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A statement or proposition that seems to be absurd or inconsistent, but in fact is or may be true.

A situation that defies intuition.

A situation that leads to contradiction, or an implied or seeming contradiction.

Paradox is composed of the preposition para, which means "against," conjoined to the noun stem doxa, meaning "belief.

How does paradox manifest itself in the private sphere, communal living, societal values, and global paradigms? What presence does it have in ethics, metaphysics, and in the search for meaning?

How does our perception and understanding of paradox change and evolve through our life cycle (adolescence, early adulthood, etc)? How do specific experiences alter the way paradoxes influence our beliefs and experience of reality?

Regardless of whether we encounter contradictions in our lives which are subtle, perhaps barely noticeable, or more forceful, even overwhelming, they often elicit a need for greater clarity, and drive us to attempt to resolve the uncertainty we face in some way.

In this context, what would it mean to embrace paradoxical moments and phenomena? What would it be like to let go of the need or aspiration to arrive at greater clarity or deeper understanding? What would the {possible} consequences of such acts be?

And how is all of this connected to our tendency as human beings to strive towards comfort and security and shun difficulty and instability? Is it true that we generally prefer to stay within our comfortable boundaries, even if we are aware that this leads to a further reinforcement of destructive patterns? Or to put it another way: Deep down, do we humans fear losing {a sense of} control, and thus cling to the familiarity of the Known, avoid the complexity of the Lesser Known, and seek protection from the Unknown?



Definitions Questions Consequences







2008 David Lakein