Life’s Greatest Paradox: What You Resist, Persists | Summary and Q&A

August 17, 2023
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Life’s Greatest Paradox: What You Resist, Persists


Resisting and denying unwanted aspects of ourselves and reality only perpetuates problems, but accepting and integrating them can lead to transformation and personal growth.

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Key Insights

  • 🔒 The concept of the Shadow, developed by Carl Jung, highlights how repressed characteristics persist and impact our lives from behind the curtain.
  • 🔗 Acceptance of the reality and truth of what we resist can be the first step towards improvement and transformation.
  • 🌱 Buddhism teaches that suffering is inherent to human existence, and acceptance of this truth is necessary to alleviate suffering and find enlightenment.
  • 💡 To prevent unwanted characteristics from sabotaging our lives, it is essential to integrate our shadows and make the unconscious conscious.
  • 🌍 Albert Camus suggests that denying the inherent meaninglessness of life through physical or philosophical suicide only deepens existential despair.
  • 💔 Denying reality only reinforces it, and acceptance is necessary for improvement and growth.
  • 🔍 The truth hurts, but denying it doesn't make it go away. Accepting harsh realities is the first step towards improvement and preventing further problems.
  • 🌟 The acceptance of negative experiences is itself a positive experience and allows for personal transformation.


Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung developed a concept named ‘The Shadow,’ which he saw as a part of the unconscious that contains one’s repressed characteristics that generally do not fit the ego ideal. These attributes we unconsciously hide in the dark, and because we’re not aware that we have them, we don’t directly observe them in our behaviors, and ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does resisting our unwanted traits and aspects of reality contribute to persistent problems?

When we unconsciously hide or deny unwanted traits within ourselves or aspects of reality, they continue to impact our lives and behaviors from the shadows, leading to persistent problems that we struggle to resolve. By resisting and not acknowledging their existence, we inadvertently give them power.

Q: How can acceptance lead to personal growth and transformation?

Acceptance is the first step towards personal growth and transformation because it allows us to shed light on the aspects of ourselves or reality that we resist. By accepting their presence and integrating them into our conscious lives, we can transform these traits or aspects into positive reinforcements, expanding our personality and fostering personal growth.

Q: Why is it important to confront the Absurd and accept the meaninglessness of life?

Confronting the Absurd and accepting the inherent meaninglessness of life allows us to live authentically and find peace. By denying or escaping this reality through physical or philosophical suicide, we only deepen our existential despair. Accepting the Absurd provides an opportunity to embrace the reality of life and find fulfillment in living despite its inherent meaninglessness.

Q: How does denying reality reinforce the problems we face?

Denying reality only worsens the situation because it prevents us from addressing the problems directly. By turning a blind eye to the reality of a situation, whether it be a troubled relationship or toxic friendships, we allow these problems to persist and potentially worsen. Accepting the realities we prefer not to see is necessary to initiate positive change and improvement in these areas.

Resisting reality doesn't make it go away; instead, it reinforces it and prevents us from taking the necessary steps to improve the situation. We must acknowledge and accept the current state of affairs in order to prevent problems from escalating further and to foster positive change.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung introduced the concept of "The Shadow," which represents repressed qualities that we deny and resist, thus perpetuating their influence on our lives.

  • The Buddhist teachings highlight the importance of accepting the inherent suffering in life as the first step towards enlightenment and reducing unnecessary suffering.

  • Albert Camus emphasized the need to confront the Absurd and accept the meaninglessness of life in order to live authentically and find peace.

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