Guidepost #4: Is a Paradigm Shift Coming?


photographer Dave Parkin

In Guide #4 we explore the paradigm shift that Peter Russell and others predict will happen around the science of consciousness.

Taking a page from Thomas Kuhn’s seminal 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolution, Russell has explained how common this type of paradigm shift is.

We tend to believe with diehard faith in a particular way of defining things — one that has served us a long time — until enough observations cannot be explained and we have to create a new explanation for how things might work. The transition from one paradigm to the next is not smooth. Pressure for change builds as more variables don’t fit anymore. We get smarter, we see more, we sense more, we measure more… and we understand that something is wrong with the old paradigm. Too many anomalies cannot be explained. Generally, the shift to something new is abrupt.

It takes a brave soul to challenge the assumptions. And they are often ridiculed for it. [Or, in pre-Descartes times, killed.]

Kuhn's example of a paradigm shift: causing people to see the same information in an entirely different way. Is this a rabbit? or a duck?

Kuhn’s example of a paradigm shift: causing people to see the same information in an entirely different way. Is this a rabbit? or a duck?

Challenges around consciousness have been urged by Guides featured on this Connected in the Deep website. In this e-guide, we explore the views of Peter Russell and ask: Is it time to re-examine our view of Descartes philosophy and see the universe as made up of more than mind and matter? Is Awareness an element of consciousness that deserves more study — it seems to have an impact on quantum particles (the role of observer) and medicine (mind-body connections) and neuroscience (meditation). Some would say the power of prayer is another element of consciousness that has not been examined closely.

So what do YOU think, having now read the synopsis of material?

Do you think Russell is right? Is a paradigm shift around consciousness inevitable? Is science capable of embracing it as a serious space for study? Is there something of import that might be learned from deeper research?

Questions you might consider in your Responses below:

  • Do you consider that the matter of brain might be more of a vibration or energy or field of brain?
  • Are individual minds capable of sharing a kind of collective consciousness?
  • Do you think dualism — the idea that mind and matter are distinct entities — is correct?
  • Do you believe we are living in a cause-effect universe? Or is existence more about probabilities and chance and non-linear fluidity?
  • Peter Russell said: “When science sees consciousness to be a fundamental quality of reality, and religion takes God to be the light of consciousness shining within us all, the two world views start to converge.” Do you think the science-or-religion division might start to converge someday?
  • Do you think science will be able to “prove” answers about consciousness for our left-brained selves who need more than “feelings?”
  • Do you believe science is headed toward a paradigm shift around this issue?

Welcome to the discussion!

— Mikki Morrissette, founder, Connected in the Deep

Note: the Guidepost conversation that starts below is not password-protected, which means your responses are more public. If that matters to you, please use a pseudonym.

  1 comment for “Guidepost #4: Is a Paradigm Shift Coming?

  1. Stu Webb
    February 22, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Stu Webb • 2 hours ago
    . Nonduality is not situated in the past in the hands of mystics who have preceded us. It is present now and absolutely available to every living sentient being (at least the human ones). Non duality, by definition, comes from the source of consciousness–not from the mind. The mind is a part of consciousness, not the other way around as we’ve thought. In non duality, consciousness is the direct input into our body/minds. In duality, we receive the consciousness but in direct competition with our minds which we then think are equal to consciousness input. In non duality, we SEE the same outer world, but from the view of consciousness which includes the mind and thoughts in complement with it. We see and know the beautiful story that recent writings seek. AND IT IS AS CLOSE AS OUR NEXT BREATH! But we can’t get there from our minds. It takes a “jump” or “fall back” to come to the I AM that we each are. AND the really outstanding good news is that our Science and Nonduality Organization is replete with teachers who can gently guide us into this living story that is intuited. My teacher, who I have never met in person, but who led me there through his wonderful meditations, is Rupert Spira, His teacher, Francis Lucille, is also part of our group. There are many others. Many of us are in nondual, but all of us are not as good teachers. I’m not! But each person who awakens to non duality adds the viewpoint and energy to potentially, with more and more individuals living the new story, transform our world into the most beautiful world our hearts know is possible! (As Charles Eisenstein writes in his wonderful new book by that title.) In 1936. Franklin Merrell-Wolff wrote an epic book, “Pathways Through to Space” which is a diary of his awakening. He was a mathematician and philosopher! I loved his book early on, but only understod a portion. Now it reads like a novel!! PLEASE, non duality IS the story!

    My take is that non duality is the key paradigm shift Peter points to

    Nondual personal attributes
    1. Flooded with peace—feeling of coming home.

    2. Feeing good for no reason (because you know who you truly are!).]

    3 .Experience the oneness beneath Separation.

    4. Solutions to problems bubble up.

    5. Uncover your unique gift and how to share it with the world.

    To paraphrase Buddha’s Four Noble Truths:

    Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths (Paraphrased)

    1. All is suffering (due to sense of Separation)

    2. Sense of separation is due to:

    a. ego belief that we are separate selves
    b. sleep-walking through life
    c. intense desire for objects and things
    d. obsessive focus on how mind/body and world works
    e. worship of certain awakened beings and others
    f. belief that consciousness is in the mind

    3. There is a cure for suffering:

    4. The ultimate paradigm shift to nonduality (consciousness) and sense of Interbeing.

    SO BE IT!

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