TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Paradox

This is the definition of paradox:" An assertion that is essentially self-contradictory, though based on a valid deduction from acceptable premises"
But I believe, there is much more to it. Each half of a paradoxical contradiction is necessary for the whole, it is a “symmetry which is broken”,
paradoxes tap directly into the intuitive depth of knowing.
As do poetry and music.

"Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light."

"He who loses his life shall find it"

"There would be no dance and there is only the dance."

Some from recent TED conversations:

'Objectivity is the illusion of any subject."
"There are absolutely no absolutely true statements."
Aristotle's "reaffirmation through denial".
"we are all students and teachers in this earth school"
the expression "one-many" /I love it!/
“everything is both in time and in stillness. It is a changeless change.”
"out-in" experience.
I am sure there are a lot more, and I ask the TED community to post here your paradoxes or phrases, expressions with paradox depth.
Quotations with your comment or without. Everything will be of great value.

Thank you!

+2
Share:
progress indicator
  • Comment deleted

    • Oct 29 2011: Thanks, Ed!
      Beautiful poem!
      Whenever Beauty looks,
      Love is also there;
      Love and Beauty can't create a paradox , being reconciled with their opposites. They are inseparable and create each other!
      Like here: "The knower is the known."
      "The dream is dreaming itself."
      The thinker is the thought, the experiencer is the experienced."
      "Consciousness is its content"

      We've had this conversation before, I asked you a simple question:) What is truth?
      Now I have some guesses... There are many truths for a lab, where 1+1=2, and another truth where 1+1=1
      and there must be the highest Truth , where the second part of the equation is always ''0"

      Thank you, for being here!
    • thumb
      Nov 10 2011: A fantastic poem and do you know the translator?
      He's done a marvelous job.
  • Comment deleted

    • Nov 12 2011: Ed, thanks for "another" beautiful Rumi!

      It is written in the spirit of paradox, while not a paradox ,it is a perfect metaphor of the lucid symmetry.

      Here is a "scientific" paradox / symmetry :

      "Only in the particle the wave;
      only in the wave the particle"
      • Comment deleted

        • Nov 12 2011: ...exists so the "infinite" can know itself

          That's it... what I feel sometimes, if I were a religious person, maybe I would say ," I hope, I please the God" at that moment! To learn to love the beauty of this world is the purpose of our existence, if any. For what "infinite" should know itself ? :)
          I tried to define myself in the conversation "Who am I" as :
          "I am a particle with a vague recollection of being a wave, which is dreaming itself being a particle."
          ... it is clumsy :) but it was my feeble attempt to shape into words what can be so effortlessly felt.

          Thank us!!!
  • Nov 10 2011: The paradox :

    "The center is everywhere"

    If someone happens to be here, please, share your thoughts!

    Thank you!
    • thumb
      Nov 10 2011: The best paradox ever, Natasha.

      Everywhere you are is the projection of the one center. The universe has many centers and they're all one.

      Thank you!
      • Nov 10 2011: Thank you, Frans !

        One that becomes All.
        All=One

        What lives in that universal "centre", within all of us in this holy silence beyond time?
    • Nov 10 2011: The center is moving and dynamic. It is a fractal way of organizing itself. Things are embedded in other things embedded in others.
      • Nov 10 2011: Michael,
        Thank you !
        In spacetime, each of us is a dynamic world within a dynamic world. Entanglement. The unbroken Oneness.
      • thumb
        Nov 12 2011: Michael! I absolutely loved this insight!
  • thumb
    Nov 5 2011: Thank you for your apriciation, yes vacuum state is and the understanding is also a paradox becouse the intellect is distinguishing , or this or this , or warm or cold so its IMPOSSIBLE to understand paradox, BUT you can live it , YES experiance it, I do and I did during practise of Transcendental Meditation and TM Sidhi program with yogic flying. This is a practical part of Maharishi's Vedic Science, where the allert mind (Attention) is brought in deeper levels of our cosnciousness , experiancing the deeper levels of thinking proces and the thoughts it self UNTILL we reach the source of though, and when that is happening there is the home of paradox , home of all the laws of nature , home of infinite and opposite values of life in unmanifest state. I practise this tehnique every day 2 times and experiancing Vacuum state for shorter and longer times , sometimes clearer , most of the times less clear (got lots of stress to release :) BUT BIG YES it is possible to realise this state of paradox ON the level of BEING in real life (which is much deeper than the level of intellect or mind) and with experiancing this level of life = Universe when we come out of meditation we infuse all the qualities of Unified field in to our dally life , in any and all activities we have from most trivial to most important! I hope I helped a lil :) Bliss and happiness to you and other TED readers -members
    • Nov 8 2011: Hi,Jozef!
      Thank you for sharing and sorry for the delay with my response. I was in the "wild" , being busy with what you call " infusing all the qualities of Uni field " :)
      I have never participated in any program with yogic flying,/ sounds transcendental by its own :)/ and even never practiced meditation, though i always make it my "New Year Wish", but Just being not distracted , being peaceful in beautiful vastness , can do the trick with your consciousness! No thoughts, no clever paradoxes even, everything is reconciled in all possible directions ...Does it remind you anything, you've experienced?

