Aimless perfection

When was the last time you drifted like a white cloud?

Woman sitting on cloud

Some friends tell me that perfection is impossible; it’s an illusive [and hence futile] goal. “If perfection is an illusion, then nobody can be perfect,” I reason with them. “No!”, my friends are quick to point out, “although no human can be perfect, the ‘creator’ is”.

According to them, only God is perfect. This makes me wonder aloud, “If the ‘creator’ is perfect, how can that which He [or She] creates be less than perfect?” To this, I get lame, unconvincing responses.

If you ask me, I am convinced that everything in this creation is perfect. Look around and you’ll find that everything is just as it should be—the trees, the lakes, the mountains, the streams, the animals, the birds, the insects. everything.

Strangely, it’s only us humans who think in terms of perfect/imperfect—too fat/ too thin, too short/too tall, too dark/ too fair. We have created a long list of preconceived notions about how people or things should be.

Nature doesn’t judge. For it, everything is seamless and complete because it doesn’t have any benchmarks of how things ‘should’ be. You too embody the same perfection that flows through all creation. Then how can you be anything less than perfect?

When we see a white cloud drifting aimlessly in the sky, we call it perfect. Its size, shape and direction of movement keep changing, but its perfection remains intact. That’s because we do not expect a cloud to be something else. Nor do we expect the cloud’s perfection to serve any purpose—we accept it as it is.

That’s how we ought to think of ourselves. No matter what our size or shape, or the direction in which we are moving, we are always perfect.

Osho tells us a beautiful anecdote of a Sufi master who, while addressing a group of people, said, “Life is perfect, everything is perfect, everybody is perfect.” A hunchback, who was listening, stood up and said, “Look at me! I am the proof that life is not perfect. Look at me! Is this not enough to disprove your idea that life is perfect? Look at me—how ugly I am, and in how much difficulty. I am a hunchback.” The Sufi master looked at him and said, “But you are a perfect hunchback.”

So long as we pursue some ideal of perfection, we will always encounter imperfection in self and in others. Once we give up our notions of what is perfect, we will see even a hunchback as perfect. Like the cloud, our perfection is aimless and purposeless.

I must say I agree with my friends at least partly. They are right in saying that perfection is an impossible goal. How can you aspire to become something that you already are? It’s impossible.

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Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri has spent the last two decades learning, teaching and writing about wellbeing and mindful living. He has contributed over 1500 articles for several newspapers and magazines including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Statesman, Mid-Day, Bombay Times, Femina, and more. He is a counseling therapist and the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed best-selling book on self-transformation. An award-winning editor, Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".


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