Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Read this today from the: The Empty Raincoat by Charles Handy

We need a new way of thinking about our problems and our futures. If the contradictions and surprises of paradox are going to be part of those futures, we should not be dismayed. The acceptance of paradox as a feature of our life is the first step towards living with it and managing it.

I used to think that paradoxes were the visible signs of an imperfect world, a world which would, one day, be better understood by us and better organised. There had to be one right proven way to bring up children, I thought. There should be no reason for some to starve while others gorge. Freedom need not mean licence, violence or even war. Riches for some should not necessarily imply poverty for others. We lacked only the knowledge and the will to resolve the paradoxes….

I no longer believe in a Theory of Everything, or in the possibility of perfection. Paradox I now see to be inevitable, endemic and perpetual. The more turbulent the times, the more complex the world, the more the paradoxes. The Theory of Complexity has been added to the Theory of Chaos. The turbulence, the theory goes, is a necessary prelude to creativity and some new order. We can therefore, and should, reduce the starkness of some of the contradictions, minimise the inconsistencies, understand the puzzles in the paradoxes, but we cannot make them disappear, nor solve them completely, nor escape from them, until that new order becomes established. Paradoxes are like the weather, something to be lived with, not solved, the worst aspects mitigated, the best enjoyed and used as clues to the way forward. Paradox has to be accepted, coped with and made sense of, in life, in work, in community and among the nations.


Adrian Eagleson said...

just thinking about this on my course at present - God is paradox, our faith is paradox, i believe in healing yet live in the reality of suffering, too much rationalization leaves us grasping for straws

Billy Kennedy said...

Brian - still no skype. When are you in England?

chad chomlack said...

dude... such good words... love it. Thank you.

linda said...

i closed down my previous 2 blogs down and i'm happy with the decision i made. I don't think i was in a place to keep them. I believe i am now