So we’ve been taking about stop, look and listen, language and meaning, figure and ground, and paradigm shifting. These are all ways to increase mindfulness to act in a present moment way within the context of authenticity and internal strength toward connection and the development of one’s best self.
When I was in college I read a landmark book called The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, first published in 1962. It developed a theory that truth in science was a function of one conceptual world view being replaced by another. This was the basis of the concept of paradigm shifting that was later taken up by Steven Covey 27 years later in his powerful book on change, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
I experienced a mini-internal cultural revolution.
- Making connections and seeing how to integrate disparate views to incorporate a vision that life is connected.
- How we connect/disconnect and how we view life has more to do with our experiences and how we interpret those experiences than something objectively real.
- Empowerment is a function of personal will-power and the terms intention, attention, perspective, perception.
- Responsibility is the ability-to-respond in the present moment; and, freedom, rights and responsibilities are interconnected.
- Unconscious habit reaction patterns require shifting to create mini-internal, cultural revolutions, paradigm shifting using mindfulness.
Hermann Hesse’s literary work The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi), which describes an individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality was a pivotal source-work for me. I suspect this has something to do with my affinity for existentialism and phenomenology as conceptual worldviews.
Existentialism is a philosophy that focuses on how all actions are choices, even no action, and that an individual has power as she has responsibility for her choices in the world, and through this responsibility is free. Jean-Paul Sartre best describes this philosophy; I like many of his literary works but my favorite is Being and Nothingness.
Phenomenology incorporates the effect of the interface of energy, spirit, mind, and physical components in the development of self and meaning. Georg Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit and Martin Heidegger: On the Way to Language and The Question of Being were strong contributors to this philosophy.
From a psychological perspective, I like the contemporary work by James Hillman and, the transformational work by Heinz Kohut who developed the concept of dynamic self-psychology which focuses on the development of a sense of worth, well-being and self-object relationships, primarily in early childhood but continues throughout all stages of development and focuses on internal conflicts and important relationships.
A contemporary author who incorporates these philosophies to promote mindfulness and integration of spirit, mind, body and action is Ken Wilber: Integral Spirituality and A theory of everything.
These worldviews applied to parenting have to do with increasing mindfulness, and choice-making in the now. Increasing internal strength via connection to self and internal will-power and the capacity to navigate internal needs and external expectations to promote optimal growth.
There is a fascinating educational curriculum that has been used in Canada and in some areas in the US to help children and adolescents succeed emotionally and academically in school by increasing their mindfulness, from The Hawn Foundation started by Goldie Hawn, called MindUP, developed by a Harvard psychologist who is part of the foundation.
So there’s a lot of references for the ideas about which I have been writing.
Check them out if you’re interested.
See you tomorrow.