Read these short blog posts to explore the Conventional and Natural Paradigms, and what it might mean to you to Re-Align with Nature.
I recently re-read Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. When I read it this time, something new stood out to me — his exploration of The Existential Vacuum:
At the beginning of human history, man lost some of the basic animal instincts in which an animal’s behavior is embedded and by which it is secured. Such security, like Paradise, is closed to man forever; man has to make choices.
In addition to this, however, man has suffered another loss in his more recent development inasmuch as the traditions which buttressed his behavior are now rapidly diminishing. No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he doesn’t even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).
Many of us today talk about our desire to reconnect with Nature, to spend more time in Nature. Many of us believe that if all of us spent more time in Nature, felt more connected to Nature, we would take better care of it. Perhaps what Frankl is saying is that the deeper problem is our disconnection from Nature’s Paradigm and our simultaneous adherence to the Conventional Paradigm.
When adhering to the Conventional Paradigm, we are driven by conformism and totalitarianism rather than our own instinctual values and priorities. Under these conditions, the choices we make, individually and collectively, are not only harmful to the planet, they are harmful to our individual sense of self as well as to society as a whole.
What is the answer? According to Frankl, we need to search for meaning in life.
… the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world, rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system.
… being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself. What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all … it is only possible as a side effect of self-transcendence.
I believe this means that we need to let go of — transcend — our collective value of individuality, competition, greed, and fear, and re-discover our instinctual and natural value of systems, synergies, trust, and curiosity. We need to let go of the triggers and traps of the Conventional Paradigm and re-discover Nature’s Paradigm.
I’m very curious what you all think.