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What is a paradigm shift?

Written by Huib, published Sunday March 8th, 2015

After my book Shifting the Lyme Paradigm was published, readers started asking me about my (short) perspective on the topic Lyme. I approach Lyme as an area of knowledge in need of innovation. And to put it gently: I believe that a limited worldview or lack of ‘seeing ability’ is present all over Lyme lands. Hence a paradigm shift is needed first, before it even makes sense to think of solutions. But was it that actually?


As long as we are blind, all efforts to see and do are wasted or counterproductive. This is very relevant in the field of Lyme Disease. The phenomenon ‘Lyme’ touches many aspects of our current way of living, varying how we regard our own health to why we ‘outsource’ the care of it to external professionals and institutions.

This limited worldview is called a ‘paradigm’. A paradigm is that famous ‘box’ people will tell you that you need to think outside of. If you do the nine dots exercise below, you will find out that the box does not even exist, except in our minds.

Challenge: connect all nine dots with four lines, without lifting your pen from the paper. The solution can be found below.

That is what a paradigm is – or a ‘Weltanschauung’ as the Germans call it. It is the limit of our imagination, in which ‘reality’ happens. Outside of that imagined box we cannot see things. Then we simply confuse our perception with reality and that is that. No progress or discovery can evolve like this.

This literal ‘narrowed mindedness’ is what caused the natives in Australia in April 1770 to not even be able to perceive the ships that Captain Cook used to sail the ocean towards their shores. These people just lacked the frame of reference for ‘ships’ and therefore their eyes refused to ‘see’ them, although it was the biggest artifact until then to ever appear before their eyes.

‘Paradigm’ is a word that is used (too) often; at least it is in my old field of business education. The funny thing about this word is that hardly anybody understands what it really means, because we try to define it from our current paradigm. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a paradigm is “a world view underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject”. Somehow in this definition ‘science’ is chosen to define reality. Which is not necessarily true, as good science will tell you.

This is my one and only reason to initiate the On Lyme Foundation as a knowlegde platform. If you provide the support, cooperation and funding, we’ll do the work.

Why the titles of my books?

I had several reasons to chose the title Shifting the Lyme Paradigm. The main one is my belief that the paradigm shift around Lyme will come from friends – not from professionals or patients. If you compare it to another possible title of a book about Lyme – ‘Effective Lyme treatments’ for example – you will see that an active verb (shifting) is used instead of a passive noun (shift). This indicates a movement over time instead of a sudden and fixed incident. ‘Shifting’ also differs from ‘changing’. As the paradox says: ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. A nice coincidence was that the words ‘paradigm’ and ‘Lyme’ rhyme. Oh, thrice.

The Dutch title of my book is Writing on the Wall. In Dutch, the word for ‘writing / sign’ is the same as the words for ‘ticks’ (multiple). In both languages the subtitle is used to clarify whom the book is meant for and what is the main benefit for them: enabling healthy friends and caretakers who are close to people with Lyme to best help their ill friends. This is why it is framed as a travel guide instead of a medical solutions book. This is also why I invented a new category for it: a HELP ANOTHER book. I considered this to be a nice counterbalance to the avalanche of available ‘self-help’ books. It expresses my aim to trigger the readers’ willingness to be altruistic, since their friends need them badly and it’s a chance for them to grew bigger than they thought they could be.

drs. Huib Kraaijeveld

In: Philosophy Inspiration Lyme Social Science

"This book perfectly describes the plight of millions of patients, who suffer from chronic Lyme Disease in many countries all over the world."
Prof. Christian Perronne, France

"This book is a gift of truth and passion to humanity."
Mia Morales, Lyme patient, USA

"I received the book exactly on the day that I had decided to end my life. Huh?! Yep. I am 35 years old years and have been ill for 19 years. Now I know why: Lyme. Everyone should read this book!"
Miranda, the Netherlands

"This book offers a new practical, human centered way of dealing with health information. It is also ringing a bell for the new time how to work together towards health and thriving."
Kim Schimmler, MD, Germany

"This pioneer's work made it perfectly clear that, when "i" becomes "we", even illness becomes wellness."
Frans Vermeulen, journalist, the Netherlands

"In his crucial work on Lyme disease, dedicated social researcher Huib Kraaijeveld does not pretend to have all the answers, but guides us towards asking the upsetting and essential questions."
Prof. Cees Hamelink, professor Communication Sciences & Human Rights, the Netherlands

"This book reads like a thriller! It touched me deeply and I am sure it will change the course of history."
Linda Graanoogst, journalist, the Netherlands

