The Energy of Paradox by Robert Mooring ← Back to Blog

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Movement is inexorable, essential. There is no energy without movement. Form cannot differentiate without movement. Without movement we would be stuck in the formless void of the thermodynamic death of the Universe, pretty grim right? Thankfully there is energy and form available to be the contents of our consciousness.

This brings me to the topic at hand, what moves me? I find that I am a discrete and individual consciousness, ultimately free. The thing that moves me, is well, me. Then of course I also find that I am connected to every other particle in the universe, that I am contingent and constrained. The things that move me are also outside of me. This is the answer then, what moves me is paradox.

Paradox, the intractable knot that only laughs at you more the harder you try to untangle it. All I can reveal to you in this text, is that it is an essential component of a formed system with conscious entities. The dualities that abound physically and conceptually, like light and dark and separation and integration, they are the source of all potential. Potential energy and its transference back and forth between the extremes in the pulsating breath inured in every micro and macro structure in the cosmos, is the source of all movement.

There many places that I feel the potential to immerse myself in the paradox and thereby nourish myself with energy and movement, but none more so than being the mountains. I like to go to old places, where the effect dwells. I grew up as an academic more than athlete (can you tell?) and I also hurt myself a lot, including a broken spine. I was never a candidate to climb mountains. Sure enough of course, internal and external factors led me to the pursuit of technical rock climbing in the alpine. Other than my wife and child, nothing inspires, enlivens, or nourishes me more than time spent questing in the vertical world. Mistakes mean injury or death, and yet the very slow accumulation of physical capacity, mental capacity, and instinct, allowing one to conform to impossible geometries with the birds flying underneath.

Insight: what part does it play in the arc of your being? Ever get derailed by a penetrating observation? Sure, and up there it seems to happen more often. It’s like I think more fiercely, even though in the best moments I am not thinking at all. More dualities. Poles to pull us apart, poles to knit ourselves together. At least up there I’m forcibly reminded to contemplate these things as much with my feet as with my overstuffed brain. Stay nimble. Nimble is another way to stay humble. Get too puffed up and you won’t fit through that next keyhole of insight.

A walk in nature, a minute of quiet in meditation, a good yoga class can give you all of the same experience as dangling from fingertips in the mountains. Practicing those techniques to allow my mind to enter the same flow state that is forced upon me while climbing is a peak into the next stage of what I hope will move me, and move you too.