Friday, September 7, 2012

Perfection

Scott Bradley


"That is perfect. This is perfect. Perfect comes from perfect. Take perfect from perfect, the remainder is perfect." (Upanishads; The Enlightened Mind; Mitchell)

Everything is perfect. This being the case, everything is perfect just as it is.

"Reality and perfection are synonymous." (Spinoza)

Could anything be more counter to the way we typically view the world? Though it obviously need not always be the case, oftentimes what we find most contrary to our thinking is precisely what we most need to hear. The truth is we live in a world of right and wrong, and any suggestion that this 'world' of our own creation is but a kind of moral constipation is necessarily rejected. Yet, where we cannot go is often where we most need to go.

How is it that everything is perfect? Simply because it is; because it is Reality. Reality is Good. But this Goodness has absolutely nothing to do with Badness; it is not Good in paired co-dependency to Bad; it is Good beyond good and bad.

Good and bad are fabrications of the human mind. Will the Mars rover, Curiosity, find good and bad on Mars? Not until we colonize it will it truly become "the angry red planet."

Within the context of human society these moral fabrications are necessary. Consequent to our apparent freedom to act beyond instinct, they assist in the preservation of our species. But the transcendent endeavor is about realizing our humanity in a larger context. To participate in the human self-experience is to live in an insular and closed system. The point of transcendence is to break that insular world wide open. And this is why the statement that "everything is perfect just as it is", which so raises our hackles, can also provide us with a hammer with which to break our insular point of view.

I have previously quoted Shunryu Suzuki (courtesy of Mitchell): "Everything is perfect, but there's lots of room for improvement." Once again Zhuangzi's Walking Two Roads comes into play. Until we understand the wider view, all self-improvement is just that, the machinations of self. With that wider view, improvement happens, it is not made to happen. Samsara, the Wheel of Rebirth, is just this pursuit of 'improvement' solely within the context of the insularity of self.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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