All of your so called waking hours, the mental apparatus is arranging and rearranging the furniture, so to speak, to create your unique experience of reality.
In this 3D reality, the rule is either/or. When it comes to paradox, the mental apparatus kind of seizes up. The mental apparatus has a certain scope of functionality, of utility, and paradox is firmly outside that scope.
That’s why Zen practitioners use koans to release the grip of the mental apparatus. Introducing paradox into the mental apparatus is kind of like downloading a computer virus. Your computer seizes up for a while, and that gives you a moment in which to shift your attention from the tiny screen and the virtual world it delivers to you non-stop.
You don’t need to kill your computer, it’s a very useful bit of tech. But you have been mesmerized. You believe that playing Sim City is real life, and you misidentify the computer as your own intelligence, your own being. Finding ways to disrupt your mental apparatus can help loosen and soften your firm belief that you are your computer, or mistaking your avatar for the real you, so to speak.
One way to do this is to add as much paradox as you can. The mental apparatus likes to think in terms of black and white, right and wrong, and linear paths between one idea and another. It likes to judge experiences and people as one thing or another.
Just one little paradox is too expansive for the mental apparatus to contain. In order to keep it in your awareness, you need to expand in order to hold it. The mental apparatus does not expand, it always stays the same. If it encounters something too expansive, it attempts to digest it; to break it down into smaller and smaller components and then sort and sift those into categories.
Every time you allow yourself to hold a paradox, you expand.
It can be uncomfortable because you don’t get any firm conclusion. The mental apparatus does not get the satisfaction of determining that a person or situation is one thing or another. You expand to hold the paradox of a thing being both/and.
Do it as often as you can. Allow as much as you can into your awareness. If people around you perceive this, it will annoy them. If any one of you begins to loosen your belief in the mistaken identity with the mental apparatus, it is seen as a threat to those that defend that identification. It’s kind of a strange thing, but the system is self protecting. So they will start to sort and sift you, labeling you as indecisive, wishy washy, woo woo or whatever! After all, we get praised from the time we are little for making up our minds about things, defining our knowledge and beliefs and staking out our mental territory. No one gives out gold stars for being able to expand into paradox.
Paradox is the breakfast of champions! Well, maybe not, but it certainly is nourishment for awakening to your true and fundamental lucidity.