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Paradox – Duality or Non-Duality?

What is a Paradox?

A paradox is an opinion, proposition, statement that contradicts itself and may seem false, yet it is true. So in order for something to be a paradox there needs to be two things that contradict each other like a truth and a non-truth.

Does one exist without the other?

One cannot therefore exist without the other for this to be a paradox, they are relational.
So then what really is the difference between these opposites if one cannot exist without the other, what is the purpose of them? And is everything actually a paradox, and at the same time is nothing actually a paradox?

As human beings we cannot exist other than in the face of another, we are relational beings.

So are paradox really an integration of these two opposites as are we, as human beings, all an integration of each other?

Examples of Paradox

Here are examples:

Self & Other – Can we as human beings exist other than in the face of another?

Happiness & Unhappiness – Can we experience happiness without having experienced unhappiness?

Question & Answer – To ask a question suggests there is an answer. So is the answer in the question and the question in the answer?

How can something be Subjective if there is no Objective. To know there is an objective there must be subjective.

Known & Unknown – In the unknown there is so much to know. How do you know that you don’t know? To know what you don’t know suggests that you do know.

Choosing & Not-Choosing – In the not choosing you are in fact choosing. Choosing not to choose!

Confused & Not Confused
Confused? Be confused and know there is real clarity within this confusion. When you are confused you are at the leading edge of your development.

Ultimately there is no difference between differences even though they are different. Difference cannot exist without non-difference. All co-arise together and are an expression of each other.

Meta programs

NLP meta programs are filters which we, as human beings have that usually operate outside of our awareness. They filter out and filter in our perception of reality and determine how we think and feel and how we show up in the world. They can be referred to as our personality and some believe that these cannot be changed after years of these becoming habituated patterns which have been formed from a young age through our conditioning, values and beliefs. People become identified with these without realising, without having the understanding that they are in fact not us.

There are currently 60 meta programs and each one has two ends. As human beings there are 5 to 7 of these meta programs that are called drivers and are the dominant ones (ends) which drive our behaviours and shape and form who we take ourselves to be. When we strongly identify with one end these become our drivers. 


Examples of meta programs are:

  • Pessimistic/optimistic
  • Matching/mismatching
  • Global view/detailed specific view
  • Counting, foregrounding/discounting, backgrounding
  • Self authority/other authority
  • Judger/perceiver
  • Away from/towards motivation
  • Over responsible/under responsible
  • Sceptic/perfectionist
  • Introvert/extrovert

They act as a very useful tool in coaching. Through coaching we can learn more about our meta programs driving our behaviour, driving us, as these are reflected back to us. In identifying these alone we then have the choice to change or not to change depending on whether our drivers are serving us. Either way by being aware of our dominant meta programs we have the opportunity to use these tools to learn more about ourselves.To have flexibility of these two ends is really the ideal.

In the same way that we as human beings misperceive the world through all of the filters we hold in mind, we can also misperceive ourselves through these very filters when we are unaware of them and take them to be us.

As with a Paradox, meta programs do not exist other than in the face of the other. In their oppositeness there is sameness.


So if one does not exist without the other is there in fact no separation in anything? Non-duality is what this talks to, a universal oneness. Non-duality contradicts beliefs that for something to be one it needs to be the same and this maybe a reason why people struggle to understand this. Can something be different without being separate? Like in a Paradox. They are different, seemingly, but are they separate? If one cannot exist without the other what then makes them separate? 

Let’s take an example of a foot, your foot. Our toes may all be different from each other but they are not separate. They are all part of the same, the foot, your foot. And is that foot then connected to the ankle, the leg. Yes. There is no separation, although they look different they are all made up of the  same skin, substance, tissue. All apart of you, no separation. Can you experience the oneness of your toes, foot, ankle, leg, knowing that one doesn’t start and end, they are all a continuum. No separation, no different? So then further on from this what is the difference from your toe and your ear, for they are all connected with the parts in-between….. And how about your ears and sound. Is there separation between where the ear ends and what you hear, starts? The sounds spoken by another person or a car passing by, a dog barking, is there any separation or is this all oneness? Where does one start and the other finish, or doesn’t it? Can you experience this?

In this no separation, non-duality can you experience the wholeness?
This talks to all/us/everything being connected at source and therefore all/us/everything simply different expressions of one and the same.


Advaita, the teaching of non-dualism, talks to separation as an illusion and how a lack of understanding of this causes human beings to suffer. The psychology suffering of human beings is the holding on of the ego.
Advaita talks to how non-dual consciousness is in fact our natural state as human beings and the inability for human beings to let go, to remain stuck in their thoughts and feelings, is what is stopping us from living in this natural state. This is the moment we were born into but through conditioning, life as we know it, we take ourselves away from this. We layer ourselves with the not us we were born into and create the ego, the occupant which occupies us throughout our lives. So what we perceive we cannot be, only when we are unaware of ourselves is where the true awareness is.

To be able to fully understand this, create conscious awareness and realise that we can peel off these layers we have a great opportunity for freedom from this struggle. In the actualisation of this we can free the occupant.  From realising this, self realisation, to actualising this, self actualisation. This is all here and available for us all. The self has not gone anywhere for any of us. We are here, we simply choose to distract ourselves from this by being in the mind most of the time. Living in the past, in the future. The present though does not come and go. It’s all right here for us. All that we long and desire for is here, not in the past or future, in this present moment.

In the letting go, there is so much to gain

So what are you doing to keep distracting yourself from this natural state?
What are you searching outside of yourself that you aren’t giving yourself, what are you holding onto and can you now imagine giving to yourself unconditionally? Living from wholeness rather than from lack.

Stop making more important the unimportant and see that in your natural state you are whole.

By connecting to your highest reason for wanting this development, by understanding the intention behind what is holding you back, there is great freedom. Recognising that your driver meta programs are not you, nor are your thoughts, your feelings, can you now give yourself permission to make you available to you? Knowing that development does not happen without disruption,confusion, can you go to your leading edge? Get out of your comfort zone into your discomfort zone! Letting go of all that is holding you back and gaining what isn’t, knowing that there is no separation to anything at all when in the natural state.


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