Dilemmas, Contradictions and Dichotomies – Living in a Complex Universe

Post 9 of 38


Me, I love a good dichotomy. It’s when I’m surest of all, that I’ve likely stumbled on something useful.  I think of a dichotomy as a kind of mind-bending contradiction; a higher order of contradiction that involves points of particular value.

In the pursuit of our Vision and Purpose, we will especially find early on in that process, that the worst of all of our negative thoughts arise with more vigour than ever before.  There eventually comes a time when all such obstacles fade and drop like flies in the increasing clarity and robustness of your Vision and Purpose.  In the meantime, a range of seeming obstacles like to either test our grit, or else our own increasing positivity gives them an unpleasant airing as it forces them out.

And therein lies one very obvious contradiction…  we seek clarity and en route we can find the worst of mental and emotional crisis and doubt.  Here then is one great Truth: that in the pursuit of Vision we must first pass through Chaos.

Here’s some definitions:

Dilemma = a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable: eg. he wants to make money, but he also disapproves of it.

Contradiction = a combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another.

Dichotomy = a division or contrast between two things that are (or are represented as being) opposed or entirely different: eg. a rigid dichotomy between science and mysticism

source: oxforddictionaries.com




Oh there’s such a list of them…

  • In the pursuit of new wealth, we often experience poverty.
  • In the pursuit of clarity, we often experience complete fuzziness.
  • In the pursuit of the Light, we often experience the dark.
  • Believing, in a context of few resources, that the Universe is able to give us everything.
  • Staying highly present, while dreaming about the future.
  • Knowing that to be happy in the presence of bleakness is a vital task.
  • Being rational, without over-thinking.
  • Knowing precisely what you want at the same time remaining open to what the Universe has in mind for you.
  • Focusing on our goal but remaining mindful of the Universe’s cues.
  • To be both content and discontent – grateful for what I have and always wishing to expand my capacity and capability, to be better than I am, to make a greater difference.
  • To accept my children, my family, my friends for who and what they are, and to help them believe they can become more.
  • To accept the ‘negative’ in the world for what it is; at the same time not give the negative attention in my life.
  • To consider only the positive, and to be realistic and grounded.
  • To know that all these things are so essential to ponder upon, but to never spend too much time thinking about them.
  • To take responsibility for past actions, without taking on guilt.



We’re not taught in our logical world to understand the great value of dichotomy, the reality of contradiction, or how to respond well to dilemmas (not to mention the special joy of irony, much loved by Brits and Kiwis in their particular brands of humour, but that’s for another day).

In the search for Truth, Light, Vision, Purpose, Meaning, Answers…  a choice between black or white tends often to create more problems than it solves.  I vote for grey.  I vote for contradiction.  Therein lies openness, and therein lies the most direct route for the Universe to aid us in achieving our Vision.  To allow ourselves to feel ‘stuck’ by dichotomy, or forced to choose one of two or more seemingly opposing ideas, we block the naturally paradoxical Universe itself from supporting us.

There are many, many examples of this contradictory world, society, life…  Not everything needs to be solved.  Not everything needs to make sense.  And I hope that makes sense.


Sue xo

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This article was written by tryinggodspatience


windinnDecember 9, 2012 at 1:27 amReply

A wonderful post, Sue. The first time I was really aware of dichotomy was as my sister was dying of liver cancer. My spiritual adviser at the time asked me to hold two very contradictory thoughts in my mind – the first, that a miracle would occur and she would live to see her children grow old, and the second, that she would die and that was also a miracle.

The practice of these two thoughts through the process of her dying essentially created both outcomes in a strange way. To this day I believe that both life and death are the miracle.

know my worthDecember 14, 2012 at 2:26 pmReply

In the musical “Wicked,” there is a song with one of my favorite lines “There are precious few at ease, with moral ambiguities, so we act as though they don’t exist…” But to FULLY exist, we must live in a space of grey, and we must get comfortable in that space. I love this list of dichotomies – I think I’m going to print it out to continue to remind myself that this is the space I want to be in. Thank you, Sue, for this wonderful series of posts! I wish you much success with the eCourses!

Trying God’s PatienceDecember 14, 2012 at 2:52 pmReply

Thanks, Christine. Glad you’ve enjoyed them. xoxoxo

NahalApril 11, 2013 at 11:16 pmReply

I’m glad that not everything needs to be solved in a complex Universe …. And not everything has to make sense, although your post does very much! 🙂 Thank you!