A-Z Blog Challenge P: Paradox, Potential for Change


C.G.Jung: ‘Only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life … non ambiguity and non-contradiction are one-sided and thus not suited to express the incomprehensible.’

For me, being aware (sometimes) of the paradoxes in my everyday life makes my life meaningful, even if they seem overly difficult sometimes. Maybe a bit like faith and doubt being two very strange bedfellows. Yet, having doubt about certain things means a tussle or a conflict with my inner being and can lead to my having a stronger faith as in, in illness there is healing. In death there is re-birth, or as in when winter gives rise to spring.

I know I gave several opposites in the O post; here I’m giving paradoxes.

Niels Bohr : ‘How wonderful that we’ve met with a paradox! Now we have some hope of making progress’.

Lao Tzu : ‘Most true things are stated in paradoxes’.

Edgar Degas: ‘Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do’.

Soren Kierkegaard: ‘The paradox is the source of the thinker’s passion, and the thinker without a paradox is like a lover without feeling.’

Yogi Berra: ‘No one goes there any more, it’s too crowded.’

Voltaire: ‘The superfluous is a very necessary thing.’

Disraeli: ‘No government can be long secure without formidable opposition.’

Henri Paul Gauguin: ‘I shut my eyes in order to see.’

Michel Foucault: ‘All modern thought is is permeated by thinking the unthinkable.’

St. Francis: ‘It is in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned.’

Johan Wolfgang von Goethe: ‘Where there is a great deal of light, the shadows are deeper.’

I’m still away in Botswana and have no wi-fi access so am unable to respond at this time to any comments, but thank you for coming by.

27 Comments on P – Paradox – Potential for Change

  1. I’ve been thinking of you Elaine confronting death yet again of loved ones. Again I think of Oscar Wilde’s saying: where there is sorrow there is holy ground. I know you know this in spite of your sadness.

  2. Marion Woodman used the word paradox so often in workshops that she trained me to watch for it. As I sat with my secular (he called himself an atheist) brother, his family, and close friends on his dying day a few days ago, I wondered how the Sacred would enter this busy and noisy hospital space. It did. I was grateful for the mystery of paradox.

  3. Hmm…so what are the paradoxes in my life? I need to think about that. My favorite of the quotes is: Edgar Degas: ‘Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do’. With learning comes a certain burden too.

  4. There are so many beautiful quotations here … I love, love, love Gauguin’s words, ‘I shut my eyes in order to see.’ Just right!

    In pure synchronicity I’ve just posted on Elaine’s blog about a profoundly paradoxical moment I experienced many years ago … you couldn’t make the timing up!

    Hope your wonderful trip is still going well Susan, and is all that you dreamt it would be. Blessings, Deborah.

    • Thank you so much Deborah! Gaugin’s is lovely! As is the synchronicity. I so look forward to getting to so many posts I’ve not been able to attend to ..

      We’re back as of last evening – am playing computer catch up right now …. Blessings to you dear Deborah!

  5. Susan !! I am so glad to be here today:) I was finding difficult to access your post.. some how managed to write in my inbox,but was feeling bad, unable to comment as 404 was displayed each time. Today its so nice to read your post, and loved all the quotes on Paradox. My favourites are Lao tzu and st Francis.. hope you are having a good time in Botswana 🙂

    • Thanks Genevive for coming by. Am having problems with computer myself right now though my son long distance has helped me I think …I’ll be getting back to yours as soon as I can! We’re back as of last night …

  6. I love the image of the Oroboros, with a citation by Jung that implies paradoxes during the fullness of a life cycle. I also love the sayings you have provided that were by famous people. Further to that, I quote what Anthony Stevens wrote about Jung. CGJ did not mind upsetting people. Jung said, “To be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful.”

  7. And yet, another illuminating and provocative post. I don’t know how you’re able to pull off such great posts, but keep them coming. Degas’ quote is really resonating with me.

  8. The truth, as Lao Tzu says: the paradox. The paradox of our computer operations. We need to see the Either/Ors to become aware of the grays.

    Thank you for posing these thoughts, Susan.

    • Thank you Samantha .. the binaries maybe? Out of the one comes the two, and from that the three? Thank you for your comment!

  9. Hi Susan … the Paradox of the Delta – the water flows in and seeps out … the rains come, and ebb away …

    Life continues though …

    I liked the Gauguin paradox … ‘I shut my eyes in order to see.’

    The season of change and paradox potential … cheers Hilary

  10. I love the idea of paradox, and even the word itself.

    I hope you are having a wonderful time in Botswana.
    In traveling, one sometimes encounters a paradox in feeling joyful and sad upon leaving home and upon returning. 😉

    • Thanks Merril, I also like the sound of the word! Yes, there were conflicting emotions on leaving in preparation of arrival home (as of last night).

  11. The way you describe it reminds me of a Mobius strip. Put ‘faith’ and ‘doubt’ on two opposite sides and they eventually circle back on each other.

    Often happens in my life.

    • I love that idea of each circling back to the other Jacqui thank you .. I’m not sure I knew what a Mobius strip is although I knew of the word, now I know thank you!

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