Thursday, January 27, 2011


I have been thinking about paradox lately. It seems that all of life is a paradox. There are two sides to everything. There is light and dark. Good and evil. Male and female. Love and fear. According to the Tao, the world is made up of opposites or paradoxes and the world exists because of the tension between the two.

I get it. I see it everywhere. The world is so beautiful, it takes my breath away on many a day. Today is one of those days, we had a heavy snow last night and the vista from my bedroom window is incredibly beautiful.

Is there anything more inspiring than seeing an eagle soar? Or a lion basking in the sun? Yet, they are killers. The kill to survive. I have always struggled with this. I sometimes say that as a planet we will become enlightened and see God on the day that all creatures become vegetarians. Yet, I know that isn't going to happen. What I am beginning to see is that the pull of the polar opposites is necessary to creation. The killer is majestic, just as the lamb is majestic too.

Perhaps the tension is more about surrender. Perhaps it is in the surrender that we know God. Whether it is a surrender to love or to the talons of and eagle. One season surrenders to the next, just as every day we are shown the surrender of day into night and night into day. One can't exist without the other- what would day be if there was no night? Or perhaps it is about being a witness- one side of the paradox watching the other side, as a way of knowing oneself through seeing the opposite.

It is a puzzlement, as the King of Siam used to say in The King and I.

I feel that that one of the biggest elements of the spiritual path is surrender. What does that mean exactly? Father Bede Griffiths, according to Andrew Harvey, died into love. His union with God was complete once he "died into love." It means giving up the false self, letting go those things that bind us to us. I feel that in my life I have let go of so much. I allow God to take the reins often (at least, that's what I think I do, but do I really do that?). 

According to so many people throughout history and today's spiritual community talk about the "Dark Night of the Soul" and the necessity of experiencing it in order to progress along the spiritual path, it is the only way in which to achieve a union with God. Is that so? If there are paradoxes, and polar opposites, then why isn't it possible to achieve a union with God through a "Light filled day of the Soul?" 

These are my questions today. I look out my window and see the glory of God in my backyard, snow deep enough to almost touch my knees. This is God. God is right here right now. My questions are meaningless in the face of the beauty that I see. All is beautiful and all is perfect and that includes me as well. I don't need to strive or flail my body with whips to understand God, all I need do is to allow God to move within me, open my eyes and see the beauty and the horror that is mine to see. 

Easy, right?

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