“How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself?
“If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox.
“One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions.
“You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.”
No matter what any of us think, life’s a confusing reality. Whenever we think we’ve climbed to the pinnacle of our endeavours—and sussed out life with ‘our understanding’—we’re usually perilously close to a screaming thud; the reality check.
As we read a long quote like this above we sense the truth of a contradictory life before us; a life with lots of swings and roundabouts. What we miss out on with one joy ride, we pick up on another—there’s a divisive serendipity about it all.
As we grasp the ironies enfolded in our individual and collective paradoxes—living squarely in the middle of contradiction and holding the plethora of the resultant tension evenly—we begin to laugh at life; we understand and accept that we’ll never understand it. Indeed, this is also a great jumping-off point!
And this is true freedom.
We shrug our shoulders and at the same time shine our light—the God-light—into the struggling life around us, not pompously, but intuitively. It’s all we can do. And the world, in the general sense, embraces the wisdom of light we have to offer.
Once we take this truth on board life gets easier—to simply “be,” and then act as the world needs us to act, is the only sensible response that remains.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.