Philosophical Midwifery: A New Paradigm for Understanding Human Problems with Its Validation
Pierre Grimes Ph.D and Regina Uliana Ph.D
(Hyparxis Press: paperback $23.50; hardcover $33.50)
Reviewed by Robert Apatow, Ph.D
Paradigm shifts occur in a discipline when a new theory is presented that answers questions that previous theories were unable to solve. In doing so, the new theory transforms the entire discipline, recasting what is accepted as the legitimate research methods, educational models, questions and answers in that discipline. The two most famous paradigm shifts were the shift from the geo-centric universe to the sun-centered universe, known as the Copernican revolution, and in this century the shift from the Newtonian to the Einsteinian paradigm in physics, sometimes called the quantum revolution.
In Philosohpical Midwifery, Dr. Pierre Grimes and Dr. Regina Uliana present a new paradigm for human understanding. However, they are not seeking to solve scientific questions, they are offering a model for exploring human questions, the personal ones each of us possess about our particular life. Their remarkable claim is that the problems each one of us face not only can be solved, but that they can be understood. In other words, they are claiming that karma is rational.
The central thesis of the work is the following:
"It is entirely possible to verify for oneself that we are part of a caring and intelligible universe. The verification is a kind of proof since it is a way of understanding that is based upon a realization that our mind constantly communicates with us and for our benefit. The communications from the mind are as profound as they are utterly appropriate to our circumstances; for while the scope of the mind is pervasive, its precision is always directed to what is personally significant. We will demonstrate that our choice of goals, the problems we face, the daydreams or fantasies we have, and the dreams that visit us in our sleep each and every one of them are like doorways into the richest source of insights into our life. What we discover through these insights is that the mind itself provides ample evidence of its own goodness and intelligibility."
Grimes has proceeded on a long intellectual and spiritual journey to reach this vision of man and the universe. In his first chapter, The Way It All Began, Grimes describes how experiences as a soldier in World War II led him to reflect on the reasons for decisions on the battlefield that cost his friendsí lives. His journeys led him into relationships with some of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century: Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell, and Albert Adler. Grimes also studied with many leading Zen teachers and became dharma successor of Korean Zen Master, Myo-Bong. However, it was Grimesí experience as a counselor in a Salvation Army center where he discovered that a Socratic approach to therapy (called Opening Mind) was the key to unlocking the root cause of personal problems.
According to Grimes, at the core of human problems is what he terms the pathologos, which means "sick belief." The pathologos is a belief that is passed down through the family and functions in our lives as a "psychic parasite." Perhaps the most challenging aspect of Grimesí view is his claim that all families posses sick beliefs. The pathologos "is the cause of much of the chaos experienced in our life" and manifests itself most clearly when an individual strives towards her highest and most personally meaningful goals. Therefore, human beings as individuals and as a race must free themselves from these "sick beliefs" in order to achieve excellence.
According the Grimes, this is the fundamental task of human life. Although this particular work will give the reader much to reflect on, it is not a "self-help" book. (Grimes has a computer program called To Artemis and an unpublished workbook that serve this function.) Philosophical Midwifery is the culmination of Grimesí lifetime of research into the nature of human problems. The work presents a thorough account of the nature and structure of the transmission and function of the pathologos in human beings, a scientific validation study to support his claims, and a comparative study of Grimesí approach with other cognitive systems (these psychological studies being the main focus of Grimesí co-author, psychologist Dr. Uliana). Moreover, Grimes devotes chapters to the discussion of Choas and Field Theories in contemporary science, which he sees as offering accurate models to describe the functioning of the human psyche in the grip of a pathologos.
Although Grimes is offering a new paradigm for human problems, his work does not claim to contribute to the history of science. Instead, this new paradigm is really an adaptation of a very old paradigm from the ancient philosophy of Plato and Socrates. What Grimes and Uliana have done has utilized contemporary scientific standards to present and defend a vision of man that explores human problems through reason for the ultimate goal of awakening spiritual development. It is a revolutionary paradigm because it challenges both the scientific and spiritual status quo by demonstrating that reason can lead to spiritual growth and that spiritual growth can be blocked by problems that require the power of reason for their solution. In a world where these two fundamental aspects of life are divided and often isolated, the work of Dr. Grimes does indeed offer a new paradigm that has the potential to transform the very way we look at the study of human nature and human problems.
Robert Apatow, Ph.D. is a philosopher and the author of The Spiritual Art of Dialogue: Mastering Communication for Personal Growth, Relationships and the Workplace, published by Inner Traditions International.
To Order Please Visit Our Online Store
Contact the Opening Mind Academy at:
P.O. BOX 444
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
|Click HERE to read a synopsis.|
We even accept credit cards!