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Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness 4/2018


Orthogonal Institutions

Auteur: Jon Kabat-Zinn

Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 4/2018

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If individuals can rotate in consciousness, so can institutions, and even nations. After all, we now have very different views of slavery than those widely held in this country two hundred years ago; we have very different views about gender and women’s rights, and what constitutes harassment; we no longer routinely keep a cancer diagnosis from a patient so as not to upset him. These all involved rotations in consciousness, in how we see things and what we understand to be of primary importance, and then how we embody that understanding in the world—how we actually act. Such changes in the social order usually reflect strong activism on someone’s part, often on the part of large numbers of people demanding change from either the inside or the outside, exhibiting moral outrage, speaking truths that may be unpleasant to hear, sometimes even dying for their cause. The inertia and vested interests in maintaining the status quo in any situation or institution are not likely to either initiate or sustain the motive force behind an orthogonal rotation in perspective. But nevertheless, when minds change, and vision changes, and people taste new possibilities for healing past wrongs or correcting fundamentally problematic situations, for making democracy more democratic, for insuring equal opportunity and basic human rights, usually interesting things happen that were previously thought to be impossible, or were never thought of at all. As a rule, our society and our institutions are the better for it because these rotations in consciousness tend to move us in the direction of a more refined embodiment and actualization of humane values: of freedom for each and every person to pursue his or her virtually infinite and always unknown potential; and to live in peace and experience well-being, free potentially from inner and outer harm. …
Orthogonal Institutions
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Mindfulness / Uitgave 4/2018
Print ISSN: 1868-8527
Elektronisch ISSN: 1868-8535

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