The Integral Nature of Cultural Paradigms



Each “cultural paradigm” can be thought of as a self-referencing integral whole. Each one will have some commentary on the elements of Ontos (Being) and Ecos (Nature), Spiritus (Spirit) and Soma (Body), Psyche (Self) and Polis (Society), Mythos (Myth) and Histor (History), Logos (Reason) and Pathos (Passion), Ratio (Logic) and Eros (Beauty), as well as Personage (Individual) and Cultus (Community).  And that is why it is difficult to falsify or displace cultural paradigms. Each part supports the whole in a complexly networked relationship. Moreover, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Each cultural paradigm forms an encompassing or totalizing gestalt that resists the presence and pressure of other encompassing or totalizing gestalts.

Varieties of Primal, Ancent, Medieval, Modern, Post-Modern and Trans-Modern Perspectives toward the ineffable mystery of “Reality” all fall under this principle of self-referencing symbol systems, meaning-models, language games and forms of life in which each element supports the stability and integrity of the whole.

This assessment will hold true even if we follow Jean Gebser’s model of primal-ancient-medieval “unperspectival”, modern…

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