Life as a Paradox

11 Mar

Definition: “something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible.”

I’m studying the Tao Te Ching. There are 81 verses. It’s possible to spend a lifetime studying these verses, which for the most part don’t have even twenty lines to them – but boy, do they nail Truth.

Of course, I can’t really explain what I’m reading, but when I read it there’s an innate recognition – I feel an “Ah-hah.” Somewhere deep in my Being, I recognize Mystery.

Paradox.  Know it, but can’t explain it. Recognize it, but never saw it before. I do know that when it starts talking about the Master Teacher, I recognize my spiritual mentor and Elder of 25 years, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha. It’s uncanny.

It seems the more we seek something the more it eludes us – whether it be prosperity, position, relationship – whatever. Perhaps it has to do with the Principle of Attraction.

When we concentrate our thoughts on what we don’t have – our focus is on what we lack. We give so much attention to that that we end up creating more lack.

Even when we’re carefully crafting goals in totally positive terms, if we’re concentrating on creating results, we are probably blocking our own success. We’ve become accustomed to plotting out the course to our goals. Quantum Physics tells us if we clearly define our beginning point and end point, the Universe will fill in the details. Another paradox.

“The Master leads

by emptying people’s minds

and filling their cores

by weakening their ambitions

and toughening their resolves…”*

There’s an old Chinese proverb about a Teacher and student. The teacher starts pouring tea into the student’s cup but continues pouring even as the tea overflows and pours all over the table. When the student questions why, the Teacher responds that the student’s mind is like the full cup of tea. The student has come to the Teacher pretty full of himself. Only when the student would be willing to let go of what he thought he knew, i.e. empty his mind, would the Teacher be able to work with him.

Recovery from addiction is a lot like that. We tend to walk in thinking we know what we need to do to “beat this thing” – and slowly we learn from the shared experiences of others present that in order to triumph over our addiction we need to “surrender,” form a partnership with the God of our understanding, and empty out what we think we know so we can really learn.

Another Paradox.

If my best thinking got me in a place of dire straights, it’s highly likely that only by building my core values will I transcend my predicament. Empty out in order to receive.

My ambition in life might be to rise to a particular position or status or income level – whatever – but only when I resolve to live a life of service will I achieve all that I want through helping others.

That’s not my wisdom. I’ve been hearing it from my Elder for 25 years, only to be reinforced in recovery rooms, by inspirational speakers and business motivators.

Now I’m reading it in the Tao.

I guess when we finally quit complicating life we find the simple solutions. If you find yourself thinking about something, “It can’t be that simple!” – you probably need an Ego check. Lose your self-importance and gain Wisdom.

Another Paradox…. 🙂

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” –Oprah Winfrey

“Allow each second of your time to be filled with a kindness to all and include yourself!” -Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

-Deborah Adler

*Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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