Progressive Patterns

What are progressive patterns?

Progressive patterns is a term I invented, but the concept is nothing new. It is merely a blanket, catch-all term for sound thinking, good Bible study, and an organized view of life.

The human mind is a pattern matching engine. We look for repetition, consistency, continuity, and organization. We hear certain sounds and we associate them with certain words which trigger certain ideas. Those ideas we connect and relate together to form frameworks of understanding on various topics. Those topics we put together to build a worldview, which we use to find purpose and meaning in life. So patterns means systems and connections and relationships and similarities and structure.

The opposite of patterns is randomness. When there is no discernible relationship between one part and the next, then we are unable to figure out the whole. That is the idea of encryption. Essentially, if life was totally random then it would be totally encrypted--a complete mystery, an enigma, chaos. In other words, life could not exist. There would be no predictability and no consistency between cause and effect. In spite of inefficiencies and decay, life shows patterns from quantum behavior to DNA to biological processes to rock crystals to human communication. We even invent new patterns to help us organize the randomness around us.

Progressive captures the idea that patterns can grow and improve and lead to bigger and better patterns. It also points out the growth we can receive from patterns. The pattern grows and we grow. For example, as we start a habit (pattern) of exercise, we grow in health and happiness. Regular study makes us smarter. Regular work makes us richer. Progressive encapsulates the truth that patterns, pattern makers, and pattern receivers can all grow and improve.

On this website we will see how progressive patterns unlock the truth of Scripture and prophecy. We will see patterns of life and beauty in nature that inspire us and improve our health. Poetry, a different pattern of communication, will also be used to convey personal meaning.

What's the deal with all the rainbow colors?

The rainbow is a favorite illustration of mine to show the completeness, orderliness, and inspiration of well defined progressive patterns.

Quotes on good thinking, learning, and teaching

"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kenney

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." - Derek Bok

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." - Roger Lewin

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one learned in school." - Albert Einstein

"Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used." - Carl Sagan

“Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.” ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion [Too bad he has not taken his own advice to its logical end.]

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” ― Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian [Again, he never advanced beyond falsifying common misconceptions.]



What are words?

Words are feeble attempts to capture color in black and white;

Syllables strung together to form a cheap imitation of exquisite woven tapestry;

Vocabulary to communicate directions in the fog,

hoping the hearer arrives somewhere close to the destination.

Words are the empty husks left behind when the seed springs forth.

Words are the shadows formed by the light of great ideas.

Words are an attempt to convey a precision of meaning

beyond a warm hug and a friendly handshake.

Words are the tools of talk.

May the Spirit help us to connect words into ideas

and ideas into patterns and system

which give us context and meaning.