      Actually, starting this conversation I meant to collect Paradoxes for my paradox file, but this conversation has the will of it's own and I don't mind , we discuss the nature of paradox . But still, could you help me with my skinny file , any expressions with paradox depth? :)

      Thank you!
    • thumb
      Nov 10 2011: " we infuse all the qualities of Unified field in to our daily life "
      That's how we started life to begin with, with not all but our personal qualities.
      Being at that place you can change your life as well.
  • thumb
    Nov 4 2011: silence and dinamism light and dark , warm and cold, mortal and immortal infinite and point , all these are the qualities of the unified field - vacoom - simplest state of cosnciousness source of thought, which is accessible in our consciousness
    • Nov 4 2011: My thoughts exactly, Jozef!
      Nothingness is full and emptiness is fertile. Vacuum is the most powerful thing. When a person reaches the state of complete simplicity he stops talking, "Who knows does not speak, who speaks does not know' What is left for us ? Actually a lot : poetry, music, cryptic tales of sacred scriptures , paradoxes, as a short linguistic form to create an image of reconciled unity. I've noticed that a paradox is understood immediately or never, you can later provide the factual proofs, which may be too ''wordy" , but initially you must feel it on the "non-dual" level of consciousness.
      BTW. Do you think that "vacuum state " is accessible within our consciousness? Any experience?

      Jozef, thank you for being here and sharing your thoughts!
  • Oct 26 2011: Falling in love with paradox is the only way to "make sense" of our world. I used to tell my students that the answer to every question they had was yes and no. I am more sure of that now than ever.
  • thumb
    Oct 25 2011: Glad you liked it. If I ever come up with my own defintion Ill swing by and drop it off. ;)
    In some sense a paradox may be a way to bridge the finite with the ifinite. Like, the quote you used as an example. "Whoever wishes to save his life must lose it" - It is my understanding that the "losing" he is speaking of isn't an end in itself- but only a gateway to a "higher" and more complete understanding of what it is to truly lose something. I almost want to say that without people there would be no paradox. Ha- It almost seems like we are the paradox.:)
    • Oct 25 2011: I guess we are! :) We are divided creatures in our divided world, as Dostoevsky put it : "A man is an abyss of heaven and hell"
      Sorry for my clumsy translation from Russian, but i hope you get the idea :)
    • Oct 26 2011: Hi, Jacob!
      Hope you'll find my post here. Listen to the new TED talk
      "Iain McGilchrist: The divided brain"

      In some way it can be viewed as an extension to your great idea "we are the paradox"
      Enjoy! :)
  • Oct 25 2011: There is one paradox in classical logic that is true for all situations and that is the liar paradox. That is to say statement A reads "This statement is false." If that statement is false, it is then true. Conversely if it is true, it is then false. The goal of many current logicians is to somehow get rid of the liar paradox, but of the many paths that have diverged from classical logic I believe that paraconsistent logic by Graham Priest holds the most merit. It does not get rid of the liar paradox, but instead accepts it on the basis some paradoxes must exist. Although the paradoxes we allow mean the world is inconsistent. This is known as dialethism.
    • Oct 25 2011: Brandon!
      "The liar paradox" contains the contradictory elements of paradox without a paradox 's depth. It is not a true paradox , because our minds do not need to reconcile its opposing elements on the same deep level as they do with the saying,
      "He who loses his life shall find it."
      I guess the history of the liar paradox traces back to :

      SOCRATES What Plato is about to say is false.
      PLATO Socrates has spoken truly

      As you said, It serves to illustrate the impossibility to build " a self-consistent model of the world"on purely logical principles.
      " I believe that paraconsistent logic by Graham Priest holds the most merit"
      Could you elaborate?
      Thanks a lot for your contribution! The "liar paradox" concept is new for me.
      Any"true" paradoxes? :)
      Thank you!
  • thumb
    Oct 25 2011: Awesome thought Natasha. G.K Chesterton once said that a paradox was truth standing on its head to gain attention.
    I think he may have been on too something- although I'm not sure what. There are obvious "truths" and then there are the more mysterious ones. The more I think about it the more it seems like we are living just outside the fence of a fairy tale. :)
    • Oct 25 2011: Hi,Jacob!
      Thank you for Chesterton' s definition of paradox, I like it! It contains the contradictory elements of paradox itself .Standing on one's head is unreasonable, nonsense, "no sense" or higher sense. this implies that a paradox must necessarily transcend logic / two legs, right and left; right or wrong- dual logic/ to blend in understanding items of awareness, that reason automatically cancels out.
      I think that "obvious truths" are illusions we have and we need in our daily life to be able to move, to make decisions,it's our human condition, but we also have a gut feeling that there is something more, beyond, the higher truth, "more mysterious one", a fairy tale :)
      And btw, I believe that "fence' is also our illusion, it doesn't mean though i don't have it:)
      Thank you !