I’m hoping that this post can be an interactive one. I know the whole premise of blogging implies the opportunity for interaction, but this one in particular needs it. The purpose of this post is not for me to share what follows, but to induce others to share, creating a collective conversation that is greater in depth, breadth, and quality than any individual contributor could produce.
Paradigms….these are the frameworks, conscious and unconscious, that we use to make sense of our world. They are the lenses that we see everything else through. The ideas that guide our thoughts, distort or even create our perceptions. From our perceptions comes our experience, which further informs our ideas about the world. It is perfectly circular. This circle can be sublime or tortuous, or most likely a bit of both, depending on the day.
I firmly believe in consciously creating your own paradigms. I reject out of hand that these things are inherited, pre-created, and culturally derived. That may be for people who sleepwalk through life, but not for me and not for anyone else that dares to take up the reigns of guiding their own evolution.
That being said, I did not create my current incarnation of my constantly evolving paradigm in a vacuum. Ideas from great thinkers, writers, artists, philosophers, and some everyday people have all contributed raw material to this structure that I’ve built. So I’m going to attempt to list the top 10 sources of raw material for my paradigm. As I write this sentence, I have no idea which of the many influences from my life search are about to make this list, but I am about to take the time to hash it out. I will try and provide a brief intro to each of the items in this list without getting to lengthy.
Again, the idea is for people to share persons, ideas, books, songs, movies, or any other kind of source that has deeply impacted or informed their personal paradigm. There is no need to come up with at least ten, or to limit yourself to ten, it’s merely an arbitrary number I picked for myself to give some structure to this post.
Ok, I’m back. This is what I came up with. These are in no particular order (ranking these things seemed to be a futile exercise)
- An infomercial for self hypnosis tapes that aired in 1984
- This was my first exposure to the idea that human potential exceeded what the majority of people displayed in ordinary life. (I was 6 years old)
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
- I found this book when I was 7 years old, and it was really the beginning of my love affair with the genre of books associated with human potential, development, and ultimately spirituality.
- Louise Burrell-Christe
- My grandmother taught me about devotion, spirituality, and that the Divine is not just something to talk at, but also something that will talk back if you listen.
- Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch
- These books helped me to heal a schism that had formed in my young mind. I had deep spiritual experiences associated with the ‘G’ word, but so much dogma and rules attached to the word “God” that I couldn’t reconcile the two. This series of book helped me to re-conceptualize what the Divine is in such a way that it worked well for my evolving paradigm.
- Integral Life Practice by Ken Wilber, et al
- This is really just my favorite of a long list of books about the integral theory. It is about putting integral theory into practice, integrating mind, body, spirit, and shadow. The AQAL framework does a great job of holding all sorts of things and showing the relationships amongst them.
- Simplified Magic by Ted Andrews
- I had always been drawn to the meditative science of the Qabala, but this was the first work that seem to demystify the mystical enough for me to finally be able to understand why I was drawn to it.
- The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life (Volume I and Volume II) by Drunvalo Melchizedek
- Probably the weirdest book on the list, but one of my favorites. It is possibly the most complete information I’ve ever found in a single source about Sacred Geometry.
- The band Tool.
- Maynard James Keenan’s lyrics speak to my path, what I’ve been through, how I’ve gotten where I am, and the kind of bizarre spirituality that I’ve carved out along the way.
- The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
- A simplified explanation of string theory that solidified the foundation left in my consciousness by The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra.
- My Big Picture Theory of Everything (My Big TOE) by Thomas Campbell
- Helped to smooth the edges in my consciousness between my scientific and spiritual tendencies.
I could go on. The list is actually very, very long and continually growing. And here’s the not so hidden agenda behind this (hopefully) interactive post: I’m always looking for something new to add to this list, something that will send me reeling in a whole new direction the way each of these ten did. So please, share.
merkaba33 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.