Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DAY 17) Perpetuating Paradigms


Interesting. The West Australia News, usually with no more than a paragraph or two on anything that happens outside, had the Pope’s resignation as a banner headline. History is made! Thus in Pope Benedict XVI’s directly influencing the choice of a successor “to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future” (thewest.com.au/Feb/12/p.6) there lives hardly a real paradigm shift at all.

We churn in the spiral of our evolution. We 'perne in a gyre' (to quote Yeats, where ‘perne’ means ‘revolve’). And we perpetuate history with our inability to adjust to the integration of that which ‘Everything’ indeed already is. We evidently want to bend life toward the way we think it ought to be. Such is our orthodoxy. Change, after all, is not necessarily upwardly mobile. Change can be devolution back toward chauvinism, racism, bigotry, fascism, childishness; ‘sans ears, sans eyes, sans teeth, sans everything’. Myopia will lead men into self-righteous groups. It is our way. Yet even in articulating this much one realizes that we must accept that someone else will disagree; such is ‘Everything’ in its conception from the first instance. Which part of ‘Everything’ is not? “An aged man is but a paltry thing,” even in Byzantium!

‘Religion’ is not a subject M’Lady Nancy enters into readily. Offence is too easily taken. Yet intolerance and hard-line expectations, ‘or else be damned,’ are not quite de rigueur. One must account for all variables, allow for all contingencies, nurture and nudge toward greater growth, and give a good kick to the robbers. It is what it is. Yet that someone would break into her house and steal something, even while she was inside, is what is totally unacceptable. We rout out the rubbish. We teach them more-better (she’s readily adopted that useful phrase) if we can, but we also protect ourselves. Naturally!

Ants, cockroaches, silver-fish, crawly worms, flies, and other bugs live in our homes. Especially in Australia. Or Africa! The breakfast marmalade jar has tiny little black ants in it, more around the orifice. One eats them. Protein! They too are part of the whole. But we swat at the flies, and she smudges at the bitty ants. In her pantry. Everywhere. Cockroaches too. It is the way of hot countries. Everything is. Birds warble and whistle at tea time to be fed. Especially magpies. But stepping outside the coolness of this air-conditioned cottage is instantly to be desiccated with a heat so intense it sears the lungs, burns the soles, and blisters the head. The humidity is stupefying. How a person works in it I do not know. It hurts! How the birds manage to live in it is part of their instinct, I surmise, or do they each think it through?

Paradigms are perpetuated when we do not think it through. Essentially, we re-adopt the ‘hithertofore’ behaviours and revert back to what once-was our old habituation. We step back inside. We do not give time for the body to adjust, the psyche to re-align, to the acceptance of the new condition to become a new habit. And even if we do, even if we accept the new paradigm, such a new habit is not necessarily a more-better habit, just yet another habit. We are innately given to accepting that which our forefathers believed, what our nearest family members believe, our closest friends believe, our esteemed others believe. We seldom step beyond the threshold of the status quo and think for ourselves. Where do birds and bees learn it? They learn from each other! And who first began to stick the honey-dip down the ant-hole? Don’t ask; it’s worked this way for my ancestors and for my friends and family too; just follow. Ha!

In the long history of the very many wars before the First World War and the Second World War and the... In the long history, what have we as mankind really learned? We breed for cannon fodder. We breed to keep the status quo. We perpetuate our paradigms. Or do we not?  Tomorrow and tomorrow.

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