Paradoxes Home
  • 1. Patience
  • 4. Change
  • 7. Self Discipline
  • 10. Expedition
  • 13. Giving
  • 2. Striving
  • 5. Acceptance
  • 8. Surrender
  • 11. Responsibility
  • 14. Syntax
  • 3. Harm
  • 6. Non-resistance
  • 9. Forgiveness
  • 12. Sacrifice
  • 15. Competing
  • 1.  The Paradox of Patience

Have you noticed, as we have, that the more patience we have ... the more patience we are willing to demonstrate in any given situation; then, the less patience is actually required of us?  It is as if, in the silence that the patience affords us, we find resources that positively impact the situation on finer levels.

  • 2.  The Paradox of Striving

To have all, give all to all. ACIM

Many of the New Age, Alternative Religions have formulae for scientific prayer.  Every one that we have studied includes a step instructing us to release.  Indeed we have personally experienced that it is in the giving that we receive the letting go that our desires come to us.  The easiest way we have found to provide the necessary release is to put our attention on something else.  But there is more to be said about this.

Imagine you are watching rays of sunlight coming into a relatively darkened room.  And in these rays, you notice specks of dust hanging in the air.  The assignment is to hold a random speck of dust in your hand.  How can it be done?  If we pursue the speck, it seems that we disturb the environment such that the particles are actually repelled and our assignment is at once frustrated and frustrating. But, if we hold our hand very still and show patience, we experience that one or more particles will settle of it's own accord. 

In this context, we make the distinction between striving and allowing.  Pursuing (striving for) our goals is an activity requiring effort and personal energy.  It may be fraught with frustration and pitfalls.  It is subject to the whims and resistances and support of others.  By way of contrast, allowing involves getting clear about our goal, creating a "space" ( Hawkins Attractor Fields) for the goal and then seemingly charming it and attracting it to us.  This allowing takes less perceptible personal energy and seems to work independently of the positioning of others.

But it gets even better!!  When we set our intention to partner with our Higher Power and (genuinely) align our will .... without exception, without condition, without interruption ... with the Will of God, we find we are quite literally pulled to our Highest and Best Good.  We hasten to note that the mere suggestion of (sincere) intention for our part is enough.  The only frustration we experience is that which we speculate results from residual impatience and residual positioning about what serves our best interests.  Once we clear those hurdles, we experience the enduring Joy, Beauty, Abundance etc. that is promised. 

To repeat ourselves, it is the mere (but authentic) intention to align with our Higher Power that is required.  Once that has been proven, we can leave the details to God; buckle our seat belts; hang on to our hats; and enjoy our indescribably wonderful journey!!

  • 3.  The Paradox of Harm

When we feel that we have been injured or harmed ... in any way... there is a huge temptation to hold a grudge and build a drama around the circumstances.  It seems a human inclination to do so.  In North America at least, society supports "getting even".  Courts are recognized as forums for holding (alleged) perpetrators responsible.  Our legal gladiators do battle on our behalf to convince the Judge that our story is the correct story.  The notion of retribution, legal recourse, and otherwise making the guilty pay appears to currently be a fundamental part of our mentality and our society.  We need only to observe today's television listings for courtroom-type movies to appreciate how the "win-lose"  approach colours our lives.

But what happens from a more Spiritual perspective?  What happens when we think in terms of "highest and best good" (for all)?  We have experienced that "rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" works very well.  We have found that, when we operate from a state of Spiritual Love ... from a place of sincere desire for the genuine well-being of the recipient ... and when we diligently Love our God, our neighbours (including the alleged perpetrator) and ourselves simultaneously, Real Magic happens.  We achieve a state of being which seems to transcend the mere physical and we experience solutions and resolutions which contribute to our manifestations of peace and prosperity beyond our wildest dreams.

We are not suggesting that we do not seek justice and compensation when wronged.  Rather, we genuinely seek to overcome or deflect any impulse for anger and vengeance and move to behaviours coming from our commitment to Spiritual Love.  From this place of Love we experience empowerment which allows us to "see" the situation in a refreshing light.  From this place of Love, we transcend the limitations of the purely physical and access more fully the attributes of our Divine Selves.  This necessarily includes the opportunity for forgiveness.  And forgiveness literally frees us to get our lessons as well as the Divine Guidance which in turn fuels our overall experience of peace and effortlessness. 

It is not always easy for us to practice remembering that if we are in pain (or perceive ourselves to be injured or harmed in some way) then we are in error.  The most difficult thing for us to remember in times of (apparent) strife is to practice Steps 1,2, &3 of the Summary found elsewhere in this website. To the degree that we do remember, circumstances of offense, injury, and harm become wonderful, very powerful, opportunities for continuing  ... as Spiritual Beings on a physical journey ... and living a life of Joy and manifestation beyond our wildest dreams.  This is the sense in which harm and other negative experiences become huge gifts for getting us back on our Spiritual track.

