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Image for post
Painting by Sir Cedric Morris

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Speaking of paradigms…

‘Of all psychology’s mortal sins, the most mortal is the neglect of beauty. There is after all something quite beautiful about a life, but you wouldn’t think so from reading psychology books’ — James Hillman

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“Modern world paradigm, which I have come to call “the power-over-paradigm“ where, in order to have what you need — food, clothing, shelter — you must overcome, beat out, another. It is inherently competitive, violent, and repels cooperation and collaboration, unlike the rest of the natural world. Slowly, slowly we have come to see that in fact it is so unlike the rest of the natural world, whose foundation seems to be all about making Life in interconnected ways, that it is a bringer of death. It is a death way.

What is becoming apparent to me about the evolution of this power-over-paradigm is that the personality type most likely to succeed in this structure is the psychopath, the sociopath. Having no empathy, having no conscience, allows for a ruthlessness and a cunning that is perfectly suited for a game of dominance and amassing at the expense of all others, both human and otherwise.

The pinnacle of its society are those most afflicted with humanity’s deepest pathologies.” — Pat McCabe

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“Our job is not to comprehend or control everything, but to learn which story we are in and which of the many things calling out in the world is calling to us. Our job is to be fully alive in the life we have, to pick up the invisible thread of our own story and follow where it leads. Our job is to find the thread of our own dream and live it all the way to the end.” — Michael Meade

Before we can give up chasing a life not meant for us, we may need to dismantle the wrong dreams installed in us by our culture. Ego dreams are common in our superficial world. We rarely grow up with the ambition to put beauty into the world. We want to “be somebody.” We are unconvinced, especially in America, that competition is a dead end.

Our particular modern world is starved for beauty of all kinds. We endure it and drive ourselves forward, believing that there is no alternative, that this is real life. The soul’s longing for beauty is not listened to.

In the background of ourselves, it is weeping for its lost life of beauty and deep sense of meaning. Money, possessions and status can’t offer such things. We live in a culture that has lost its way and doesn’t have many options to reorient itself toward a soulful path. Public figures in positions of authority are often sociopaths aiding and abetting cruel and punishing structures of society.

Enlightened leaders are in short supply. We’re on our own until we find information or people who can speak to our need for depth, meaning and beauty. There is no lack of people ready to lead us into the swamp, people who are sure they know God’s own truth.

Youth beware. Trust your instincts. Fools abound.

If you can avoid the pitfalls, if you can question your own foolishness enough, you may find that one beautiful path meant for you. When that happens, you will have bestowed on you the right difficulties and challenges. You won’t necessarily be “happy” but you will be offered meaningful pains and wounds. There’s nothing worse than suffering for a meaningless life.

You’re born with a quotient of energy to put into the world. It’s a shame to offer the world another thoughtless ego. It’s up to you to find your way, but when you begin to live as your true self you’ll find help will appear almost magically.

Life encourages that kind of courage.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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