[UMC] patterns and change [4]

a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.  



Serial narration


A series of 3-minute readouts [29, counting this one] regarding the United Methodist Church [UMC] and getting unstuck (beginning here) …. (reset’ here) (here) …. (last weekis meant to be generative, not definitive. Non-absolutism is key to “The 95% solution.” 

—Scriptural underpinning for ‘The 95% solution‘ (getting unstuck) is Isaiah 43.19Micah 6.8John 17; and 2 Corinthians 5.19-20



A doodle?

Yes. I’m thinking of this week’s installment as a doodle of sorts. I’m hoping my doodle will have explanatory power for those who have been telling me that they are having difficulty understanding aspects of this series. This series has always been meant to be far more about demonstrating the process I’m using than anything else.




So, first we need a couple of Edward de Bono’s insights from his Lateral Thinking narrative.



Essentially, lateral thinking is a collection of simple creativity tools. De Bono is not talking about artistic creativity; rather, he means the kind of creativity needed for thought to move from old patterns to form new ones, i.e., thought creation and innovation. 

Today, let’s consider a key insight that we find in de Bono’s book, I Am Right You Are Wrong [IARYAW]:

Now we come to a serious dilemma. In fact I would call it one of the most serious dilemmas of our whole thinking culture. It is that every valuable creative idea must always be logical in hindsight. If it were not logical in hindsight, we should never be able to appreciate its value. It would just be a crazy idea suspended without support. We might catch up with it later or not at all. So we are able to appreciate only those creative ideas which are logical in hindsight. Of course there are creative ideas which most people will be unable to appreciate until they make the necessary paradigm shift (like this book). [pg. 89]

In the case of our process here, early on I observed/described the present schismatic state of the UMC regarding the human sexual identity discourse as:



Perhaps there were some slight quibbles over the precise percentages, but there were no denials of the sharp division between two seemingly mutually-exclusive ideologies. Clearly, two distinct patterns exist, with no arguments being raised claiming any kind of unity by anyone in my audience in response to that observation/description of UMC division. Obviously, two different beliefs and their attending perceptions are present.

Using de Bono’s definition of ‘belief system’ below [from IARYAW, pg. 212], I’ve represented persistent perceptual patterns (i.e., a belief systems) with feet marching in a circle, like this: 



Feet marching in a circle signifies a pattern of perception. Belief is a pattern that vectors our perceptions. Said differently, beliefs act as bias limiting and shaping our perceptions. I’ve illustrated this with a related paradigm-shifting yogiism: “I never would have seen it if I hadn’t of believed it myself.”

Perennial patterns

When what existence manifests repeatedly forms a collectively shared perception, then we often perceive/claim the pattern to be perennial wisdom; and sometimes we call it Divine revelation. For instance, perennially perceiving a ‘two by two’ pattern (i.e., male-female reproduction) in nature helped lead humans to form a ‘one woman one man’ (traditional) belief system — “validated” by Divine revelation. 



Given this understanding regarding belief, Traditional beliefs are captive to perennial patterns and ways of perceiving existence. If existence manifested only the ‘two-by-two’ pattern, then Traditional perception and its “truth” (i.e., belief) would, indeed, have universal authority. However, last week’s missive variously described the monkey-wrench in the works of Traditional belief, i.e., existence is not limited to ‘two-by-two’ expressions, far from it. Much diversity exists outside the hetero-normative tunnel-vision of Traditional belief-constrained perception. But G-d made it all. 


So, again, I first described the UMC like this and received few objections:



Then, I added some lateral thinking: “po overall the UMC reflects a 95% unity.”



The howls and objections to my claims of unity came fast and furious. Recall, “every valuable creative idea must always be logical in hindsight.” Claiming unity was outside the perception of those aligned somewhere in this pattern:



But, looking back at that pattern from a unity perspective that is outside of that pattern (i.e., from the 95% non-absolutist unity perspective) reveals the stuck pattern has a unity of its own — a very broad consensus on the division. Most everyone was already unified in agreement that the above expressed the UMC‘s bifurcated reality. The problem is that the bifurcated unity is stuck with no capacity to move forward.

Utilizing po affords creative movement.




Initially suggesting any unity in the UMC was largely met with howls and catcalls. It’s ironic, too, since very wide consensus already existed regarding division, e.g., the unity around the shared-story: “we’re hopelessly divided.” In this series we’ve reflected on why rejecting unity happens.

The 95% solution identifies a larger unity inclusive of the unity of perceived mass division. 

Next week: X-raying wingnut strategy. [this post ~825 words (3-min. read)] 


Your thoughts? 


4 thoughts on “[UMC] patterns and change [4]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s