I was gazing at a darn moth the other day, bumping its head against an old mattress, testing the resistance of the now worn-out and arguably colored satin to the heaviness of its evanescence, when it just hit me: we are just a bunch of pathetic liars. We pretend to be so preoccupied with achieving perfection, we lie to each other and to ourselves that this is what we want, that this is our ultimate aim and goal and that this should be the official target of any sane human being. We build our whole lives around the obsession of becoming “perfect”. But to claim this while being aware that we cannot achieve perfection because first of all we don’t even know what perfection is, is the biggest proof of hypocrisy of all. Because, in the end, what IS perfection?
To find perfection we would need to establish a set of rules that would define perfection, a set of rules that would be unanimously accepted by all the people living in this world, a set of rules that would leave no room for misinterpretation or anything else. But do you realize what an enormous task that would be? Because then you’d have to define perfection for each and every notion. Just imagine this: how should the perfect human being be like? How should the perfect piano sound like? How should the perfect tiramisu taste like? How concentrated should the perfect mint tea be? Gosh…my head is already spinning.
Of course, there will always be the branch of the religious ones, who will say that “we are not perfect, God is”. Aye, maybe. To those I will only say one thing – if God is perfect, and God created us “in his own image”, shouldn’t that make us perfect, at least from the image point of view? (And this makes me think – what a wide array would be covered just by the perfect image of a human being…)
But it’s easy to lay on (a) God’s head the burden of some ambiguous invention birthed by our fear that otherwise our presence here might actually be just an accident – a purposeless accident.
The reason why we pretend this is that this way our lives would appear to have a reason, that search for perfection would provide us with a necessary and sufficient reason for us to BE here, to LIVE. It would give us the excuse for the mistakes we are making, because that way we could always claim that those mistakes are merely the steps of the stair we climb towards our ultimate goal – “perfecting” ourselves. We invented the concept of “perfect” so that we may have an excuse for when we are not happy – “life is not perfect”. We invented the concept of “perfect” to justify our fear to simply live.
Perfection may exist, but too many of us are so obsessed with the abstract notion that they fail to truly open their eyes and see the world as it is. Because in this world, in this dimension, the real perfection is simply whatever brings you happiness and peace in the “now”. From my point of view, “perfection” is by no means related to “flawless”. And what we don’t see, is that “perfection” is also not related to “everlasting”. Perfection is relative, and it’s adjustable to all of us. We can stretch it and contract it to fit whatever we may need “now”. It’s not rigid. That’s the beauty of it. We don’t have to find perfection, or to achieve it – it is already here, within us, around us. We just have to WANT to touch it and feel it as it is. Wake up, people! Each of you already has a grain of perfection in your life – don’t be afraid to see it! It begins with “love”.
As for the “absolute perfection”…who needs absolutes in a world governed by relativity? 🙂
The photo used here was taken from http://www.morguefile.com. The essay belongs to Liliana Negoi.
LILIANA NEGOI (Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru) ~ is a member of our core team on Into the Bardo. She is the author of three published volumes of poetry in English, which is not her mother tongue but one that she came to love especially because of writing: Sands and Shadows, Footsteps on the San – tanka collection and The Hidden Well. The last one can also be heard in audio version, read by the author herself on her SoundCloud site HERE. She is also the author of a novel, Solo-Chess, available for free reading HERE. Many of her creations, both poetry and prose, have been published in various literary magazines.
6 thoughts on “On perfection”
“if God is perfect, and God created us “in his own image”, shouldn’t that make us perfect, at least from the image point of view?”
To which I say, “Yes!”
I’ve given up trying to be perfect (or at least I’m on the wagon – for now); I am trying to be more aware instead.
Lately I’ve been moving away from the concept of finding “perfection” and more of seeking out thoughts/feelings that bring me happiness. I no longer believe that life was meant to be a struggle and that we have this unattainable goal to strive for of reaching perfection…someday. And what if we’re perfect just the way we are…if we accept ourselves, “flaws” and all. Wouldn’t that feel freeing and “perfect”? I believe we create our reality by what we think or feel…so follow your bliss!
I enjoyed your thesis very much, Liliana. I think presence and consciousness are better than some undefinable perfection. Thank you for a thought-provoking piece.