Wisdom and paradox

Confucius répétait qu’il est possible d’atteindre la sagesse par trois voies. Celle de la réflexion, la plus noble ; celle de l’imitation, la plus aisée ; et celle de l’expérience, la plus amère.

Not confined to philosophy and literature, the paradox has always been a part of the real world, and all the more so since the winds of globalisation have blown. Naturally, we’ve felt these winds too, even though Switzerland seems the least likely place to experience paradox. After all, this is a country where people go about their business in a methodical, organised manner. It’s no coincidence that Switzerland is the home of superlative Omega Replica watchmaking. A place where time has always been counted by hours and minutes, the phases of the sun and moon. The Swiss can bring order to anything, even complications…

Yet the most organised, seemingly logical contexts are those which can most benefit from a shot of paradox. Not to disturb the peace but as food for thought. The move from the rule to the exception implies a new equilibrium. Surely it’s a paradox that the people whose business is replica Omega watches UK are often the ones who waste time? More serious, can politics, whose goal is economic well-being, stem the spiral where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?

Far from wanting to waste your time, we aim to shed new light on a complex reality. But what exactly is a paradox? It is a seemingly illogical proposal in apparent contradiction with experience yet one which is no less valid. In other words, an absurd truth.

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius had a liking for paradox. He is, after all, remembered as the philosopher emperor. Further proof that wisdom also feeds on paradox. Confucius observed that we may learn wisdom in three ways. First by reflection, which is noblest. Second by imitation, which is easiest. Third by experience, which is the bitterest. Coming to grips with paradox means learning to be wise by way of a difficult and bitter path: that of experience.

The recent Forum de la Haute Horlogerie in Lausanne considered “A World of Paradoxes.” A path to greater wisdom? As the philosopher Kierkegaard said, “the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow.” A lesson to meditate.