When you think about the thought of ambiguity, it brings to mind an ancient thought of the ‘Paradoxical Ascent’.  The very term seems to be inline with ambiguity and in many ways it is, but in a much deeper mystery. The usage of the word paradox in our society is the polar opposite, it actually means disambiguation.

A paradox is a true statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies intuition. The term is also used for an apparent contradiction that actually expresses a non-dual truth (cf. kōan, Catuskoti). Typically, the statements in question do not really imply the contradiction, the puzzling result is not really a contradiction, or the premises themselves are not all really true or cannot all be true together. The word paradox is often used interchangeably with contradiction. It is also used to describe situations that are ironic.

Paradoxical Ascent is an early fathers term from their mystical perspective. In the early 1700’s some early fathers of the Jewish mystical faith called it coincidentia oppositorum. Every actual thing involves a coexistence of opposed elements.  Consequently to know, or, in other words, to comprehend an object is equivalent to being conscious of it as a concrete unity of opposed determinations. The coincidence of opposites that characterizes God, humanity and the world can be approximately understood by the simultaneous adoption of two points of view.

While this may seem like a contradiction of polar opposites, it is really that the opposites are all in HIM and complement each other. One makes the other what it is! In more simpler terms we can look at the Kingdom of God as inverted. I say inverted because it seems to be the opposite of what we think and the way we view life. In the Kingdom up is down meaning if you want to ascend you must first descend. If you want to receive you must first give. If you want and desire love you must first love. From our finite perspective it is hard to contain and satisfy a definition of our infinite God and His essence.

For example we say the sun rises in the east every morning and sets in the west every evening. And that is what is so difficult for us because it really does seem that way, our eyes actually see, and we perceive it to be so. But until you are enlightened with other truths on a bigger scale you would never know the truth. The reality being; the sun never MOVES, but rather the earth is turning and rotating around the sun!

This is the beauty of the mystery of the paradoxical ascent to God, that quite possibly what we see and are experiencing is the polar opposite of the truth?