While we’re awake, we share one universe, but in sleep we each turn away to a world of our own.
Heraclitus believed that most people are asleep in their own private worlds. He also felt that if they awakened to the “one shared universe,” they would have access to life’s larger truths. his arousal technique was presenting his ideas as enigmatic paradoxes. He knew that for people to “see the paradox” — that is, entertain two contradictory ideas at the same time (See Word of the Week – Dichotomy), they would have to challenge their assumptions about what’s real, and then seek out other answers. Thus, paradoxes wake us up and make up think.
Here are a few favorites:
Confucious: “Real knowledge is knowing the extent of one’s ignorance.”
Picasso: “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth”
Ionesco: “Only the ephemeral is of lasting value.”
Montaigne: “A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.”
John Stuart Mill: “Ask yourself whether you are happy and you will cease to be so.”
What large truths are you asleep to? What awakens you? What is paradoxical in your current situation?
Source: Roger von Oech’s Creative Whack Pack