SPIRITUAL PARADOXES

At some point in our pursuit of spiritual understanding we encounter teachings that seem to represent opposing points of view. One teaching will suggest that we need to make great efforts to experience self-realization, whereas another teaching may ridicule ordinary spiritual practices and suggest that all you need to do is “wake up, realize who you really are, and you are already free.“ In the seeker’s mind such apparent contradiction appears as one of many “spiritual paradoxes” that may develop into stumbling blocks of doubt and confusion.

It is the mind that is bothered by paradox. It’s habit of linear, either/or thinking doesn’t allow for the possibility of conflicting both/and statements to be true. A paradox is a strange phenomenon, yet once you accept that it’s there, it no longer bothers the mind. The wisdom of paradoxes is that they transcend our thought system, they are in tune not just with logical intelligence, but with existential wisdom that is at the root of deep and meaningful personal discovery. We cannot resolve paradoxes by using the mind, rather we can look even deeper through the heart.


 

 

 

 

 


 

 


You know, all mystics - Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion - are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.
~ Anthony De Mello

All major mystical traditions have recognized that there is a paradox at the heart of the journey of return to Origin.
Put simply, this is that we are already what we seek, and that what we are looking for on the Path with such an intensity of striving and passion and discipline is already within and around us at all moments. The journey and all its different ordeals are all emanations of the One Spirit that is manifesting everything in all dimensions; every rung of the ladder we climb toward final awareness is made of the divine stuff of Awareness itself; Divine Consciousness is at once creating and manifesting all things and acting in and as all things in various states of self-disguise throughout all the different levels and dimensions of the Universe.
~ Andrew Harvey

Life will always touch you in some way .. but who you really are cannot be touched.
Opening wide to allow the paradox of this means you become vaster than who you think you are.
And in this vastness, you live from the space within which everything happens.
Now you are free of your story.
~ Amoda Maa Jeevan

The curious paradox is
that when I accept myself
just as I am,
then I can change.
~ Carl Rogers

Life is equally meaningless, as it is meaningful.
The paradox is one we can never understand, and yet deep down we all know it.
~ Unmani

Now here is the paradox.
At the human level nothing really exists,
yet at the same time things begin to work for you.
This is why this teaching is beyond words and thoughts.
Do not attempt to analyze these things as I talk to you.
Do not attempt to figure it out in any way. Just let it happen.
Reality, as consciousness, exists and you don't.
Yet when you say “Consciousness is the only power,"
something happens to your humanhood.
You become happy. You couldn't care less
if they dropped an atom bomb on your head.
You couldn't care less if the doctor did tell you
you've got two weeks to live and you've got cancer or whatever.
Or you've been promoted to president of your company.
It's all the same. You feel alive.
You're not alive as most people feel. It's a universal aliveness.
You sort of feel that your cells, your atoms, are connected
to the entire universe. And you do know that all is well.
You feel wonderful.
This happens just by saying “Consciousness is the only power.”
~ Robert Adams

The mind struggles and builds structures.
The heart soothes and integrates.
The mind excludes saying, "this is different than that."
The heart includes saying, "this and that are One."
Both are essential for living.
Both are essential for Understanding.
May it find you now!
~ Wayne Liquorman

To live fully, one must be free, but to be free one must give up security.
Therefore, to live one must be ready to die. How's that for a paradox?
~ Tom Robbins

The I casts off the illusion of I and yet remains as I.
Such is the paradox of self realization.
~ Ramana Maharshi

The most exquisite paradox... as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all.
As long as you want power, you can't have it.
The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible.
~ Ram Dass

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.
~ Mother Teresa

The world is not what you think it is.
The world is exactly what you think it is.
Find the place within you where both
these statements are true.
~ Mooji

Why have spiritual teachers over thousand of years pointed to the idea that we are not the body?
It isn’t because you are not (now come on, you're obviously here). It’s because with body identification, we forget the spirit part.
We forget that we are pure consciousness.
Identifying ourselves as purely body, the mind takes itself as only form, the experience of being separate from the whole results, and suffering ensues.
This is for the most part, the human condition . . . .
We are both form and the formless.
We are the body, we are life, and we are pure consciousness, awareness, which everything is made up of.
We are the resolution of the paradox.
We are both, as One.
~ Susanne Marie

All of you are perfect just as you are . . . and you could use a little improvement.
~ Shunryu Suzuki

The enlightened man is capable of perceiving both unity and multiplicity without the least contradiction between them.
~ Huang Po

We neither exist nor not exist.
Our true nature is neither presence nor absence but the annihilation of both.
~ Ramesh Balsekar

What a Paradox: In a thousand ways our hearts are forever longing to merge with the Source of all pleasure and satisfaction and we are always already that Source. We can neither stop our longing nor stop being the Source. You are the Unity of duality and non-duality. You belong here and all of you is yearning to find its full expression. Embracing this incarnation, you live your own Gospel, sing your own Gita and discover your own Dharma. Make yourself at home here and dare to move into and fully inhabit the heroic drama of your own divinely inspired story.
~ Krishna Gauci

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)
~ Walt Whitman

There is neither creation nor destruction.
neither destiny nor free will.
neither path nor achievement.
This is the final truth.
~ Ramana Maharshi

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