The Paradoxa

The tremendous role which the opposites and their union play in alchemy helps us to understand why the alchemists were so fond of paradoxes.  In order to attain this union, they tried not only to visualize the opposites together but to express them in the same breath.  MC 42

The material is visible to all eyes, the whole world sees it, touches it, loves it, and yet no one knows it.  MC 42

As Mercurius is the principle name for the arcane substance, he deserves mention here as the paradox par excellence.  What is said of him is obviously true of the lapis, which is merely another synonym for the “thousand-named” arcane substance.  MC 44

The you that you think you are is not it and the you that you can’t even think about is it.  The paradox, this absurdity, is the essential mystery of the East.  MoL 7

“Seek the coldness of the moon and ye shall find the heat of the sun.”                                                                                              -- Socrates

Conscious - Unconscious Paradox

This paradox becomes immediately intelligible when we realize that there is no conscious content which can with absolute certainty be said to be totally conscious, for that would necessitate an unimaginable totality of consciousness, and that in turn would presuppose an equally unimaginable wholeness and perfection of the human mind.  So we come to the paradoxical conclusion that there is no conscious content which is not in some other respect unconscious.