June 23, 2010

Marc Lesser on accepting paradoxes

Marc Lesser, executive coach and Zen teacher, wrote the article "Do Less, Accomplish More" for Tricycle for our Fall 2009 issue. Doing less while accomplishing more sounds like a paradox, right? Well, Lesser has a new article up on the Huffington Post called "Accepting the Paradoxes in Your Life." He writes:

A paradox is something that appears to be contradictory, unbelievable, or absurd but may in fact be true. Do less; accomplish more. These statements present a paradox. Acknowledging, owning and embracing the paradoxical nature of our lives, the lives of others and the world can lessen our resistance to change and increase our effectiveness. At its most basic it makes us less tense and more open to happiness.

Read the complete article here. What are the paradoxes in your life? Do they make your life difficult, enrich it, or both? You can follow Marc Lesser on Twitter at @doingless. His tips for living are among the best out there. Don't you want to do less and still accomplish more?

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Tom's picture

Paradox IMHO is just another word for: your model of understanding may be incomplete or contradictory. I feel finding, understanding and solving them is some interesting way to improve your knowledge.

Amongst the most interesting paradoxes (and challenging) is, that the question whether or not there is a "clear light", "soul", "god" or "godlike creatures". While it seems as if it was the most important question of all, it is completely irrelevant.

Why? Because your understanding is incomplete. You can't even tell what it's true nature is. Even worse: if you really could make a definition, it would instantly answer the question of it's existence.
That's also the reason why there never can be a definition for words like "soul", "god", "demon" aso. As these are metaphysical concepts, which don't have one final definition at all.

So you need to understand, that these things are "empty" (in a sense). This means to "believe" in something like a metaphysic concept - whatever it is - is a matter of decision. Try as hard as you may, there is no way to proof it is right or wrong.
These terms simply don't apply.

So to answer the question: if you believe in it, it exists. If you don't believe in it, it doesn't exist. Both is true. Which leads us to one final conclusion: there is not one single final truth, but many.
Which is a complicated, very interesting, challenging paradox. Especially as any common logic seems to tell you that it can't be true.

I will just state this as a thesis and leave it to you, to find your own solution to this.
Don't worry if you don't understand it just yet, or if you come to a different conclusion. I would love to read your ideas!