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Select three paradoxical statements from "Philosophy and Spiritual Discipline", and...

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swolfson | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 19, 2010 at 10:01 PM via web

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Select three paradoxical statements from "Philosophy and Spiritual Discipline", and explain the contradiction in ea. & the lesson each teaches.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 29, 2010 at 5:15 PM (Answer #1)

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In all sincerity, one can select any idea from the Gita and find a great deal of paradoxical quality to it.  Throughout the discussion between Krishna and Arjuna, the philosophical and spiritual convergence creates a feeling of paradox present.  Part of this lies in the large scopes of both Arjuna's dilemma and Krishna's solution.  One quote that reflects this is,  “He who thinks this self a killer and he who thinks it is killed, both fail to understand; it does not kill, nor is killed.”  The contradiction present is the idea that "killing" is not really "killing."  If one sees life as finite, then human death does end the life of the being.  Yet, Krishna teaches Arjuna that the atman, or universal soul, never dies and while the body might perish, the soul does not.  This helps to bring light to the idea that one has to act in the understanding that they, as an individual being, are an extension of this atman, an infinitesimally part of something larger and must act as a part of this configuration which is the true essence of consciousness and being.  In the end, most of the statements in this section end up discussing the same seemingly paradoxical relationship between life and death, one that has convergence when seen in the correct light.

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