I hear this phrase frequently, and think, are these times inherently different? Larger than life? Miraculous? Or like the great flood, globally destructive? Whether you’re religious or not, ‘Biblical’ evokes images of a strategic shift, the metaphorical fork in the road, times when philosophies, actions and the course of human events are a magnitude above the usual order. For doomsayers, ‘Biblical’ times predict catastrophic change. Zealots wait, not in fear, but in eager anticipation of the rising of the faithful and condemnation of the damned. Are we in the midst of that?
Or something else.
If religious conflagrations are any indication, maybe Armageddon really is at hand. Religious flashpoints are as dense and widespread as the unprecedented population of our planet. The rise of nationalism is epidemic. Nationalism contributes mightily to the melee, supporting conflict and separation over peace and unity. Contentious rhetoric, civil upset and belligerent policies fan the flames of religious and cultural competition on an international scale. The world is a tinderbox with a nuclear match.
At their core, these issues are not unique to our times. They have always existed. At least they’ve existed (to varying degrees) in previous ‘systems of thought’—or Paradigms, as they are called—in human history. Paradigms, however, are ‘Biblical’ in importance. For one thing, they are few and far between—sometimes centuries or even millennia. Paradigms are critical to the evolutionary direction of human destiny. They are the conceptual structures that support our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth. Paradigm leaders include spiritual icons of all religions and philosophies who have catapulted our thinking into previously unimagined realms of thought and action. Love over hate. Peace over violence. Generosity over greed. Unity over separation.
The seeds of earlier paradigms are still within or at least among us, represented by entire groups of people, even nations, who are either resistant or have not been exposed to the next order. Sometimes this is due to insular or defensive thinking. Sometimes it’s due to physical isolation, poverty, violence, or a life of abuse that has rendered them reactive to the past. People who are reactive or stuck in the past build walls, take prisoners, and reject outside communication. They cling to the familiar, even if it’s destructive. They are ruled by fear.
In their day, older paradigms served a great purpose, lifting humanity to higher planes of thought and behavior. Even an “eye for an eye” was a massive improvement over the torture previously inflicted on prisoners in ancient Babylonia. As barbaric as it seems now, Hammurabi’s code represented a paradigm shift in justice, allowing the law to extract from the perpetrator only what was taken from his victim. It could have been so much worse. Other paradigm shifts over time took us from victim consciousness to the awareness of individual power. Paradigm shifts have moved us from superstition to evidence-based science, from autocracy to democracy, from slavery to freedom. But what’s next? If we are indeed living in ‘Biblical’ times, we are headed for a shift.
When a paradigm no longer serves evolution, it recedes and deteriorates from lack of energy. As it deteriorates, there are always those who will declare it the end of civilization, of humanity perhaps or the world as we know it. There are those who would rather die than accept a new order. But a paradigm whose time has come will situate itself no matter what. It has generally been quietly doing just that, for decades or longer, in the backdrop of day-to-day life. If we recognize it, we can save a lot of time and grief by helping it along. As Nietzsche said, “That which is falling must also be pushed.” In other words, when the world is falling apart, there’s a reason for it. Push. Make room for the new.
New paradigms are seeded in the minds and hearts of visionaries—mystics, prophets, artists, and inspired leaders. They begin as possibilities, grow to probabilities, and as more people become attuned consciously or subconsciously, they become inevitabilities. When activated, new paradigms brew a powerful evolution of mind and spirit that has the ability to ignite a fire of higher thought over time even in the most reluctant. Each paradigm shift requires a brand new medium, or culture, in which to grow. The substance and structure of that culture is often so revolutionary, it can’t be predicted before its time.
Paradigm cultures differ dramatically. The culture of a paradigm shift for our times, for example, would be very different than the Age of Enlightenment when science made its startling debut. At that time, the printing press made information widespread and accessible to ordinary people, allowing the ideas of the new paradigm to spread. The culture for our paradigm shift also involves communication, but in an exponentially more ubiquitous way. It is the ability to communicate anywhere instantaneously with almost anyone—to literally speak our minds without opening our mouths.
The culture for our new paradigm is the internet.
To be clear, the internet is not the paradigm; it is the medium, the soil, in which the paradigm grows and is nourished. What the internet provides on the surface is information, but what it provides from a paradigm perspective is a window into other dimensions, dimensions that were always here, but beyond our seeing. These are the dimensions of thought, where past, present, and future are indistinguishable. Where the laws of time and space are nearly irrelevant. Where everything that ever was, continues to exist simultaneously.
The new paradigm has arrived in the disguise of a business tool, but its purpose is spiritually transformative. Through it, we see what has always been true—that our thoughts have form. And power. We not only see what that means, but we experience it. We see that our thoughts exist now and always; that they are witnessed and stored. We see that a single tweet can sweep the globe in seconds; that our thoughts not only have speed, but direction. We see that we cannot retract them; that we must learn to control them. In order to move on, we must hold ourselves accountable for our thoughts and their impact on others, and in so doing, understand the true power of the mind and its derivatives.
For now, we are novices—outraged when publically convicted of something that was previously considered private. Facing ourselves in this realm of transparency for the first time in human history is as epic as the introduction of sight, sound, smell, or touch. It is a tectonic tool of intellectual, psychological, and spiritual transformation—the entire Collective Mind of humanity stripped of its fig leaf. Only through this kind of transparency can we clean it up to prepare ourselves for the next step—Unity. This is a paradigm culture that for the first time not only supports, but exponentially accelerates the evolutionary process. It’s a shift beyond our imagining, and yet we are well in its midst. But is it ‘Biblical’ in proportion?