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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %CULTURE PARADIGMS COMMUNITIES INTERACT RELATIONS+960127 %DEFENSIVE INSECURITY VULNERABLE COSMIC EGG-SHELLS+960127 %RECOGNIZE NAME DESCRIBE TALK OPEN HONESTY LOVE+960127 %DOUBLE BIND TRAP PRISON COLLUSIVE GAME DECEPTION 960127 It is helpful to recognize, name, describe and talk about the differing paradigms which are the foci of various cultures, communities, professions, ethnic groups, religions, nation-states, etc. Differing paradigms encompass differing clusters of: technologies, equipment, assumptions, attitudes, values, ideas, ideals, principles, sub-cultures, languages, symbols, rituals, doctrines, traditions, etc. Differing paradigms define differing cultures, communities, professions, ethnic groups, religions, nation states---and vice versa. None of them are independent causes of others without reflexive consequences. They are all mutually interacting realities which are inter- dependent with, and often in conflict with, each other; leading each other into conflict and/or into the resolution/transcendence of conflict. Some paradigms are overtly defined. Other paradigms are covertly defined. In between and to the sides are paradigms which are tacitly defined; etc. Some paradigms promote honesty and integrity. Other paradigms promote dis-honesty and dis-integration; or are indifferent to dis-honesty and dis-integration. Some paradigms are coherent and promote coherence. Other paradigms are in-coherent and promote in-coherence. Some paradigms attempt to appear coherent---when in fact they are in-coherent and promote in-coherence. Each profession, system of education, religious group, political party, corporation, nation-state, etc. operates in terms of an overt, tacit, or maybe covert paradigm---entering into relationships with each other in terms of their own paradigms which lead them into conflict and/or into the transcendence of conflicts. People who are trapped within their own paradigms may not be able to see outside of their own paradigms. Their paradigms may be bounded by opaque walls which prevent them from seeing anything which is outside the opaque walls which define the bounds of their paradigm. They must deal with "outside" world entities only when crashes occur. Such crashes are experienced as assaults upon them by "enemy" forces which must be "alien", and probably "evil". Such paradigms heighten the "us" versus "them" frame of mind which characterizes the creators of such paradigms. Fundamentalists search for fundamentals in terms of which to clarify the differences between themselves and others---to bolster their point of view, of course. People who are bounded by the opaque walls of compulsively objective paradigms cannot allow themselves to see clearly the advantages of dealing openly and honestly with their reflexive realities which transcend their objectivity. They seek to deal objectively with their reflexive realities---including their trying to deal with the conflicting values, ideals, principles and goals with which they have defined their own compulsively objective paradigm and its related communities. Paradigms are disintegrative when they entail the playing of collusive games of mutual self deception regarding how comprehensive the paradigms are. Pretentiousness and arrogance are associated with believing that one's own paradigm has an unlimited scope of relevance---which is exclusive of complementary other paradigms from which one might learn much; were one open to learning from complementary other paradigms and cultures. But to be willing to learn from other paradigms and cultures one must willingly admit that one's own paradigm is not comprehensive in its range of relevance. To many people such an admission is tantamount to treason; and so it is un-thinkable---and so it is not thought about. Insecure people are especially prone to try to define themselves as "better" than their perceived "enemies"; to set up high standards of exclusivity. They form exclusive clubs, exclusive religions, exclusive professions, etc. It does not help to attack such insecure people, for each attack makes them feel more insecure, and leads them to take additional defensive measures of exclusivity. It is difficult to helpfully reach such people, for they are also likely to rebuff genuine offers of love which would entail honest admissions of inter-dependence. Dishonesty is one of their most commonly used tools. Thus an honest admission of inter-dependence would be to call into question the utility of dishonesty which is one of their most commonly used tools; it would generate a "crack in the cosmic egg" within which they live in fear of all that is outside their cosmic egg-shell. They prefer to pretend that all of the cosmos is inside their egg-shell; for it seems that they are in charge of all that is inside their egg-shell. The critical test of the adequacy of a paradigm is how well those who embrace a paradigm are able to deal with situations, realities, relationships which--- according to the paradigm---do not exist and/or should not exist. Each paradigm generates expectations of how things, people and the cosmos will behave---perhaps declaring how they SHOULD behave. Each paradigm (and those who embrace each paradigm) are tested when things, people and the cosmos do not conform to such expectations and declarations. Some paradigms and their personal incarnations respond to non-conformal behavior---with denials of the reality of the non-conformal behavior, repressions of awareness of non-conformal behaviors, judgmental condemnations of non-conformal behaviors, etc. Such responses usually lack honesty and integrity---and are signs of the inadequacy of the paradigms to lead people in living lives of personal and communal integrity. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================