There’s a great zen story about a man with a thorn in his hand. He can’t dig it out, so he uses another thorn to remove it. In the end, he throws both thorns away.
It truly is one of life’s great paradoxes that the more we try to undo our thorns, disowning our weaknesses… the more they own us.
So we need to find that other thorn… and that, my friends, is in accepting that anything we’ve been conditioned to believe, the opposite is just as equally true.
Let’s take the thorn of feeling powerless, for example. By having to continually prove to ourselves day after day that we are in total control of every aspect our lives, we actually drain our power. Our need to demonstrate our “invulnerability” comes across as our greatest weakness, our biggest self-delusion. Others see it immediately… and so they push back, trying to teach us that we don’t control them… thus making us acknowledge our powerlessness over and over again.
Or the thorn of loneliness. The more we resist feeling lonely, the more we become codependent on others. This need to constantly attach ourselves… even to people who treat us badly… makes us even lonelier. Is there no escape?
Well, by putting all of our attention on our limited selves – on the first thorn – we are not finding the second one.
The truth is, the little self is a paradox: we are skin and bone, as well as pure consciousness, material as well as Divine. We are SO POWERFUL, so all-encompassing, that we possess all traits, all forms. We are 360 degrees of being, material and spiritual. We run the entire gamut! This means that we have to accept that we both have power… and no power at all. We accept everything at 100%, powerlessness as well as power, limitation as well as infinity, companionship as well as loneliness.
That’s the second thorn.
And when we find it (and we will!)… we can finally take out the first thorn… and throw both away. We free ourselves from our limited self-definitions and can finally, at long last… relax in our unlimitedness.
Ahh, what wonderful relief… this freedom from rationality, this blessed relief from confusion, this return to our inner sanctuary, beyond paradox…
Back to the sanity of Infinity!