Sir, I think your paradigm just shifted.

What does a paradigm shift feel like?  I understand what it is.  I can give the definition.  I can even point to examples that I’ve had in my own life.  But what goes on in the body and the mind when it happens?  I ask this because it seems that as I watch others and pay attention to myself as questions are being asked of the status quo there’s a chemical reaction that happens internally as well.  (I think it’s the therapist in me trying to diagnose.) 

When the ground of "foundationalism" or "fundamentalism" is shaken it seems to rock the stomach a little and bring an unsettled feeling.  Dizziness and fitful sleep can accompany it as well.  Often one find’s himself distracted by "etherial" thoughts that are difficult to put into words.  Addictions often set in during this time as well — particularly the over-consumption of books and blogs.  Life is lived as if one is listening to a new "voice" that is pointing out the new way of thinking every step of the way.  Everything is brought into question — from the food that is consumed to the money that is spent — because this new way of thinking touches all aspects of life.

The symptoms are similar to: 1) several DSM II disorders including schizophrenia and major depression and 2) falling in love.  And while number one is a distinct possibility…I’m thinking the second option is far more likely.  I’m finding new meaning in words like "spirituality" and "missional" now.  Before everything was filtered through the institutional lens…now those words apply to me — ALL THE TIME, not just when I’m sitting in the pew.  It’s like an optical illusion or one of those 3D images — once you see it, you can’t NOT see it.  (Maybe that’s why those things make me dizzy too.)

My internal "minister" says "take two Scriptures, wash it down with a prayer, and everything will be back to ‘normal’ in the morning."  No thanks…if that was "normal" give me whatever this is!

(Can you tell I’ve been reading too much N.T. Wright and Brian McLaren lately?)

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~ by Chris Green on July 21, 2006.

4 Responses to “Sir, I think your paradigm just shifted.”

  1. OK,
    1st you are on my toes and now you are in my head…..how is that possible…

    Perhaps I am reading too much of the same things.

  2. Donna,
    Next time we’re in Alabama visiting Angela’s family we’re stopping by your house for some sweet tea! I’m pretty sure that we’d have some good conversations!

  3. oops…been a while since I checked your comments…come on down!! We would definately have some good conversations! I would love to have you both!

  4. Hi Chris, I found you through Darren’s living room.

    I can so relate to you. Hehe I have the symptoms you have, and I have been reading heaps of blogs and books, of course including Wright and McLaren, along with Frost, Hirsch and Don Miller….LOL!

    Surely will continue reading your blog with interest. Very nice to ‘meet’ you

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