Barriers to Change

by Brad on January 7, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why personal change is often difficult. We say we want what I’d term “transformation in consciousness,” yet more often than not, we experience tomorrows that look a lot like yesterday. I’m of the mind that the kind of change we seek comes naturally, “for free,” when conditions conducive to transformation are present. If so, then what “conditions” do we struggle with making “conducive?” First on MY list are institutions and worldviews — the cultural frameworks that guide our lives, largely without our awareness or consent.

I’ve written before about the role science plays in our lives. Clearly an “institution,” and for at least the last 400 years the basis for our western worldview, science has, from my perspective, become a clear barrier to transformation. I’m not knocking science here. It’s helped us to understand our world in miraculous ways. I’ve got a strong science background, and I honor its discoveries. Yet the rigidity of its process, coupled with its self-imposed constraints on what qualifies as “truth,” create a significant constraint in our work to shift the way we see ourselves and our world. Largely because personal, subjective experience is declared outside the realm of science, we’re left with a worldview based only on objective, rather than subjective, experience. No wonder we feel lost in the wilderness, deprived of spirit and soul … we simply can’t “measure” those things the way science measures.

As long as our institutions (scientific, business, political, religious) tell us subjective experience doesn’t “count,” and as long as the processes they use to ply their trades systematically exclude consciousness as a causal factor, those same institutions will represent a barrier to the transformation so many want, so many believe possible, and so many stand for.

I read an article yesterday in the New York Times about the recent acceptance by a respected psychology journal of a paper on ESP. The interesting thing was not the acceptance of the article (which is a welcome crack in the armor I outline above) but that its acceptance has prompted outrage among many scientists as an “embarrassment to the field.” To me, this is an in-your-face example of how science (or at least many scientists) defend the institution (science) over the promise of the institution (the exploration of truth.) Worse, if the general public doesn’t see this kind of thing as a barrier to change, then the chances of said change diminish with each new act of intransigence.

Methinks it’s time for a shift in thinking, so we can open ourselves to … a shift in thinking.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri Lavery January 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I absolutely whole heartedly agree….we trust outside of ourselves more than we trust what we hear and feel inside of our selves.


Barbara Leger January 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Appreciate your statement about outside influences telling us our “subjective thoughts don’t count.” Of course, they do. Each subjective view is a piece of the infinite “pie,” and each piece contributes to the whole.


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