The Great Paradox is so important to understanding Simple Reality that we will repeat it several times in slightly different phrasing. Transcending the illusion of space/time, we arrive at the place that we never left, the eternal Now, and experience it for the first time. We begin this article with a paraphrase of T. S. Eliot. In P-B transcendence seems to involve a process, it seems to take time and effort and we seem to be going someplace. In P-A, there is no process and no time involved because we are already having a perfect experience within the context of a perfect Simple Reality.
Life is suffering. The First Noble Truth is the principle with which Buddha began his teaching. Rabbi Harold Kuschner entitled his book, Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? And, of course we have Einstein’s question: Is the universe friendly or not? The Great Paradox is contained within each of these principles or questions.
We also encounter The Great Paradox in the temptations associated with the myths of Jesus and Buddha. The temptations were forms of the three energy centers of the false self, namely security, sensation and power. Both mystics in the wisdom-directed present moment rejected the temptations and avoided the suffering inherent in accepting a false-self identity in the context of P-B.
The “great paradox” in the Bible is found in the Gospel of Luke in its simplest form. “Whosoever shall seek to save his soul [life] shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his soul [life] shall preserve it.” Since a separate life or soul does not exist we need not concern ourselves with the King James Version (life) of 1611 or the English Revised Version (soul) of 1881. Understanding reality more deeply we know the critical meaning has to do with distinguishing reality from illusion in the timeless Now. What Jesus meant was to detach from identification with the mind, body or emotions, the physical or “spiritual” illusion of a separate “I” or “me” which will keep us imprisoned in P-B.
So what is The Great Paradox again? It is simply this. The universe is perfect. I am perfect. There is nothing to do, have or know. If I choose response over reaction, I find myself in the present moment, beyond craving, aversion and suffering. Or, if I choose reaction and identify with mind, body and emotions and accumulate things, lust after pleasure and seek power, then I am suffering. Is life suffering? Yes and no! The choice is up to you.
Our experience of life, if profoundly understood, is perfect and yet paradoxically could be improved. In other words, P-A is the perfect experience of a perfect human being because we are in the present moment but only if and when we are in the Now. Otherwise, in P-B we are experiencing the suffering caused by the never-ending craving and aversion of the false self, the illusion that comes with identifying with our body, mind and emotions. In P-A, using The Point of Power Practice, we stop that reactive behavior and instead we are responding to the perfect joy of the present moment, the experience of our true identity.
References and notes are available for this article.
Also find a much more in-depth discussion of Simple Reality
on this blog and in published books by Roy Charles Henry.