The Strange Case of Perfection
I’ve been noticing lately that I have been — and others around me have been pointing out how “perfect” things are, or that some event or drama was “perfect”. Sometimes, it’s done with a tone of irony, or even cynicism, and yet this underlying truth remains: Everything IS perfect the way it is.
Oddly — and ironically — to me, this flies directly in the face of what being human has been about. We are toolmakers, we are strivers, we are dreamers. If everything is perfect, why use tools? Why strive for any goal? Why dream?
I believe the answer is that, as humans, we also have the habit of judgment. We judge this to be “bad” and that to be “good,” usually without much thought as to why we feel that way. And any justification usually comes after the judgment has been made.
I’ve come to believe that there is nothing really inherently “wrong” with judgment, other than it prevents the perception of perfection. If we want to play the game of judging whether or not this person’s behavior is reprehensible, or that chocolate cream pie is the best food in the world, hey, knock yourself out. It’s a choice, though, because I can agree or disagree about what is reprehensible behavior, or what is the best food. Likewise, seeing perfection is a choice. Much like happiness is a choice, and I think the two are related.
I’ve also come to believe that much of what is “wrong” in the world is the inability to see the perfection of it over time. Hindsight always gives us that advantage of context when events happen that, at the moment, seem just plain wrong. Perhaps that perception that leads to the judgment that something is “wrong” or “bad” is just Nature’s way of telling us to wait and see.
The famous story of the zen monk (or farmer, or cowboy), who with every turn of events declares, “We’ll see”, illustrates this point:
There’s a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse… and everybody in the village says, “How wonderful. The boy got a horse” And the Zen master says, “we’ll see.” Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, “How terrible.” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight… except the boy can’t because his legs are all messed up. And everybody in the village says, “How wonderful.” Now the Zen master says, “We’ll see.”
This is a commentary on the cosmic wisdom of the big picture — the bigger the picture, the more perfection comes into view. So, I tend to want to suspend judgment in the moment, opting to wait and see where the story of perfection is leading me.
To the question, if everything is perfect then why do, be, or have anything? The answer is that if your actions are only the result of “correcting” some “bad” or “unwanted” condition, then you are condemned to a life of disappointment and non-fulfillment, because there is always something “more” to “correct”, or something else to “fix.”
Why not live simply to create? Create your life to be a really cool sculpture, or paint your life as a vision of the highest version of your divinity? Instead of correcting some perceived “lack” or “insufficiency”, why not just create what you envision? I believe that’s why we are here. No judgment — although that’s okay; no “fixing” — although that’s fine, too; but just create something wonderful, something unique to you, something that gives you joy. Why do anything else?
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