"Any life that is not inherently contradictory and/or paradoxical is not a human life; certainly not a free one."
Related ideas from the scholar-vault (a.k.a. things I learned in school):
Sartre's vertigo, bad faith, & existentialism in general (Wikipedia entries: Sartre and Bad Faith; Existentialism; no entry on Sartre's version of vertigo, which is interesting since it was one of the things that stuck in my head. Maybe it's just an example of something else. Basically, as far as I can remember, Sartre's vertigo was about the fact that you always have the freedom to throw yourself off a cliff, and that you can never, in the present moment, be certain that you will not throw yourself off the cliff in the next moment. Of course, when he describes it, it's much more nausea-inducing. )
Buddhism: for example, that you can be both enlightened and unenlightened at the same time. Actually I wrote a university paper that somehow explained this paradox. I was quite surprised myself at the time. And that paper also referenced T.S. Eliot's Little Gidding, specifically, these famous lines (which I still understand to be spiritually true and powerful besides):
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
(Now that I read them again, it occurs to me they describe particularly well a loop in the perpetual spiral I keep going on about. Huh.)
And to my horror, I do not seem to have a copy of this famous essay that I wrote, that nearly drove me mad in the process. It may very well be that I thought I'd never be able to read or understand it ever again. Or that it had tortured me so much that I deleted it. My only hope is that I have it on a floppy disk somewhere, which I can't access from my DVD-ROM'd laptop.
Anyway, I can post a paper I wrote on Existentialism. I could potentially post all the essays I've got, but I think I'll do them only as they are semi-relevant.
On the Origins of Nothingness