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John Bunyan, Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, newness, and wonder

excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas




“Old things are past away, all’s become new.

Strange! He’s another man, upon my word…”

John Bunyan



This idea of renewal is expressed in more contemporary terms in Thomas Kuhn's landmark work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, where, supplying numerous examples from the history of science, he emphatically argues that scientific revolutions do not come about from the discovery of new data, but from the ability to see the old data in a new way. The new ‘paradigm’ is simply a different way of visioning the old observations. Thus, scientific revolutions come about most often from younger, newer arrivals into the scientific fields- from individuals who have not yet had the openness and creativity of their minds thwarted by being compelled to look at things continually in one way, and one way only (i.e. the current paradigm). Therefore the revolutions come about because the new-breed can see things differently than the conditioned, old-school sight of their predecessors.

Paradigms must crumble regularly, as the ever-new takes the place of the ever-old.

Hence Herbert Guenther suggests: “This ‘sense’ may be said to be the feeling of wonderment, not so much as a passive state, but as an active, and, in the strict sense of the word, a creative manner of looking at our familiar world, as if it were for the first time.”

           Here we have a way of seeing the ever novel, dynamic manifestation of life- by obliterating our vision from its conditioned stasis, and viewing it through different eyes. To see and be new, we ourselves must become emptied of the old, that is all. An internal renaissance must occur. Startlement is the starting point, from which one becomes ‘dumb-founded’.

Again, to see with new eyes we must unthink with new minds, now and at every moment, or we shall see nothing more than what we wrongfully saw the moment just before.

Which is to say, newness is wonder.

Now it is possible to understand that the term ‘original mind’, as propounded largely by the oriental mystics, does not refer specifically to the finding of a particular frame of mind and then dwelling forever within that way of seeing, but instead it is the continual, moment to moment, return to the origin, to the ever unconditioned, dynamic, eternally creative newness that lies eternally within all of us. This is our surest way back to awe.


excerpted from:


way of wonder, sacred geometry, sri yantra



THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer














Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas




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