There is another aspect of the notion of harm that deserves mention here.  Consider a pebble in your shoe.  We would not wish for you a pebble in your shoe; nor, would we wish one in our shoe.  But, when a pebble does somehow come into your shoe we are very grateful when is leaves!  We would offer that, to children of God, it is right to remember that we are bigger than anything that could possibly happen to us.  In this sense, all apparent incidents of harm are merely like pebbles in our shoe and, as they leave, can serve us well to bring to mind all of our opportunities for gratitude.  Human nature typically does not otherwise prompt us to start every day by thanking God that we have no pebbles in our shoe.

  • 4.  The Paradox of Change
"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change." -- Carl Rogers
  • 5.  The Paradox of Acceptance
"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change." -- Carl Rogers
  • 6.  The Paradox of Non-Resistance
"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change." -- Carl Rogers
  • 7.  The Paradox of Self Discipline

"Chance favors the prepared mind." -- Louis Pasteur


  • 8.  The Paradox of Surrender

For us, surrender is closely related to release, acceptance, and letting go letting God.  It is a letting go of our positions and allowing the greater good to unfold.  We feel it is important to accept our current situation instead of fighting it and then to be clear about what we want; but finally, it is important to let go.  " Not my will God but Thine.  This or something better."

For example, when we were making plans to live together, we made a wish list of qualities and features that we would like to experience in our new home.  It included setting clear intention about how we wanted to feel in the home and how we wanted others to be encouraged to feel.  We then went shopping ... first for renting but then for buying.  For some time we put considerable energy into looking at possibilities.  As we looked we fine-tuned our list and clarified our needs and wants.  Eventually, we viewed all the properties available at the time and still nothing moved us.  We were getting frustrated and starting to get confused to the point that we gave up pushing; prepared to back off of our striving; and began to re-evaluate our position.  Unwittingly, we both let go of our position.

Within a very few days, we found what we both considered to be a wonderful choice.  The irony is that it had been available for some time but had somehow not been visible to others in the marketplace ... almost as if it was waiting for us to find it!  Sounds crazy we expect; but, this sort of thing happens to us all the time. 

After we have done our homework, it is in the giving that we receive; in the letting go that we achieve.


  • 9.  The Paradox of Forgiveness

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and then to discover that the prisoner was you." -- unknown

A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain. Samuel (Dr) Johnson

We have found that forgiving is a critical step in letting go of the past and moving forward in our lives.  While it may benefit the person receiving forgiveness, it will most certainly benefit the one giving the forgiveness!

"I now forgive every person, place, and thing that ever injured or harmed me in any way.  They are free and I am free also.  All things are clear between us."  Rev. Jack Boland, author, Master Minding

See also giving.


  • 10.  The Paradox of Expediency
We make a distinction between efficiency and effectiveness.  Efficiency is getting something accomplished expediently, with good use of resources.  Effectiveness is accomplishing something that serves our intent.  Sometimes, as the pressures of fast-paced living wear on us, we get caught up in the doing and forget about the being.  Effectiveness carries with it a sense of respect for the bigger perspective.  Sometimes the best way to move more effectively is to slow down and take stock of what is really important to us and our loved ones.  This re-evaluation prompts us to let go of that which is not wanted and not serving.  This in turn prompts us to focus on that which is important.
There is serious temptation to allow ourselves to be sucked in to the activities of our responsibilities and, with those distractions, to forget our life purpose.  We sometimes hear comments from others like: " You meditate at least an hour a day?  I don't have the time because of children, work, and social commitments."  Ironically, we have found that making the time to meditate for 1/2 and hour morning and night actually sets up our day, surrenders the bus driving to the Divine, and makes our living more efficient and more effective ... joyously with less effort.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said:  " I have a very busy day today so I will pray 3 hours today instead of my usual 2."
Less is more ... More haste, less speed.
  • 11. The Paradox of Responsibility

We hear talk about avoiding responsibility and we would offer that it is not possible. 

You can avoid authority by allowing others to make decisions for you; but, it is not possible to permanently deflect your responsibility.  We can prolong the discomfort associated with trying to avoid responsibility; but, sooner or later, we must face ourselves in the mirror of life; make amends; and take other steps to end the pain.

In this sense, it is important to pro-actively participate in all decisions on matters of importance.  You will be living with the outcome.

It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz: Am I proud of me?  I gave my life to become the person I am right now.  Was it worth what I paid?  Richard Bach


  • 12. The Paradox of Sacrifice

We would offer that there is no such thing as sacrifice.  It is not possible to sacrifice.

