This key text for The Great Imagining comes at the end of a chapter on the greatest leverage points in intervening in a system that has gone out of balance in order to bring that system back into balance. The leverage point before this one incidently is a section on paradigm shifts in humans...
There is yet one *leverage point* that is even higher than changing a *paradigm*. That is to keep oneself unattached in the arena of *paradigms*, to stay flexible, to realize that NO *paradigm* is “true,” that each one, including the one that sweetly shapes your own worldview, is a tremendously limited understanding of an immense and amazing universe that is far beyond human comprehension. It is to “get” at a gut level the paradigm that there are paradigms, and to see that that itself is a paradigm, and to regard that whole realization as devastatingly funny. It is to let go into Not Knowing, into what the Buddhists call *enlightenment*. People who cling to *paradigms* (which means just about all of us) take one look at the spacious possibility that everything they think is guaranteed to be nonsense and pedal rapidly in the opposite direction. Surely there is no power, no control, no understanding, not even a reason for being, much less acting, in the notion or experience that there is no certainty in any worldview. But, in fact, everyone who has managed to entertain that idea, for a moment or for a lifetime, has found it to be the basis for radical empowerment. If no *paradigm* is right, you can choose whatever one will help to achieve your purpose. If you have no idea where to get a purpose, you can listen to the universe (or put in the name of your favourite deity here) and do his, her, its will, which is probably a lot better informed than your will. It is in this space of mastery over *paradigms* that people throw off addictions, live in constant joy, bring down empires, get locked up or burned at the stake or crucified or shot, and have impacts that last for millennia.
Back from the sublime to the ridiculous, from enlightenment to caveats. There is so much that has to be said to qualify this list. It is tentative and its order is slithery. There are exceptions to every item that can move it up or down the order of leverage. Having had the list percolating in my subconscious for years has not transformed me into a Superwoman. The higher the leverage point, the more the system will resist changing it — that’s why societies have to rub out truly enlightened beings. Magical leverage points are not easily accessible, even if we know where they are and which direction to push on them. There are no cheap tickets to mastery. You have to work hard at it, whether that means rigorously analysing a system or rigorously casting off your own paradigms and throwing yourself into the humility of Not Knowing. In the end, it seems that mastery has less to do with pushing leverage points than it does with strategically, profoundly, madly letting go and dancing with the system.