As Galileo was being led away after his trial for heresy during the Inquisition, he reportedly said, "and yet it moves!". He had been found guilty of heresy because it was obvious to those who judged him that in fact the earth did not move but it was plainly visible to all that it was the sun that moved across the horizon and not the earth. Galileo had a more expansive vision of the truth through his telescope and with better vision he was better able to determine the truth.
As humans we are so very prone to judge based on our own senses and experiences and we are so often wrong! We are conditioned to make quick judgments of people, events, places, and everything else based on our preconceived ideas and stereotypes. These spot judgments are often wrong and we miss the opportunity to gain perspective.
Life is full of paradoxes where the truth is actually the complete opposite of what we may initially believe. A few examples:
- A person feels trapped into a life they don't want by the choices of others and circumstances they can't control. The reality is that we can control our destiny and have the power to change our circumstances and can make ourselves happy.
- A quick judgement may suggest that money and power lead to happiness. The reality is that the small everyday pleasures of life are what really make us happy.
- Some believe that people who are not similar to them should be viewed with suspicion. The reality is that diversity adds wonderful flavor and expanded perspective to life.
- You make me angry! In reality, I let you make me angry.
The list could go on and on. Paradox is so common in life and spirituality that we need to turn over every leaf to see the other side. When I do that I am often pleasantly surprised by what I find.