7 pieces of Art that have Spectacularly Shifted my Paradigm
Links included so you can sample them now.
These past 40 years have been a bit of a surreal journey. I’m sure many of you have been on similar treks. As I’ve written before, this platform seems to draw those who think. I’m not referencing the experience of merely being alive. I’m talking about the journey of searching for meaning and purpose in life.
This morning I came across umair haque’s post on Life, the World, Now, You, and Me and it catalyzed a shift. Reading this post was a milestone in my journey. It opened my mind’s eye to the many years I’ve been meandering down the path of this paradigm shift. And today the shift happened.
Be prepared to appreciate what you meet.
— Fremen proverb
In the spirit of this crystalized shift, I’d like to share some of the most critical pieces of art that I’ve had the pleasure of encountering along the way.
NOTE: Many of the video links below will include ads from the old paradigm of economics that play before the good stuff. Take a breath. You’ll probably want to hit the skip button. But you can also use these videos as a stunning example of contrast. That which we don’t want showing us that which we do.
1. The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
I read this pivotal book in college in the late 90’s. The idea that all of us are domesticated into a social system that revolves around avoiding pain staggered me. The concept that the world is created by the manifestation of what we are all “dreaming” opened the doors of possibility.
20+ years on the New York Time’s bestsellers list is an impressive statistic. But my hope is that maybe, by now, enough people have read this book that it has actually become one of the influences in the larger paradigm shift we seem to be catching glimpses of today.
2. Warrior Goddess Training by HeatherAsh Amara
@heatherashamara apprenticed with Don Miguel for many years. I had the pleasure of studying under her directly for 3 years here in Austin at TOCI, the toltec center of creative intent. She brings a strong, clear, feminine perspective to the idea of how to apply the concepts introduced in the Four Agreements.
One of her teachings that has stuck with me is the concept of outgrowing the structures we build for ourselves, and the necessity of breaking down these old structures in order to make room to build ourselves something better.
She’s also an author in her own right, and a fire-walking badass that has mentored many people across the threshold of paradigm shift, myself included.
3. Be Here Now by Ray LaMontagne
This song is one of those simple, but deep pieces of art that profoundly gets under your skin once you’ve heard it. My own relationship with it has been enhanced by the many campfires around which I’ve sat while I play it on my guitar.
Camping is one of those simple practices we still have in the world today that can take you back to the moment, if you let it.
4. Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein & Ian McKenzie
Charles wrote the book, and Ian made the video. This 15 minutes just might help you make the shift on its own. umair haque talks about the old paradigm being economic, and the new one being eudaimonic.
This short film and the book that inspired it will give you some true food for thought as you begin to explore the doorway into the new story.
5. The Chalice & the Blade — by Riane Eisler
Another of my teachers, Genevieve Sprinkle, gave me this book about a decade ago. It covers the basic conceptual difference between societies that exist with a domination mindset vs those that run under a partnership mindset. It also talks about some fascinating bits of human history that didn’t really make it into the official books, but are supported by archaeological research. Definitely not light reading, but if you like your books deep you may want to check it out.
6. Tamera — peace biotope
“There is a latent human dream that wants to be rediscovered, more beautiful and primal than what we’ve dared to dream so far. A world without war, where all those who once stood against each other as enemies are reconciled — humans and nature, peoples and religions, men and women.”
Tamera might be a little outside of the common comfort zone, but the work they are currently doing there deals with the roots of conflict in many of the same ways as Riane Eisler’s work has done. If you’ve got an open mind and want to see some of the ways getting rid of the fear in love can change the world. Visit their website to learn more
7. A Eudaemonic Paradigm Shift by Umair Haque
Umair is a self-professed vampire. I’m pretty sure this unlikely self-descriptor has to do with the shift that happened to him after his old world was killed by a serious illness, and he was reborn afterwards by surprising everyone and not dying after all.
Like I said above, the small sample of his writing that I encountered this morning was a catalyst to help me wake up just one degree more.
He talks about today’s four Massive Existential Problems, and the common thread of the uncaring economic paradigm that connects them all. He writes about the idea of dissolving in to the decline as a doorway into the new.
This post clarified for me some of the details of WHY I’m working the way I’m working, and WHAT drives me to want to do things a little bit differently than I was originally taught.
So what’s next?
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour through these meaningful pieces of work by amazing people who have managed to step through the shift and emerge on the other side.
I hope you might enjoy the introduction to these people who have brought us their vision, their courage, and some action items that might actually make a difference in our world.
I’d love your feedback.