To sacrifice implies giving up something you value more by trading it for something that you value less.  We offer that we never do this.  Rather we always move in the direction that, in our perception, gives us the greater pay-off according to our personal beliefs and values.

If we feel that we are sacrificing, it is because there is a pay-off that has not been consciously included.  Perhaps we didn't even realize that there was a benefit we had not previously considered as important to us.

In general, being wary about how we make decisions and how we feel about the decisions afterwards, gives us valuable insight about our values and our beliefs.  This leads us to a state of mind which empowers us to change our values and beliefs in ways that better serve us in our journey.


  • 13. The Paradox of Giving

"To have all, give all to all" ACIM

All things have their start as ideas.  Because ideas never leave their source, as ideas are given, they multiply and gain power and take form.  Therefore, what we give our attention grows in our own lives.  Thus, we attract whatever we want most in our lives by giving it away.  In Spiritual terms, we call this tithing.  If you want love, give the kind of love you want away.  Want anger?  Give anger?  Want effortless living?  Help others live effortlessly.  Want money?  Give money.  Want more talent?  Give your talents away ... do some "pro bono" work.

" You can get anything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want in their lives."  Zig Ziglar

In this sense, you can't really give to anyone but yourself.  As the saying goes ... "You can't outgive God.". 

This is also another serious reason why forgiveness is so very important ... and another reason to refrain from negative activities such as cursing, swearing, and other dark thoughts.

"The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy." Florence Scovel Shinn, Artist, Metaphysics Teacher and Author (1871-1940)

  • 14. The Paradox of Syntax

Syntax has to do with the order of words in language ... the manner in which the linguistic elements (as words) are put together to form constituents (as phrases or clauses or sentences).  Webster's Dictionary

Consider the following simple sentences:
I told her that I loved her.
Only I told her that I loved her.
I only told her that I loved her.
I told only her that I loved her.
I told her only that I loved her.
I told her that only I loved her.
I told her that I only loved her.
I told her that I loved only her.
By taking the same eight words and changing their order, we get seven different meanings!
There is something we call the syntax of thoughts and actions.  For example, we have a friend that lives about 6 kilometres from us.  To get there we take the following route:
Right turn out our driveway.
Left turn at the 2nd set of traffic lights.
Right turn at the 45th set of traffic lights.
Left turn at #457
If we give you those directions and ask you to follow them exactly, if you start from our driveway, and if life does not force you to make any detours, then you will likely reach our friends' house.  However, if anything changes in between the start and finish of that task; then you run the risk of getting lost.  You may still get to the intended destination; but, you may need to revise your directions and ask for help along the way.  Even a simple task such as going from our home to our friends' home contains complexity and requires respect for the order of actions.  We know that it helps if there is a beacon marking our goal, a light-house so to speak, which, when we lose our way, is still detectable and can give us a reference for constructive feed-back.  Fortunately, in Spiritual matters, such feed-back exists.  We call it the "Christ Light within".
As the story goes, when Jesus was asked what he considered to be his most important teaching, he responded with His Sermon on the Mount ... seek ye first the Kingdom.  We would offer that this teaching is critical to our spiritual well-being and we can dramatically alter our experiences if we fail to follow this teaching.  We offer that this is our understanding of what Dr. David Hawkins is suggesting by his phrase "Devotional Non-duality".  Our understanding allows us to use the Christ Light within as the beacon which keeps us centered on our Spiritual path ... always penetrating the veil of error thoughts we have previously assembled to obscure our vision and otherwise deflect us from our purpose.  See Divine Inspiration for more background theory on syntax.  Check out Ultimate Question for one practical application of this directive.
  • 15. The Paradox of Competing

"Those who would be first, shall be last."

We would make a distinction between competing and doing your personal best ... as a team player. 

Competing has to do with comparing ourselves to the external and being better than what we experience externally.  It requires monitoring and comparing of activities external to us in a way that can be distracting and misleading to our personal growth.  If we are better than, we might tend to feel superior or complacent.  If we are less than, we might tend to feel jealous or lacking.  Competitions also tend to associate with the notion of a few winners.

For us, doing our personal best is about working with what is inside of us.  Connecting with our Spiritual core and then maintaining our Spiritual centre in all manner of circumstances.  We know when we are on track when solutions and resolutions manifest which prove to be in everyone's interests ... highest and best good for all ... and everyone win's.

We would offer that we are all one.  What we do affects everyone.  If we run our car, we pollute the air for the whole world.  When we flush our toilet, we are polluting the waters of the world.  Likewise, when we bless our circumstances, our brothers and sisters, and our challenges, all life benefits.  We would offer that it is far more important to be a team player than it is to be competitive as an individual.