We in the West seem to have, in our “rational” mindset, lost an understanding of holding opposite truths in tension, as those in the East do so readily. The “yin-yang” is an example, but that has been often misinterpreted as applied to Christianity, b/c Satan is not God’s true opposite: God is uncreated, eternal in the “backward” direction, whereas Satan was created & therefore had a beginning.

God is the “sum total”—He holds all truths in opposition. God is the Whole, not simply part of it.

Yet we insist on taking a part of the whole & so focusing on it that we insist it is the whole. How can we be predestined, yet still have free will? How can God hold in Himself the knowledge of good & evil without being contaminated by the evil?

Yet in the natural world we see such balance much more often than we realize: sodium (Na) & Chlorine (Cl), both extremely toxic in pure form, hold each other in ionic tension in a way that produces common table salt, essential for life. Hydrogen (H) & Oxygen (O) both combustible gases, combine to produce water, another essential. Water does such a delicate tightrope act in going between frozen & liquid states that it expands upon first freezing (an extreme rarity in the world of chemistry). As a result, ice floats in water; yet if water contracted in the way most things do, all ice would be heavier than water and would drop to the bottom of bodies of water, & ultimately the world would get colder & colder & become a frozen wasteland!

Somehow God has created our whole lives that way—a balancing act of opposites that we need to hold in tension—a little too far either direction & we’re out of balance, & we “tip over.” We have to balance:

Love & Fear of God

Life & Death (we die to live & live to die…)

Giving & Receiving (receiving without giving makes us a Dead Sea; giving without receiving depletes & exhausts us)

Joy & Suffering

Faith & Sight

(& I’m sure this list goes on & on too!)



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