August 2022 Touchstones Readings From the Common Bowl

August 2022 Touchstones Ministry Theme: Ambiguity & Paradox

August 2022 Readings from the Common Bowl

August 1: “Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~ Gilda Radner

August 2: “The ideal art, the noblest of art: working with the complexities of life, refusing to simplify, to ‘overcome’ doubt.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates

August 3: “Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

August 4: “If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?” ~ Sam Harris

August 5: “The state of ambiguity—that messy, greasy, mixed-up, confused, and awful situation you’re living through right now—is enlightenment itself.” ~ Brad Warner

August 6: “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” ~ Niels Bohr

August 7: “Most of us, most of the time, have a low tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. We want to reduce the cognitive dissonance of not knowing by filling the gaps with answers.” ~ Michael Shermer

August 8: “Every human being relies on and is bounded by his knowledge and experience to live. This is what we call “reality.” However, knowledge and experience are ambiguous, thus reality can become illusion. Is it not possible to think that all human beings are living in their assumptions?” ~ Masashi Kishimoto

August 9: “The truth always carries the ambiguity of the words used to express it.” ~ Frank Herbert

August 10: “Paradox. Our world is not a child’s nursery of bright primary colors. It’s a shadow land of nuance and ambiguity, a dappled world not of always and because, but of sometimes and somehow. And therein lies its tragic, unutterable beauty.” ~  Fred Small

August 11: “In overlooking, denying, evading this complexity—which is nothing more than the disquieting complexity of ourselves—we are diminished and we perish; only within this web of ambiguity, paradox, this hunger, danger, darkness, can we find at once ourselves and the power that will free us from ourselves.” ~ James Baldwin

August 12: “It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” ~ Andy Rooney

August 13: “Psychological or spiritual development always requires a greater capacity for anxiety and ambiguity.” ~ C.G. Jung

August 14: “To live fully, one must be free, but to be free one must give up security. Therefore, to live one must be ready to die. How’s that for a paradox?” ~ Tom Robbins

August 15: “A paradox: The things you don’t need to live—books, art, cinema, wine, and so on—are the things you need to live.” ~ Matt Haig

August 16: “Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multi-dimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience—to appreciate the fact that life is complex.” ~ M. Scott Peck

August 17: “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides.” ~ Tony Schwartz

August 18: “The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.” ~ Niels Bohr

August 19: “The awareness of the ambiguity of one’s highest achievements—as well as one’s deepest failures—is a definite symptom of maturity.” ~ Paul Tillich

August 20: “I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes.” ~ Maxine Hong Kingston

August 21: “That´s the problem with the truth. Sometimes the truth is ambiguous….” ~ Ilsa J. Bick

August 22: “The world of science lives fairly comfortably with paradox. We know that light is a wave, and also that light is a particle. …Living with contradiction is nothing new to the human being.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

August 23: Unable to bear ambiguity, I built a barricade of delusions against it.” ~ J.R. Moehringer

August 24: “To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference.” ~ Joan Didion

August 25: “Life is easier in black and white. It’s the ambiguity of a world defined in grays that has stripped me of my confidence and left me powerless.” ~ Amy Plum

August 26: “There is the ‘you’ that people see and then there is the ‘rest of you.’ Take some time and craft a picture of the ‘rest of you.’ This could be a drawing, in words, even a song. Just remember that the chances are good it will be full of paradox and contradictions.” ~ Brennan Manning

August 27: “Isn’t life a collection of weird quizzes with no answers to half the questions?” ~ Pawan Mishra

August 28: “The trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” ~ Erica Jong

August 29: “Learning to live with ambiguity is learning to live with how life really is, full of complexities and strange surprises….” ~ James Hollis

August 30: “Our waking life’s desire to shape the world to our convenience invites all manner of paradox and difficulty.” ~ Cormac McCarthy

August 31: “Nobody comes here anymore, it’s too crowded.” ~ Yogi Berra