LIFE IS A PARADOX

The frustrating thing about life is that everything comes down to paradox. We cannot find true and lasting freedom without the security of boundaries, but whose interpretation of these boundaries do we apply. Culturally, in America at least, we have never had more freedom of knowledge and opportunity to pursue our personal destiny, and yet we are in crisis everywhere we turn (McManus, 2003). In the past the human pursuit has focused on survival. The growing enlightenment is that without each individual confronting spiritual growth, our global survival has never been more at risk.

It does not matter what the subject matter might be, factual knowledge can only be applied in personal living through the freedom of flexible adjustment to changing contexts. Theoretical knowledge can only be applied amidst the chaos and changing context of daily life. Artful living learns through application what works the best where and when. Artful living is a process for spiritual growth and stress reduction. The psychological phenomena of creativity often only becomes recognized when faced with a crisis. Why wait? Exploring latent individual value and potential is a place to start in finding a path or artful living even and maybe even because of daily encounters with crisis and paradox.

Idealism can be a form of perfectionism that prevents the flow of vision and production into actual circumstances. Idealism is a form of contemplation without the obstacles presented in real life contextual situations (Fox, 1999). In order to progress to production and action we have to let go of the perfection of idealism and enter the realm of practical application through vision and wisdom that can function in spite of the obstacles. Formal education is much better at transmitting the knowledge of theoretical idealism than it is at teaching application through vision and wisdom.

Spiritual growth is actually a growing acceptance and healthy self-love of where I am now. Spiritual maturity desires progress, but rests in the life that is now. Creativity is a bridge between the psychological and the spiritual. The psychological as it is known and practiced in its most prevalent form at this time is a theory of norms. Comparisons for psychological health or level of functioning are compared to an “average” which is actually hypothetical. There is little individualization except for in the less practiced applications of Jungian Analytical Psychology and Psychoanalysis. The spiritual association with the psychological offers a path for individual uniqueness in development.

The individual path of development can benefit from understanding the potential of psychological and spiritual interface and dialogue. Traditional spiritual direction is cultivated from diverse religious theology and wisdom traditions. Psychology and spiritual wisdom traditions speak to the idea of self-development, maturity, sin and salvation in similar concepts but with different language. Spiritual traditions speak of good and evil spirits. Psychology speaks of healthy ways of balancing both objective knowledge coming to an individual and the subjective context within each individual.

Neither psychology nor spirituality can replace each other’s realm of wisdom, but something can be gained through their theoretical and implicational knowledge. Creativity, psychology, religion and spirituality all agree that life is most often a paradox and that something more is required than just human reasoning.

References

Fox, M.  (1999).  Sins of the spirit, blessings of the flesh: Lessons for transforming evil in soul and society.  New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.  

McManus, E.R.  (2003).  Uprising: A revolution of the soul.  Nashville, TN: Nelson books.  

Comments 3 comments

Christofers Flow profile image

Christofers Flow 6 years ago from Denver

Paradox is a term that comes with increasing appreciation of creation and complexity of issues being considered. A simple being can not know paradox. Irony sometimes, but hardly paradox. This is not a cause for despair, confusion, or giving into medicine for constant headaches. It is the breath of God overtaking you.


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 6 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

The common person accepts that two and two equals four, but does not consider that the result may the consequence of addition, multiplication, or squaring. Without that level of analysis, they become confused when the factor is changed to three because the result may be five, six, or nine.

How different might the world be if people had not accepted Aristotle's "common sense" conclusion that the Earth is the center of the universe? How different might the world be if people had listened to van Gogh instead of commiting him to an asylum? How different might the world be if we recognized the genius of Howard Hughes, and accepted that trees can fly?

Though we have the capacity to think beyond norms, we tend to accept that which we are taught as truth rather than as a starting point. We accept that democracy is the best way to appoint leaders without considering that fifty-one percent of incorrect does not equal correct.

It is because of that lack of understanding and analysis that any philosophy ending in utopia is doomed for failure. We are not creatures of principles; we are creatures of nature.


Steve Berg profile image

Steve Berg 3 years ago from Clydach Vale, Rhondda Cynon Taff, United Kingdom

In case anyone was wondering, the growing talk on the paradox of existence goes like this: (I’ll try to make it as brief as possible but then it’s a very complex concept.)

All that exists is ‘infinite conscious energy’ one mind, a common concept.

But then ‘Infinite conscious energy’ is a paradox in terms, how so? Consciousness is tied to time-space as it’s a feed back loop of re-cognised thought ‘I think therefore I am’, so it’s a strictly finite concept.

The true understanding of the infinite shows that it can’t manifest as it can’t be sized/defined/quantified.

Without a long story, the origin problem is negated from the infinite perspective, as in that this ‘one mind’ is not anywhere, ('where' is a construct within) and time does not pass from the infinite perspective, it’s like a static now. So origins don’t make sense from that view, it’s more of an ‘isness’, a constant and yet un-re-cognisable as there is no time to allow for feed back.

The more tangible conscious aspect is forced to blow pseudo ‘time-space’ bubbles in order to facilitate itself, and as time-space is linear/finite, these experiential vents that allow consciousness to manifest around a format complete, feed back and end. (This may be hard to understand, but everything in the logical finite realm is a feed back loop, a question to answer. Indeed consciousness itself is only aware when it re-cognises it’s thoughts, when it feeds back, and as for logic, 1 + 1 only makes logical sense when it arrives back at 2! When the circuit completes.

Therefore, a formatted time-space bubble that is from one perspective only a vent to allow for the movement of thought, which is consciousness, to then re-cognise relative ‘other’, in order to facilitate itself, and it has to as it does exists so it has to manifest in order to be witnessed/re-cognised.

This time-space bubble/vent in the one mind, or ‘our universe’, will then also be a circuit, a feed back loop from question to answer. So it begins and ends or it doesn’t complete its circuit and in that is open ended and that is not logical, so it can’t be understood. And so it wouldn’t serve as a feed back mechanism as it’s random, nothing would makes sense so nothing can complete/feed back.

External realities are a reflection of the inner reality, you are only logical because your reflected reality is!!!! If your world was magical, you would be something else!

So, if ‘creation’ is a question it would be ‘All the ways in which conscious may manifest via interaction before it begins to badly repeat’ which is actually the question, ‘What is consciousness, what are we?’.

Why is it the same question? Because conscious is nothing per se, it’s only something when formatted and then doing something. So you can’t really say what consciousness is as such, but then by being it, you get a sense of what it is. Like dancing, you don’t have to know every dance there ever could be in order to know dancing.)

Without a long story, the one mind is paradoxical so it constantly shifts from its opposing states. When it’s infinite it can’t feed back so it’s un-self-aware (sleep), and when it’s finite and feeding back it’s (awake).

And yes physical sleep and wake within the ‘bubble’ is a fractal of the waking and sleeping universe, which itself is seen in terms of ‘enlightenment’ or 'education/knowledge'. The cycle mechanism of the one mind forgotten and then re-membered. Which creates cycles and seasons. Yes even death is not permanent, the same cycle repeats over and over.

Everything is oscillating between defining opposite poles, running in circuits, they have called it a vibration, but then vibrations are tied to the movement of solid objects. It’s more of a contradicting pulse, and all driven by the core paradox of finite existing alongside the infinite. 

And as long as this paradox exists within the ALL, which it always does, the cycles can never end.

That’s a very stunted view with so much missing, but it’s more or less it in a nutshell.

Steve

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