Everything that we are and see is one, yet the drivers jockeying for position in the parking lot this morning appeared to have minds of their own. Everything is one, and yet we appear to have ten thousand choices in the market. Everywhere we look in this multifarious world of ours, we see, hear, feel billions and billions of tiny parts, and yet the astronauts who first entered space saw the world as one, and their consciousnesses were changed forever. Paradox, everywhere.
Paradoxes used to mystify and confound me. They made me uncomfortable. How could this, but also that, be true? There are even more paradoxes in the realm of emotions: I loved my angry teenage son in the most tender way, but could hardly bear to live with him. Someone loves their parent who has a debilitating and fatal disease, but they also secretly wish the parent would die. Such a Catch-22. Yet mysteriously, both sides of the paradox are true.
How to hold these ambiguities? Paradox is more immense than the mind can bear. I think the best encouragement is to soften around them. Allow contradictions the spaciousness for both sides to be true. Then notice if resistance arises, and include that in the paradox mix as well. Be the metaphorical container for all of it. Life becomes easier when we no longer resist paradox—we no longer need to try to puzzle out or unravel the wild mystery of it all. We can simply be with the unknown, instead; loving the truth of all. This may feel difficult, even impossible, but then just as suddenly it is not difficult at all. There is no hard or easy anymore, the absurdity of the paradox simply is. Both sides are consistently true.
© Skye Blaine, 2011
One thought on “holding paradox”
Thank you. I was wondering if something was wrong with me. I guess I will have to give your solution a try.