“The fact that life is problematic shows that the shape of your life does not fit into life’s mould. So you must change the way you live and, once your life does fit into the mould, what is problematic will disappear.” [1]

 – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Kraków is a city with a soul. Whether it is a hot summer’s day, a misty autumnal dawn or a hazy in its stunning pastel pinks wintery dusk, it shimmers and emanates quiet beauty. It is also a seat of learning with its 650 years old Jagiellonian University, which has fostered genius such as with Copernicus, amongst many others. It holds many treasures.

Kraków of the 21 st Century is full of juxtaposing trends. To mention just a couple of them, we have tradition and all that it represents – religion, history, legends; and a burgeoning community of innovators and visionaries, who mean to change the world with their bold ideas.

And every vision comes with a host of problems and challenges. Problems can be categorised into two groups: technical and human. With the help of rational thinking we can be, and often are, very effective at solving technical problems. As far as human problems go, however, dealing with ourselves and others can be a daunting challenge. And what I mean by that is our humanity – all that, which artificial intelligence is not capable of… yet. It makes us human, but it also impedes our ability to be present in the moment, to experience life fully, to truly innovate, to be effective at solving perennial human problems like violence, hunger and exploitation. To varying degrees, we all live at the effect of those dysfunctions and feel powerless in their face. We deal with humans and all their quirks wherever we go – at work, at home, on holidays. Frustratingly, rational thinking is not much help here. Not really.

Dr. David Norris, international consultant, facilitator and coach working in the newly emerging field of human maturation, who leads a groundbreaking personal development course called ‘Listening to Life: Living Beyond the Story’ in Kraków, writes in his article titled ‘Beyond Perspective’ that the answer to the latter group of problems is a new kind of human consciousness “unattached to any point of view and hence beyond perspective, free in timespace” [2], timespace being a key element of a Post-Modern (Post-Newtonian/Cartesian) paradigm, which is both aperspectival and arational.

Not many people are aware of this evolving worldview. Even fewer have experienced its power first hand. Just as the pre-Columbus paradigm did not allow us to perceive the spherical shape of planet Earth, the one we are outgrowing is not spacious enough to hold all the opposing points of view with their contradictions that cause us all the headaches and heartaches.

In simplest terms, the main hallmark of the new paradigm is a shift in the understanding of what a human being is from being an object to being a space. Before I try to explain this statement let me first address a very important issue. The best I can do with an explanation is to point towards the new paradigm, but this will ultimately be unsatisfying because no explanation can convey an experience. Another way of saying this is that an explanation doesn’t have the same power as direct experience. What makes this even more tricky is that I am using language, which is linear, to explain a non-linear phenomenon, and so anything expressed through language becomes a product of linearity. Having said that, let me venture an explanation anyway.

The world shows up in a way that is consistent with where we are looking from. In the case of the old Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm this place is the fundamental dichotomy inherent in Descartes’ res cogitans and res extensa. Seeking a place to stand from which to originate his philosophy, Descartes began with that there are thoughts, and if there are thoughts then there must also be a thinker. This led to his famous “Cogito ergo sum”, implicit in which is that there is a fundamental split (separation) between the mind and the body, the ‘me’ and the world. Inferred in it is that this ‘me’ is a thing, since if it exists in contrast to the world, then like all the objects of the world, it must be a something located somewhere. But, in fact, mind and body, ‘me’ and world are a whole, distinct from one another but not separate.

When we are looking at the world from within a paradigm, we cannot really appreciate what can only be apparent when we have a vantage point outside of it. It’s the prerequisite for a blind spot to be perceived. We cannot talk about the blind spot until we have a new perspective (paradigm) available to look from. And then the blind spot can be seen. That is the main difficulty in explaining this in writing, which is essentially a monologue – a continuous flow of explanation. No matter how many different ways I say it, we are still missing a dimension, which is necessary for the blind spot to be accessible to you by experience. The best way to generate this experience is through dialogue, since dialogue at its best provides the possibility for emergent experience. And that’s what we do in Listening to Life – revealing and experiencing the newly emerging human consciousness “unattached to any point of view and hence beyond perspective, free in timespace”.

I find it reassuring to know that we humans, and with us our worldview and capacities, are evolving. It is even more potent to experience that evolution personally and intentionally. And Kraków offers a place to explore this, although very few amongst the Krakovians and the visitors enjoying the magnificent Renaissance Town Square or walking leisurely around Planty are aware of this. Listening to Life is one of Kraków’s aforementioned treasures. This course introduces a new kind of learning not only to Kraków, but to Poland and to this part of Europe, called distinction based learning, which is essentially experiential learning…

 

The experience that this unique course offers is, “instead of knowing oneself as a character in a story moving through time, knowing oneself as the field of spacetime itself within which events occur. This is being in the presence of wholeness.” [3]

Not intellectually. Experientially. And wholeness allows us to see Life as it really is… not problematic.

To experience this paradigm shift for yourself register here.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Gosia at info@doowise.org.

[1-3] Quotes from ‘Beyond Perspective’ by Dr. David Norris, ERUDITIO, Volume 2, Issue 2, July-August 2016, 108-111

 

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