It has probably happened to you too. You read something spiritual from a wise master or a guru, it can be a quote or a short article, and it makes you feel good, like you finally understand everything. And then, you listen to another wise master and what they say is completely opposite from the other truth. However, you find this to be also true.
How can 2 opposites be accepted as true at the same time? This by nature is a paradox, something that cannot exist, right?
According to Carl Jung, in order for The Universe to exist and life to thrive paradoxes are necessary. In fact, we are a paradox ourselves.
Paradoxical pieces of wisdom exist, like “You make your own destiny. Don’t be a reaction be an action. Don’t wait for the world to happen to you. You happen to the world.” and its clear opposite “Refrain from acting and your dreams will flow into reality.” Both of these are true, yet both describe an opposite direction.
This is contradictory on first look, but if you dig a little deeper into the core of both sayings you’ll discover that they come from the same truth.
Just like religions, these paradoxical pieces of wisdom are like the fingers on our hand. We are like 2 dimensional beings who can only see the fingertips. From that perspective both religions and pieces of wisdom may seem separated, contradictory in some cases. However, all of the fingers belong to the same hand.
We live both in the outer and the inner world. Both worlds, according to Carl Jung are expressions of the unconscious mind of God.
Someone may disregard all his thoughts and aspirations and fatalistically accept all that happens in his outer life. To them we must say “You make your own destiny. Don’t be a reaction be an action. Don’t wait for the world to happen to you. You happen to the world.”
Another may focus only on chasing their dreams oblivious to the ways of the unconscious mind. To them we must say “Refrain from acting and your dreams will flow into reality.”
“We must watch what the gods ordain for us in the outer world, but as well as waiting for developments in the outer world we must listen to the inner world; both worlds are expressions of God.” – Carl Jung
That’s the reason why so many spiritual concepts contradict each other. We all observe the same truth from a different angle and sometimes our points of view may show a contradictory shadow.