Living In Paradox

comments 2
Christ / Course Ideas

There’s nothing quite like a good paradox to peel the shrink wrap off your inner life and release the beautiful flavors that you are, or to suggest the intersection of hidden dimensions with the particular version of Flatland we’ve been calling our own.  Let’s try one.  Consulting the book of Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks and John Moyne (The Essential Rumi), we find the following lyrical paradox poised atop the 105th page, like a small stick of wood dipped in sulfur and phosphorous and set delicately in a stack of dried hay, just begging to be struck:

“I saw you and became empty.
This emptiness, more beautiful than existence,
it obliterates existence, and yet when it comes,
existence thrives and creates more existence!”

Let’s don’t all act like we don’t know what he’s talking about…  This is auditory defibrillation.  The heart dissolves into the gaps between worlds, while the mind is distracted by irresolvable logical conflicts laced with double entendres.  This is called creating a diversion.

A Course in Miracles begins with a related paradox, one that begs us to question our very existence:

“Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Therein lies the peace of God.”

These two stanzas broker encounters with wordlessness.  They inject oxygen into my soul.  And they touch upon the fundamental issue at stake in our lives: what is real?  Who are we really?

Jesus has said on multiple occasions that as a man walking this Earth he was both fully human and fully divine, and in A Course of Love he encourages us to follow in his footsteps.  He invites us to accept all that we really are, and to transform our unrealities by making them living extensions of the Reality we are.  We are called to become living paradoxes- examples of a Reality that could never be fully contained in expression.  Like all great paradoxes, we become the inexplicable, illogical, undeniable evidence that what is real, is Real…


  1. Hazratio says

    Are you familiar with Gangagi? Your question, “Who are we really?” reminded me of this video:

    The Rumi and ACIM quotations also brought to mind this by Nisargadatta:

    Wisdom tells me I am nothing.
    Love tells me I am everything.
    Between the two my life flows.
    ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

    Thank you for your blog — it is a breath of fresh air…


    • Thanks for your note and link and the beautiful quote to add to the previous. I was not familiar with Gangagi, but enjoyed the video very much and watched part of another. What a way to start the day!



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