- is undervalued and overlooked. Technologies and advancements can very well coexist with a truly wise, sensible and conscious civilization, and the first step to get there is waking up and embracing the apparent discomfort of becoming conscious. Once there, challenges will appear and we must learn to come together as humanity to face them and achieve our true potential.

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