Crisis. Has anyone in the history of the world eluded a crisis in their life? Show me someone without a crisis at some juncture in their life, and I’ll show you someone who is completely disassociated from reality.
Because of how this word is used in our Western culture, crisis denotes pain and anguish, or at least very difficult circumstances that might seem impossible to navigate. But how many of us recognized opportunity throughout these crises? Rarely do you find someone who can see the paradox growing while in the midst of a crisis.
However, some theoretical models, especially those in psychotherapy, suggest that in order to fully work though a crisis period, one must be able to see and articulate this paradox, and the two sides of the same coin are: Danger and Opportunity. For example, while my own personal economic collapse was extraordinarily painful, I can now see how pivotal that situation was in turning my life around. I was at the precipice…didn’t know how I was going to survive (i.e., DANGER), but at the same time, I now get to see life in a whole new way…a more authentic, creative, and caring view of reality (i.e., OPPORTUNITY).
Basically, without that crisis, I would still be deeply rutted in a dissatisfying lifestyle. The lifestyle itself was very comfortable and even elegant, but it did little to feed the soul.
Not everyone gets to see the paradox in their crisis. They might remain bitter or hostile about the situation (why did this happen to me?) Or they might have tried to just ignore the crisis altogether, which only backfires into symptoms characteristic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
For our Paradigm 3 work, we need to ask whether Danger and Opportunity can be separated. Has anyone ever avoided inevitable Danger specifically because they saw the Opportunity ahead of time? Many times the situation has to be so extraordinary that it forces us to see life differently; otherwise, the person is never jolted out their rut or pattern of living. Some groups might even insist that this paradox is the whole purpose of crises to begin with…to spawn new thinking and generate adaptation and real growth.
Obviously there’s no way to prove any of this ontological conundrum one way or the other, so we must pave the road with experiential understanding. That is, many things in life are improved from a crisis, and we have ample evidence to suggest that crises can greatly help us in an endeavor to improve.
For now, our epistemological theoreticians can assume that we’re only talking about organic crises…not those contrived ones that seem to be generated by the very people who stand to gain the most (who was it that said, “Never let a crisis go to waste?”)
Enter Paradigm 3
The new question for our work in Paradigm 3 is whether we can we satisfactorily inject the opportunity into the collective mindstream without subjecting humanity to the danger that is typically required for initiating the breakthrough, insight, or opportunity.
Do we need to break a leg in order to invent crutches? At a collective level, must humanity kill itself before realizing that a different order of economics is necessary for our survival?
I would argue that Paradigm 3 should be overly concerned about this issue, and it may turn out that this fundamental question will drive us more than any other factor. Can we extract the opportunity AND prevent the danger?
If we cannot, then Paradigm 3 stands to pose a menace to humanity with the risk being that we stay on the trajectory we’ve known for too long. If all we do is eliminate danger at the collective level, we will undoubtedly also eliminate humanity’s opportunities, and thus we continue down the road of devolution and disintegration.
Big Picture Flow
First, let’s talk about what we’re missing in our operations in order to make this happen. Undoubtedly, P1 must master the big three in their prediction incubations (What, Where, and When), but one more must be added: WHY?
WHY will tell us whether the upcoming crisis is purely organic or contrived. WHY will give us the unconscious desire that is attracting the crisis. WHY will be ascertained by the P1 team but ultimately be used by the P2 team.
Here are the nuts and bolts of the initial processing, or at least the big picture of how I see this integrated. First, the P1 team must get all components to accurately pinpoint the highest future probabilities. Once the basics are ascertained, those details get funneled over to P2 for influencing a better outcome.
However, without consciously garnering the ultimate opportunity from the crisis that P2 averted, we actually do humanity a disservice by basically suppressing the opportunity. Thus, P1 goes back to the incubation and focuses on the WHY of this situation. Using a scientifically sound process of identifying the original opportunity of the event, the P3 team (through the help of DFs and Elders) will solidify the main purpose of the averted crisis (if there is one) and ping this back into P2’s intentions for inclusion as either a full-up headline or a positive intention (i.e., they intend that the said opportunity is fully manifested and realized by the people involved in that crisis.)
As statistics develop, we’ll be able to tell if our original question is even possible. Can we separate Danger from Opportunity. The growing data can sequentially improve our effectiveness in P3, but what if the data suggests that Danger/Opportunity are inseparable? I contend that Opportunity becomes the pearl or highest priority in our operations.
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Copyright © 2014 Chris McCleary. Except for quotes, all rights reserved and any reference about this material requires a link back to this page.