Thursday, August 26, 2010

Change the Gestalt. Make the Paradigm shift.

originally posted November 11, 2009

"Change the Gestalt. Make the Paradigm shift."
"You are a SOUL which has a body, not a body which has a soul."

In response to a request for clarification on this quote, I’ve attempted here to explain my interpretation of it and warmly welcome feedback and discussion. :)

This means like, the way we look at something. In any given situation, there are many, many details, some of which we will choose to focus on in trying to understand the situation. Given our limited perception, there will always be more information available than we can actually perceive at one time. The resulting interpretation we come up with is then by definition incomplete, subjective and related to the particular Gestalt we have chosen. [Gestalt demystified]

This Gestalt concept is nicely illustrated in optical illusions... Depending on which part of an image (or situation) we focus on, we will perceive the whole story differently. Sometimes this is discussed as the play between Foreground & Background, or Figure & Ground. Check out this link for examples...

This means basically, the Gestalt which we have collectively agreed to use. A paradigm refers to what "we" consider to be "true", as based on socially accepted norms. Often the term is used in a scientific context. Depending on the paradigm from which an experimenter is working, the experiment will look very different and will lead to very different types of results.

A famous example of this is the statement that, "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now." This was said before Einstein came up with his Theory of Relativity, which has literally changed the world. Einstein stepped outside of the socially accepted Gestalt and made a Paradigm shift. ;) In other words, he tried an experiment of asking, what if the Gestalt we are using -- our current Paradigm -- is incomplete? Well, of course it’s incomplete. Then what?

Funny thing is, there is never one "best" Gestalt, as it means simply looking at different *pieces* of the same whole, looking at the same picture from different angles. There is actually an infinite number of Gestalts which we could choose to "use" in our perception of life... The Gestalt we "choose" determines the Paradigm from which we will work. So it is up to us which Paradigm we choose to work from. Then why not experiment? We can be Experimenters in our own lives. If we feel "stuck", what if we try a new Gestalt? If something feels impossible, what happens when we just shift into a different Paradigm? How to do this? Well, as with the optical illusions... we simply shift our focus to a different part of the same picture. Get it?

So back to the quotes...

"Change the Gestalt. Make the Paradigm shift." 
"You are a SOUL which has a body, not a body which has a soul."

I believe this is telling us to refocus our perception of this life experience. Let's experiment with the radical idea that we can actually *choose* to identify ourselves with the immortal Soul, rather than with this body, which will disease, decay and die. The fear of physical death is a huge drive for many people in our modern age -- aging is considered negative, and the appearance of aging, even more so negative. And yet, this body is bound to age. The over-identification with our physical bodies as our True Selves means that we are basing our happiness on something very temporary, which will die. What happens to our experience of this life if we shift to identify our Self with the Soul?

The Paradigm-shifting which we are currently experiencing as a planet is related to this re-identification with the Soul. It is high time that we align ourselves to this shift. We must unlearn the story we've been told that we ARE this body, that Life is over when this body dies. What will happen when we change the Gestalt and shiftthe Paradigm to Realize our Self as immortal Soul? Hmm... :)

So how to shift this particular Paradigm?
How to facilitate this re-identification of Self from body to Soul? ...

Two answers:
1) BE in the presence of a living Master. TRUE living Masters have a Soul presence which transforms us effortlessly.
2) PRACTICE meditation. Whatever speaks to you and will support you in your soul's eternal quest to Know the Truth of your Self as Soul.

Happy SELFing!

Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti