The Pure Paradox

Language can often be misleading. Because of the inanimate nature of words; all too often words really can not express the abstract essence of what they are attempting to describe. Even when articulated very well; the depth of the concept makes language contradict itself. The result is a paradox.

Let's see what a paradox looks like in action. Here are a few from the book, "Oxymoronica" by Mardy Grothe, that make it clear exactly what a paradox is:

The superfluous is the most necessary.

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
-Margaret Mead

I shut my eyes in order to see.
-Paul Gauguin

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.
-Georg Hegel

We are never prepared for what we expect.
-James Michener

To be believed, make the truth unbelievable.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

What we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
-Sydney J. Harris

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.
-Henry David Thoreau

Always be sincere, even if you don’t mean it.
-Harry S. Truman

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.
-Oscar Wilde

War is a series of catastrophes which result in a victory.
-Georges Clemenceau

First I dream my painting, then I paint my dream.
-Vincent van Gogh

We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities.
-Walt Kelly, From Pogo

I want peace and I’m willing to fight for it.
-Harry S. Truman

Study the past, if you would divine the future.
-Confucius, in Analects

Love is a kind of warfare.

All works of art should begin…at the end.
-Edgar Allan Poe

The final delusion is the belief that one has lost all delusions.
-Maurice Chapelain

A man chases a woman until she catches him.

The very nature of our true selves, when described, seems to be a paradox. There are countless contradictions about our reality and the way things work, due to the depth of the concepts. Just to name a few that I have observed:
  • Empty space is full of infinite possibilities.
  • The more you accept, the more control you have
  • The better you teach, the more you learn

The list goes on and on. For plenty more on paradox and contradiction, read What Is Really Good? and stay tuned!


Bhadra said...

'Language can often be misleading. Because of the inanimate nature of words; all to often words really can not express the abstract essence of what they are attempting to describe'

I would agree with the above statement in a sense. Take the Sanskrit Language. When one is learning swadhyaya, studying & reciting sacred text, the words look strange at first. The mind will even say 'what is that?'...What does it mean? Will I ever really understand this? At a glance one does not know what those words could express. But once one gets the into the practice, flow & pronounciations of the words - the sanskrit letters - it takes one into another world, another realm within one self.

This might seem a little off the track of the examples you listed, however I call that a pure paradox

C. Om said...

Indeed. Thank you for your insightful comment Bhadra.

B3autifulsoul-n-mind said...

Funny that I have a better understanding of what you mean by reading "A New Earth".The author talked about something similar to this.How it is nearly impossible to express some things with using basic language....The depth of it is indescribable.

C. Om said...

You are right B3autiful. Words do not possess the depth. Thanks for your insightful comment.