Embracing Our New Post-Modern Worldviews, Especially The Mindsets That Give Them Their Power

One of NASA’s first pictures of the earth from space
Photo by Ava Sol on Splash

Worldview and Mindset Theories

In particular, I’ve been reading Richard Tarnas, Peter Berger, and James Underhill. All three of these experts have an abiding interest in discovering how and why ordinary people come to believe what they believe.

  1. Worldviews are the unquestioned beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world. Every worldview answers questions buried deep in our psyches like Who am I?, How did I get here? What’s my purpose in life?
  2. Worldviews explain the mysteries that amaze us. They define how we respond to the ontological and existential questions that confound us.
  3. Worldviews are our precast perception of reality — networks of incontestable truths, existential presuppositions, and foregone conclusions. Day-to-day worldviews are the cosmological frameworks we/ve. agreed use to understand, relate to, and interact with the world.
  4. As such, worldviews are a society’s “sacred canopy.” They’re the deeply valued beliefs a community builds over and around itself to give meaning to its members’ deepest sensibilities, fears, and unanswerable questions.
  5. Human beings can’t live without a worldview. Neither can they live without the mindsets that give their worldview its presuppositional depth and detail.
  6. Mindsets are the mental attitudes and behavioral skills embedded in our brains’ neuronal networks. Our mindsets predetermine how we interpret our life situations and act in response to them.
  7. Typically, we extrapolate the attitudes and skills that make up our mindsets from the worldview(s) we absorbed while growing up. Mindsets, like the worldviews they come from, rarely change.
  1. Today, villages, towns, cities, communities, and nations worldwide have more than one active worldview. In every location, there are now two or more active worldviews.
  2. Communities with more than one active worldview typically have at least two — i.e., the Traditional and the Modern Worldview.
  3. Today, some societies have four active worldviews — i.e., the Traditional, the Modern, the Post-Modern, and the Integrative worldview.
  4. Societies with more than one active worldview always have one worldview that’s dominant. This worldview provides that society its cosmological foundation, the one view of reality that most citizens subscribe to.
  5. However, in communities with more than one worldview, alternative worldviews are dominant for those groups that have adopted them as their cosmological framework. These alternative worldviews provide the same kind of cosmological foundation for its groups as the dominant worldview does for its community.
  6. There’s always tension and conflict between the two most active worldviews in a community over what’s true and real in these multi-worldview societies. Today, this conflict is happening at the local level, the nation-state level, and in our world, writ large.

Today’s New Insights

The idea that societies have a “worldview” and individuals have mindsets that translate this worldview into acceptable and effective behavioral routines emerged in 1790 when first Immanuel Kant introduced these two concepts. In the years since Kant introduced these two concepts, thevy’vve become well accepted.They’ve attracted much attention from philosophers, sociologists, and psychologists.

Photo by Chris Sabor on Unsplash

Tension and Conflict In Our Multi-Worldview World

At the moment, Annick de Witt is in the process of translating the second set of six hypotheses I’ve outlined above into agreed-upon facts.

  1. In every community with two active worldviews with significant numbers of adherents, there’s always tension and conflict over what’s true and real. Whether this conflict is happening at the local level, the national level, or in the world, writ large, the actual conflict between these two worldviews is always driven by these worldviews’ respective mindsets.
  2. Cosmological tension and conflict are this world’s most critical issues. Climate change and worldwide migration dynamics are good examples. Events in these two areas during the last decade have shown us that if we can’t find ways to alleviate the worldview conflicts going on across the globe, we’ll never be able to resolve our climate change and migration problems.
  3. At present, the most significant worldview conflict is the one between the enlightened liberalism of the Western World and the religious fundamentalism of the Islamic World. In particular, this clash is concerned with the differences between the Western World’s enlightened liberalism (as manifested in its culture, its democratic political ideology, and sense of human equality) and the Islamic world’s fundamentalism (as displayed in its conservative family and gender norms).
  4. In America, the ideological conflict between those individuals, elected officials, and political parties who believe the enlightened liberalism worldview and those individuals, elected officials, and political parties who believe the radical conservatism’s worldview and the white patriarchy’s ideas and values is equally volatile.
  5. Both the enlightened liberalist worldview and the radical conservative worldview have associated mindsets. For each worldview, their mindset operationalizes its respective worldview. Generally, enlightened liberals prefer to act through collaborative mindsets. Radical conservatives prefer to act through conflict mindsets. This difference is significant because, at present, enlightened liberals are showing great reluctance to step into this conflict in fierce ways. At the same time, the radical conservatives seem to have no other behavioral routines available to them that they’re willing to use.
Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash

A Final Word

The previous article in this series (“Signs Foreshadowing the Emergence of a New Worldview”) closed with these words:

  1. Worldview experts like Richard Tarnas, Peter Berger, and James Underhill have discovered evidence that proves worldviews are real and that they organize and drive our behavior.
  2. This evidence suggests it’s time for us to realize the worldview we unconsciously absorbed when we were growing up probably needs to be examined for its outmoded and dysfunctional beliefs.
  3. Annick de Witt’s research has identified four active worldviews — i.e., the Traditional, Modern, Post-Modern, and Integrative Worldviews.
  4. Annick’s research in this regard suggests we’re living in a multi-worldview world. My research if this issue supports the idea that, in societies and communities that contain two or more active worldviews, cosmological tensions and conflict between adherents of these worldviews are deadly serious and directly threaten thier communities’ coherence and unity.
  5. Worldview tension and conflict are perhaps this world’s most critical issues. Climate change, the world’s migration issues, and America’s current insurrection are good examples of this. Events in these three areas over the last decade demonstrate the fact that, if we don’t find ways to alleviate the worldview conflicts between The West and the Islamic World going on all over the world, we’ll never be able to address worldview problems like climate change and migration.
  6. Annick de Witt’s research on the emergence of the Post-Modern and Integrative Worldviews is evidence that supports the idea that real signs foreshadowing the emergence of a new worldview exist.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dave Nicoll

Dave Nicoll

A senior citizen. I’ve started a new life here in Seattle and am truly gratefull for this new chapter. Reach me at davenicoll125@gmail.com.