Paradigm-Shattering Experiences: Mind=Blown

(Image Credit llreadll)

One time, my friend had what I like to call “a moment of clarity.” That is, a moment of awakening, a moment in which she was at peace, a moment in which her thinking mind had stopped trying to figure out ALL THE THINGS, and paradoxically, it all made sense.

How do I know this? Because for about 60 seconds, she had a look of wonder on her face. And then panic.

Then she said something to the effect of, “But how do you hold on to this?”

Which is nothing but the hallmark of a fleeting experience of awakening. And it’s frequently those very words, thought or verbalized, which bring it to an end.

I could never forget being there when this happened for my friend. My friend, on the other hand, had completely forgotten about it two years later.

How could that be?

I like to think of our minds as containing a vast maze of filing cabinets. All incoming data is processed through the dependable-yet-conventional filing lady, Mildred. Mildred always wears sensible shoes. She is very kindly, and she isn’t taking any chances with our well-being. She does not want to expose us to disorientation and confusion. Thus, anything that does not logically fit into an existing file is sent by dear Mildred to be burned in a giant dump of filtered information, and consequently, does not compute for us. 

Unless! Unless Jada Jade the Renegade sneaks in through the air vents, rappels down from the ceiling and snags the incoming data’s paperwork right out of Mildred’s hands, swinging from ceiling rafters into a file room and rapidly creating a new file! 

My friend’s experience was burned with the other garbage of useless/unnecessary/threatening/frightening information by Mildred.

When I brought it up two years later, my friend was able to recall what happened, and she promptly felt a wave of disorienting panic.

Because when metaphorical unsorted paperwork is allowed into our minds, it pretty much feels like floating in empty space. Nothing to hold onto.


One such paradigm-shattering experience for me came when I was an undergraduate in college. I was just having a normal conversation with a professor when suddenly, he began to tell me about my own past and present experiences from the inside out. That is, as only I would be able to tell, including details he could not possibly know. Only he did.

This did not fit into my current, classical-science-ish paradigm at all.

I was so shocked I walked around in freezing gale-force wind for a couple hours without taking any mind of the cold.

Since then, I’ve seen and heard so many strange, impossible things that I like to think nothing surprises me anymore. But no, I too have a Mildred up in my mind, filing and burning away.

I wonder what information I’m filtering? What am I still blind to?


Okay friends, your turn! What paradigm-shattering experiences have you had? What are times that Jada Jade the Renegade intervened and let a new worldview/shocking information/strange experiences to be filed for you?

Also, do you like the rather dramatic image I found for this post? Having your mind blown is no small deal, people.


  1. Abe | 18th Sep 17

    First off, I love your analogies/metaphors. Good ol Mildred!

    Secondly, I find myself reading this at a time when I’m asking myself some of the big or small (depending on the angle) questions. I feel myself floating, not dissociating or lost in mind space, but observing it all (life and beyond) as countless lights or dots on a never-ending screen. I’ve contemplated lately the grasps I’ve been trying to maintain on materialistic purchases that I’ve attempted to use as means to find me distractions that are satisfying enough to keep me from the void of answers. Some of those purchases have been musical instruments with an intent to help me express or tap into the void, but nothing has given quite yet. Maybe it will, maybe it wont.

    I suppose what I’m trying to get at is, I find myself existentially challenged every day. I can feel that challenge resonating in my mind, psyche, body, etc. It feels as though my paradigm is shattered and then held together or glued by motherfucking Mildred to get me through the day/week. (No offense Mildred, I’m sure you serve a purpose of keeping my brain from turning into mushy goo). I don’t mean to sound melodramatic or that I’m in a constant state of negativity. I suppose I mean to say that I feel like I’m living in an alternate reality and every day I get a peak or a tinsy winsy sliver of light that keeps pinging on my psyche to remind me that this life really isn’t what I currently think it is. When I ask what it is, no one has the answers. Or at least, I don’t trust anyone’s answers nor do I know how to ever really get to a truth that is beyond a personal-cultural-joint-objective-subjective reality. If that even exists, I don’t know.

    I’ve started to wonder if my quest right now is to find a truth or paradigm that “works” on a greater level than what I have found. Daunting it is. At least Mildred keeps me company along with my friends and family.

    • Margaret Sky | 18th Sep 17

      I don’t think it sounds melodramatic, but it does sound like quite the wild ride.

      “…life really isn’t what I currently think it is. When I ask what it is, no one has the answer…” I once heard someone say they lived with the continuous question “What is this?” for some time as their mantra or meditation point. It sounds like you are also living with this question, which to me is a beautiful practice. It says something about your capacity for sanity and groundedness that you are keeping it together when your paradigm is getting shattered on the daily.

      Sometimes it can be a struggle for me with wanting to find a more workable paradigm vs wanting to just not need one and wanting to see ALL THAT IS ALL THE TIME. Which of course would probably make my brain explode. But I will accept just a glimpse into Reality here and there; however incompletely my thinking mind is able to comprehend/file/categorize it. Actually, in reality, I will take whatever I get because there’s really no other choice!

      Thanks for stopping in and joining the conversation. 🙂

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