Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Don't Want To Be Perfect

This notion of perfection, I cannot handle it, I can’t do it. Many organized religious doctrines indicate that our life is, or at least ‘should be’ a striving for the perfection of God, to be ‘like God’, to become ‘like God’. I don’t know what this means. I don’t know what it means and so I would be, will be striving for something that is out of my reach. Attempting to model myself after some ideal of which I haven’t even the slightest hint of a definition. Any concept of perfection that I can devise on my own can only be flawed because I’ve never seen perfection and I am not perfect. I know the word ‘perfection’ but I’ve never actually seen perfection.  Have you?

We acquire this thing called ‘wisdom’ as we move through life, grow older, deal with the ups and downs, gain perspective, let go of what we cannot, strive to pay attention only to that which we can and I wonder in all of this striving, this hanging on and letting go, I wonder if I really need this thing that appears to be somebody else’s idea of ‘wisdom’. Sometimes I think the acquisition of wisdom is just one more intellectual feather in our intellectual cap by which we measure our spiritual progress.

Ah yes, I am gaining wisdom she thinks to herself and therefore I am getting closer to perfection.

What is that line again? Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!

If I am not careful I could really start to believe all those people when they tell me that I possess this ‘wisdom’ thing. It happens and it makes me wince a little, that momentary jab in the pit of my stomach that is discomfort. That feeling tells me "don't fall for this!"  If I attain to, if my desire is for our general concept of wisdom I might be inclined to start thinking that I’m a hell of a lot wiser than I really am and the effect of that will be (trust me on this) a constricting of my sphere of perception. I will stop looking and listening for others and start thinking that yeah, I’ve got it pretty well figured out.

When I start thinking I have it figured out I stop listening for what others hear, I stop feeling what others feel, I stop paying attention, I close my mind and my body to the experience of others and in doing this I stop allowing new experience for myself, when I do this I restrict my own opportunity for the endless possibilities of experience to be had.  I close down rather than open up.  I slip out of 52" high-definition, widescreen color and into 12" low-definition small screen,  black and white.

When, as regular old and flawed people, our minds meet over a shared feeling, when our hearts connect for that instant in mutual acknowledgement of shared experience, shared feeling, whether it be in joy or pain, when we truly ‘know’ the other in this way then we are truly and definitively the image of God. I do not see where ‘perfection’ or intellectual ‘wisdom’ has any part in this.

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