Spirituality For Life
Page: Living with Paradox

What is Spirituality?
Aspects of Spirituality
Spiritual Practices
Theology / Spirituality
Misc. Topics
Contact Us


 Happy and Sad Faces

Spirituality includes being able to embrace paradox. Examples include: 


·    We need to be detached, but we need to be fully present (here and now) in the drama of life.  

·    We need to be self-disciplined, yet act in a spontaneous manner at times. 

·    We need to make our own effort, but also to realize that we do nothing

·    We need to differentiate good from bad, yet go beyond both. 

·    We need to think in new spiritual ways, yet to know that all thoughts are just concepts. 

·    We need to cultivate compassion and relieve suffering, but also to understand that everything is perfect just the way it is.  

All of these dilemmas stem from one great dilemma. We experience ourselves as separate bodies and personalities, but we are also indivisible parts of the Whole. Superficially we are individual waves which rise and fall on the one great ocean of Being, with which our deeper identity is linked. 

Following a spiritual path is an ongoing process of attempting to resolve the great paradox of being a part of an indivisible Whole. How can this be done? The word “paradox” itself gives us a clue, coming from the Greek para dokien – “beyond thought”. The dilemma cannot be resolved by thinking about it. It is resolved in a profound acceptance of the fact that this is the way things are. A wave doesn’t worry about being the ocean. It just is

We all know that living can be a frightening, lonely, painful, grief-stricken ordeal at times. In the face of this, we desperately need to feel that in some way we are essentially safe. We need to know that our joys and suffering have real meaning. Spirituality answers these needs. It also frees us from the deep anxieties caused by believing ourselves to be isolated egos.

Finally, spirituality connects us to an immense benevolence that permeates creation, an unconditional compassion that beats the pulse of life, that Great Mystery. Those who dare to look beyond the limits of their habitual horizons and glimpse the infinite goodness that is God are forever reassured that all is well.

Source: Adapted from Timothy Freke, Encyclopedia of Spirituality: Information and Inspiration to Transform Your Life (New York: Sterling Publishing Company, 2000).  


Peace, the Hebrew shalom, means wholeness and completeness. Peace is not when all agree, for this is impossible. It is the ability to realise that all the various perspectives, even if contradictory, are only partial perspectives of the whole picture. The truth is greater than the sum of those parts. The path to paradise is really paradox and we need to make peace with the apparent conflict. One perspective can never be the be-all and end-all for understanding the ultimate truth and therefore should not be taken too seriously – though it is a partial accurate view of reality. From a higher perspective, it will realised that there were no contradictions, but rather different perspectives of one complete truth. 

Source: Based on Rabbi David Aaron, The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine Within You (Boston: Shambala Publications, 2004), 130. 


Photo credit: Intellimon Ltd. 


Spirituality for Life
Interfaith Spirituality
Underlying Premises
What is Spirituality?
Christian Spirituality
Spirituality and Human Existence
A Broader View of Spirituality
Descriptions of Spirituality
Reaching One's Potential
Authentic Christian Spirituality
What Is Christian Spirituality
Three Elements of Spirituality
Spirituality and Religion
Community Aspect of Spirituality
The Cycle of Spirituality
Aspects of Spirituality
Forgiveness - Four Steps
Forgiveness - Vital Aspect
Forgiveness - Crucial Element
Forgiveness and Health
Forgiveness - 10 Truths
Hiddenness of God
Living with Paradox
The Paschal Mystery
The Trinity
The Triune God
Trinity Reflections
Spiritual Practices
Communing with God in Nature
A Country Garden
Sea and Sky
Spring Flowers in Australia
Sunrise and Sunset
By the Lake
By the Sea
Australian Countryside
Springtime Flowers
Spring Flowers
Country Lake
Sunrise Splendor
Late Spring Flowers
Early Light
Morning Walk
Flower Festival
Quiet Waters
Contemplative Living
Contemplative Prayer Overview
Contemplative Path
A Heart Experience
The Contemplative and Active
Lectio Divina
Christian Meditation
Meditation to Meaning
Meditation on Death
Death of Two Young Men
Mindfulness Overview
Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Prayer - Lord's Prayer
Theology / Spirituality
Introduction to Spirituality
Formative Spirituality
Prayer and Prayerfulness
Spirituality of the Heart
Spirituality of Pastoral Care
Spiritual Autobiographies
Writings on the Spiritual Life
The Psalms
Ten Genres of Psalms
God's Kingship in the Royal Psalms
Psalms-Language of Prayer
Psalms 44 and 104
Vengeance Is God's
The Hiddenness of God
Liturgical Spirituality
Liturgy and Spirituality: Definitions
Liturgical Spirituality: Implications
Anglican Spirituality
Book of Common Prayer
Ecology, Cosmology, and Spirituality
Our Picture of the Universe
Mystery at End of Universe
Evolution and God
The Scientific Priesthood
The Ecological Age
Contemporary Economic Model
Aboriginal and Biblical Creation Accounts
Aspects of Aboriginal Religion
Reflections on Nature and Spirituality
Historical Spirituality
Biblical Studies
Old Testament
Creation Theology
Notes from My Notebook
Theodicy: Evil if God Is Good?
Is Suffering from God?
Belief in a Creator God: Implications
New Testament
The Church
History of the Early Church
Mission of the Church
Christian Education
Misc. Topics
Exploring Spirituality
Timeless Spirituality
Lord's Prayer Spirituality
Spirituality and Lord's Prayer
A Spirituality Sequence
Spiritual Traditions
Spiritual Classics
Spirituality Snippets
Spirituality Quotations
Loving Kindness Meditation
Francis of Assisi Prayer
Prayer of Trust
Prayer to Perceive God
Prayer for Strength and Love
Abandonment to God
Look Well to This Day
God Is Love
New Identity in Christ
Learning and Growth
Nature of Truth
God and Creation
Anger of Another
Sacramental Life View
The Resurrection
Mystical Wisdom
Islam's Inclusiveness
Love, Joy, Obedience
Peace of Mind
Peace Versus Violence
Later Life Spirituality
Longevity and Spirituality
Thoughts about Life
Thoughts on Life and Death
Contact Us
Privacy Statement
Personal Background