How did we get to the point we are at today in our modern western civilization? How did greed, corruption and selfishness become so prevalent? How did our lives get so busy, our frustrations so many, and our sense of contentment and achievement so hard won?
We live in an atmosphere charged with the expectancy of change. We are in a time period which some purport to be the end of the earth’s geological Cenozoic era. Some culture-watchers, cosmologists and theologians believe the era in which we are living needs to be the period for forging a whole new paradigm; that the old operational ideas have outlived their usefulness, en masse, and are now just causing harm. The evidence of this is becoming increasingly apparent.
The shifting consciousness around humanity’s place on the planet and our use of its resources is a prime example of this perceptual shift. Certainly, there have been recent events that support this hypothesis.
When people talk about “shifting the paradigm” I take this to mean changing the “standard operating procedure” as it relates to those cultural norms that have evolved, particularly since the advent of the industrial revolution.
This work can be contributed to by anyone, I believe, through independent, personal action. Creating cultural change through personal responsibility that manifests in ones actions. It is the old “pebble in the water creating ripples” motif. Moving Beauty out of the abstract and back into the realm of the concrete, where it actually resides, is key to a successful cultural and values shift.
To this end I propose evolving a 21st century applied philosophy of Beauty: “The Way of Beauty.” This Way introduces “The 18 Practices of Beauty.” These are primarily guidelines on what to explore and what to do (practice) to evoke, nurture and support beauty-full choices in the everyday living arts to better heal ourselves and our spiritual and physical environments — and through these individual actions and choices — eventually our very culture.
It has become critical now at this juncture that the term “Beauty” be reclaimed, and its concept be understood at a far deeper, truer level to be embraced and revered by humankind.
We must move from giving only lip-service born of abstract philosophical theory (“Truth, Beauty, and Goodness”) into behavioral practices born of value shifts based in a new, emergent paradigm.