Don’t be intimidated by the term ‘paradigm’. It is merely a term for the platform, the set of beliefs or principles which determine anything. It is another way of describing our metaphysical platform. What may surprise most of us is that we already have a personal paradigm we just don’t realize it.
For some of us it represents the world of ‘seeing is believing’. Anything which defies our ‘common sense’ view of the world, or anything which eludes our senses just isn’t true. This approach might be better described as empiricism or scientific materialism. In other words our personal paradigm may depend on what our common sense, our senses or what science determines to be so.
The problem with this approach is that we often fail to realize how much of science is leading us into ‘uncommon sense’ proposals about the nature of reality. Both relativity theory and quantum theory are far from common sense in their metaphysical implications, yet they seem to be ‘true’ according to the preponderance of physicists. Other concepts about the nature of reality are even more ‘bizarre’. Unfortunately, there is no time in this blog to pursue them. [I do explore this in my book]
Also, with the acknowledgment of the reality of dark matter and dark energy, physics is admitting that we ‘understand’ only about 5% of the physical universe. What the rest truly ‘is’ remains elusive.
The other end of the spectrum of personal paradigm incorporates fundamentalist religious thinking. Such individuals feel obligated to believe everything which their religious texts and leaders tell them. They choose not to question anything for fear that any bit of doubt will disrupt the comfort of their paradigm.
I suggest the open-minded skeptics approach. Be willing to question everything, from science to religion. But be willing to seriously consider some rather unusual concepts if they seem to offer evidence and bring you to a higher state of peace, contentment and healing.
This may seem more complicated than it really is. Choose a personal paradigm which finds purpose and meaning in our lives, which does not equate pain with suffering, which asks of us to find lessons when we are confronted with tragedy, which encourages us to offer compassion to others as well as ourselves, which rejects competition when cooperation makes more sense, which trusts that the Golden Rule will help to heal ourselves as well as the world.