Tension of paradox. I discovered that the tension of extremes ARE both true at the same time. – Jenni Huan.
But this statement cannot be axiomatic because it is inherently contradictory. It is like saying I am absolutely sure that there is no absolute truth. You can claim that everything is contradictory but the consequences is that Everything would seem to fall apart; If this statement is true, then by merit of it, it is also false. Then, nothing would be true and nothing would be false.
But consider this argument. If the statement of the tension of opposite extremes is absolutely true, then because of the opposite of 2 opposite extremes is one absolute extreme. Hence, an absolute extreme is also true. ie. Both absolute extreme and tension of 2 opposites are true at the same time. This reconciles the truth of a one and only God, AND the truth that life is a tension of opposite extremes.
“The opposite of a true statement is a false statement, but the opposite of a profound truth can be another profound truth.” – Niels Bohr
How can the negation of what was theorized to be true, be again true at the same time? How can we escape the grip of either-or thinking? What would it look like to think the world together, not to abandon discriminatory logic where it serves us well but to develop a more capacious habit of mind that supports the capacity for connectedness on which our (social) nature thrive on.
Truth is found not by splitting the world into either-ors but by embracing it as both-and. Truth is a paradoxical joining of apparent opposites, and if we want to know the truth, we must learn to embrace/conflate those opposites as one.
In the empirical world, there are choices to be made between true and false, choices that must be informed by fact and reason where the rule of two opposites cannot be true at the same time.
But there is another realm of knowing where binary logic misleads us. This is the realm of ‘profound truth’, where, if we want to know what is essential, we must stop thinking the world into pieces and start thinking it together again.
Profound truth, rather than empirical fact, is the stuff of which paradoxes are made. And we encounter paradoxical profundities every day simply because we are human. eg. our paradoxical need for both community and solitude.
What I want is a richer, more paradoxical model of teaching and learning than binary thought allows, a model that reveals how the paradox of thinking and feeling are joined, whether we are comfortable with paradox or not.
Seeing the heart and mind work as one in our students and in ourselves.
The result is a world more complex and confusing than the one made simple by either-or thought but the simplistic is merely the dullness of death. When we think things together, we reclaim the life force in the world, in our students, in ourselves.
What are we do with the limits we find on the flip side of our gifts? The point is not to ‘get fixed’ but to gain deeper understanding of the paradox of gifts and limits, the paradox of our mixed selves, so that we can teach, and live, more gracefully within the whole of our nature.