Saturday, April 4, 2009

Charisma: Can Minds Be Opened?

The idea of a completely open mind is a misnomer. For a true open mind to exist, one must have a blank slate of experiences without any preconceived notions. As soon as a person begins to have experiences, she ceases to have an open mind, holding close to ideas and paradigms that help make sense of the world. Invariably, your value comes in creating a greater awareness whether it is accepted or not.

As pattern-seeking individuals, our paradigms help us make rapid sense of how the world operates, using these patterns to protect us physically and emotionally. Our experiences come through personal encounters or vicariously through others. As such, new information will do one of three things to a person's paradigm: 1. Transform or shift, 2. Expand, 3. Fall by the wayside. In transforming or shifting a paradigm, the individual has accepted a new pattern of thinking that supersedes a previous thought pattern. Depending on the malleability of the person's willingness to change, this transformation may be smooth or a tumultuous intrusion.

The new mode of thinking is antithetical to the previous thought pattern. The individual willingly chooses to change paradigm, because she has found greater protection with deeper awareness. Secondly, the individual will expand her paradigm by building on supplemental information that solidifies current modes of thinking. Semantically, this might be viewed as a transformation or shift, but in this view, the person is not releasing a viewpoint, but merely adding to the accepted belief system. This might be defined as experiencing a moment of clarity. Finally, information may fall by the wayside, because it has hit upon a mindset that either doesn't see the value or outright rejects the notion. The person doesn't get it or see the relevancy. The most important point to remember is that information is consistently filtered to occupy one of these spaces. You want your ideas to transform or expand, but hopefully never fall by the wayside.

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