It is an trite thing to say that many truths are revealed in paradoxes. Much that is called a paradox is merely a misunderstanding. We might discuss the phenomenon that those who fight are often brought closer together. This is not a paradox, but just a faulty understanding of human behavior which fails to account for a particular bonding process.
All The Way Down
Truth found in paradoxes is true, as they say, all the way down. For example, in physics it is a paradox that a quantum state does not exist (actually multiple states exist simultaneously but they collapse into a single reality) until you perceive it. That you must perceive something for it to properly exist is a paradox, because the seeing is dependent on the existing while the existing is dependent on the seeing.
Such a paradox is keeping watch over the mind so as to avoid being self-centered. It is a commonly held misconception that a humble person thinks terrible things about themselves, when in fact, a humble person doesn’t think much about themselves at all.
This is not to say they are not aware of themselves, but the watchfulness they exercise over their minds keeps focused on the heart which is the faculty of man to apprehend God. Developing this inner life is the very nature of prayer and without this inner life nothing will stream outward towards others.
There is a story of a successful but unhappy man going to a monastery to get advice from a monk. The monk poured him a glass of water and kept pouring even spilling out water all over the floor. He told the man, “You are like this glass, already full. Go empty yourself and when you come back, I can help you.”
Christ tells us, if we wish to live, we must die and those that die in Him will live in Him. We must lose to win, humble ourselves to be exalted, empty ourselves to be filled. It is not merely that being empty once, results in some new thing filling us; no, we become ever more full as we achieve greater emptiness.
This is not a nothingness, or a trick of the mind where we can master certain biochemical brain states which bring about feelings of euphoria. It is not a stunt.
This Is Life
A great many people ask themselves what life is and what it is for, but as Christians we have been assured that Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly. What is this life that Christ brings to us, but the life He shares with the Father. Love in unity without division or confusion. An existence (as pointed out by a friend) for which we do not yet have proper pronouns.
Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God,
did not count equality with God something to be grasped.
But he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
becoming as human beings are;
and being in every way like a human being,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death, death on a cross.
And for this God raised him high,
and gave him the name which is above all other names;
so that all beings in the heavens,
on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acknowledge
Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
How shall this be done without putting on the very mind of Christ? This is a mere glimpse into this. I am no expert on these matters and I may have sailed beyond my experience on this one. This is one of those times I must admit that I have not yet walked this path, but I stand at a road marker with a lamp hoping to point the way.
[No ducks were harmed in the making of this blog-post.]