Have you ever stopped to consider what a world view really is? One, it is how we view the world as it is or how it should be. Two, it’s a view that is shared by others, not just ourselves. Essentially, a world view is how we personally see the world, but there is also a social aspect to it. When you really think about it, most of what we consider to be our world views are simply ideas that were already supported by others that we just adopted for ourselves. In most cases we do this because it fits rather comfortably with our existing believes. Allegiance to a political party is a great example since a person usually bases their affiliation on their personal values and beliefs.
While many of our world views are healthy, there are also those that are, for lack of a better term, self-destructive. In most cases these views are so deeply rooted in our psyche that we don’t even realize it, which makes them that much harder to detect. Whether they arise from an obsession to identify with something, fear, or judgment, they are there. Thankfully, in today’s world, we are become more aware of these views and are making greater attempts to leave them behind.
Let’s take a quick look at these world views, as well as why leaving them in the past will lead to a period of immense personal growth and healthy living.
Absolutism is the idea that our beliefs, cultural norms, laws, and overall way of life can be applied in all contexts to every person on the planet. As a result, we perceive others that apply their own culture and sense of beliefs as a threat. This has resulted in various wars, religious conflicts, and racism and unfortunately, it is still very prevalent today. In fact, for some people, the belief that their world view is the right one is so extreme that they are teetering on madness. In today’s world, absolutism is something that we have to get rid of if we want the world to become a better place.
2. “There’s Us and There’s Them”
This mentality almost always ends up cutting someone or some group off from something else, which often leads to needless suffering. It also detaches us from nature and the world as a whole. However, when you really stop to think about it, it’s a completely irrational belief. Yes, we may all be different, but in the cosmic wheel of life we are One. Fortunately, an increasing number of people are beginning to see that this world view is wrong and are spreading the word that there is no “us and them”, but simply “us”.
3. Disenchantment and Materialism
In this case, we are not talking about material ideas, but the common world view that the material world is the foundation of the Universe. As a result, we are becoming disenchanted with the world around us, leaving us cold, cynical, and mechanical, while also shrugging off beauty and mystery as something that can be explained by a physical process. Instead of being enchanted by the wonders of the universe, we are quick to say “it’s because of science.” Thankfully, the importance of listening to our ancestral wisdom is emerging as many people try to keep it alive.
4. Institutionalized Control
From media censorship to mass propaganda, we have started believing that things are out of our control and there is nothing we can do about it. A great example involves the world’s state of affairs. Most of us feel like it’s out of our control and a higher power, such as the government or institutions, should be responsible for fixing it. This leaves us without any control or real freedom. In the last few years, we have seen a shift away from this world view, thanks in part to technology. Technology is giving us the power to take control of our own destiny.
5. Misguided Individualism
Thanks to a more liberal world view, it is becoming more and more commonplace to think an individual’s rights reign supreme and should be protected by laws and meritocracy. While this is a great idea, the idea is being abused and wildly distorted. Some people have managed to overstretch the idea enough to mean that their own perceived needs (wants) should come before the welfare of the planet and the others who live on it. This leads to everything from war and violence to murder and horrific atrocities. As a result, individuals are being dis-empowered instead of empowered.
In today’s world, everything is constantly evolving and as a result, we have to expect our knowledge and beliefs to evolve as well. For our own survival, it is important to embrace these changes and make peace with the idea that our world views can change and that this is the way it’s supposed to be.
By: Abra Gordon
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