By Shae Hadden|BioSomeone was telling me recently that some of Buddhist temples in Japan are guarded by two fierce-looking demon-like figures. These guardians of ‘Truth’ are known as ‘Paradox’ and ‘Confusion’. These days, paradox and confusion seem to be states I alternate between in my quest to discover who I am and what future I want to create. If I’m not confused, then I’m trying to embrace something that defies intuition. My ‘truth’ seems elusive.
I’ve been contemplating different possible futures for myself, visualizing myself in different situations, doing different things, and being with different people. Casting aside all of my limiting beliefs and patterns, I’m coming up with a wild assortment of possibilities to choose from. And I’m totally confused. It’s almost as disheartening as trying on different bathing suits at the store (another instance where I get confused). Except that in my imaginings of the future, I’m virtually experiencing everything—both the ‘good’ of my intentions manifesting and the ‘bad’ of being distracted by temptation. An encounter with paradox.
I can resist anything except temptation. —Oscar Wilde
How can I find my ‘truth’, my ‘authentic self’ inside these apparently contradictory visions? Moments of clarity are like a tourist’s fleeting glimpses of what exists behind the golden doors of the sacred temple. Rigorously looking at each possibility seems the only way to find clarity. As Polonius so aptly stated in Hamlet: “Though this be madness, yet there be method in’t”. Another paradox.
And so it goes. We must all—individually and collectively—look at possible futures and choose what we want. Making this inquiry into a conversational art is at the heart of Eldering.
I’m determined to succeed both for myself and for humanity. So I’m focusing on doing everything possible to keep myself healthily engaged in a state of creativity and excitement without getting overwhelmed by the confusion or the paradoxes. The future, whatever it is, will definitely include different experiences…including ones we can’t even imagine.