"Well, I am wiping my eyes and blowing my nose, while tears stream down my face. I guess that is a good sign. You hit the nail on the head claiming that Lyme survivors need 'understanding'. I would like my own partner to read this book."
Anodea Judith, PhD & author, USA

"What an awakening perspective! Huib has successfully set a quantum leap for understanding and managing Lyme disease by common people."
John Wong, bestselling author, Singapore

"A true and unpretentious caretakers' guide to understand Lyme. This book will help you to completely understand what your friend is going through; regardless of the symptoms they have. I wish it had been written ten years ago, because it can actually save lives!"
Cheryl Versalle, Lyme patient, USA

"This book actually speaks to people beyond its target audience (caretakers of people with Lyme Disease): people like me who are not travel companions, but to whom it is not hard at all to have or develop understanding and compassion. This makes the reach of this book bigger, much bigger if you’d ask me. I am amazed a book can do all of this!"
Saskia Steur, business blogger, the Netherlands

"This book reads like an exciting novel, were it not that it concerns a deadly serious issue. It calls to contribute and take care of each other and our world. Read, weep, feel and act!"
Manfred van Doorn, leadership expert, the Netherlands

"A creative and very intelligent vision to dive even deeper into the world of Lyme, to look at yourself, other people, but also the entire world around you."
Friend of someone with Lyme

"The book indicates that Lyme disease can be a sexually transmitted disease. This will cause a tidal wave of awareness all over the world. Like the child in the old fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes, who exclaimed: 'But the emperor is wearing no clothes!'"
Ola Aniel Petterson, STD campaign leader, Sweden

"What a brilliant sociological work! I am sure it will have much impact."
Professor Neuropathy, Germany

"This book is a big eye opener. Both for friends of people with Lyme disease as well as for people with Lyme. Or for any other health issues, for that matter."
Martin Möhrke, medical research leader, Europe

"I cannot read any other book for more than two minutes now, in this hell called Lyme. Yet yours I cannot stop reading! I should have put it away hours ago to clean the house. But I simply cannot stop."
Ineke, wife of a husband with Lyme, the Netherlands

"This book is a delight to read. It offers soft candlelight and warm campfire camaraderie on an often dark and lonely journey."
Laura Bruno, medical intuitive Lyme expert, USA

"A very honest and yet witty way of helping those with Lyme disease. This book is full of ideas on how to help your friend with Lyme, as a travel companion on this crazy journey called 'Lyme'."
Lisa Hilton, Lyme advocate, USA

"Both the personal experiences as well as the author’s sharp mind turn this into an incredibly inspiring book that raises the consciousness of its readers."
Kara, ex Crohn disease patient, the Netherlands

"Tempting, informative and eminently readable! Shifting the Lyme Paradigm is an absolute eye-opener for those who are not aware of what the journey of Lyme disease entails."
Terri Mackinnon-Cross, CEO WorldLymeDay.com, Canada

"This book gave us the recognition and acknowledgment, which were like a band-aid on an open wound."
Sara, Lyme patient, Belgium

"Very insistently written based on intensive, almost existential, personal experiences, this book also gives a clear overview of all relevant information for both patients and caretakers."
Jan Eendebak, former chairman Lyme Foundation STZ, the Netherlands

"A relief to read, written by an expert who shares his dedication to his own path with us, and brilliantly written."
Muna, mother of a daughter with chronic Lyme, the Netherlands

"Playful, frightening, informative and encouraging."
Merel, kinesiologist, the Netherlands

"This book made me realize that there is too little known behind the phenomenon Lyme. In a challenging manner the author provides understanding of Lyme disease and suggestions for tackling this disease. I have 'prescribed' this book to many of my patients and mostly astonishment was soon followed by recognition. An absolute must for anyone with (still) unexplained symptoms or the people close around them."
Duco Kanij, osteopath, the Netherlands

"This book guides you through the labyrinth of Lyme swiftly, while it took us YEARS to even get this far."
Eugenie van der Linden, ex-Lyme patient and therapist, the Netherlands

"This book is an absolute 'must read' for everyone! For patients, for family and friends, and for doctors who can finally learn that Lyme is more than what is written in their textbooks and that they should not be able to dismiss "unexplained" complaints as psychological too quickly!"
Anne Fierlafijn, MD, Belgium

"Shifting the Paradigm of Lyme is not like any other book on Lyme that I have read. It appeals to a higher consciousness, and is analytical in an introspective way that is pleasant to read. This book is a friendly and warm reminder that no Lyme patient is ever alone."
Thomas Grier, biologist, USA

"This book show how caring friends can intervene to provide succor and alliance ‘against the odds’ of a potentially serious and very complex illness that is still poorly understood by mankind."
Kenneth Liegner, MD, USA

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