Perfection… meaning what exactly?

A wonderful young friend of mine wrote in a forum:

Thing is see…I dunno what my perfect is. I dunno what I have to reach to be able to look at what I do and go “Yea I really like that.”

I see perfection in so many other people and things that sometimes i defeat myself before I’ve begun….I just dunno how to break that away from my mind.

I see perfection everywhere…everywhere except from within myself….I’m not really sure why.


Oh, honey. You *knew* I was gonna see this, didn’t you? *Pats the sweetie pie*

Another poster in the forum said that flaws and imperfections were desirable attributes. Here’s the other thing: This is the sort of quest that turns into a spiritual journey, and you can learn some very interesting things along the way. But if you never start, you’ll never arrive.

There is a Japanese aesthetic that says that something *too* symmetrical, too even, too “perfect” is not perfect. Pretty much, something that *looks* natural is considered perfect–the little flaws are treasured. Unevenness and asymmetry are sought after.

Therefore, every little flower in a meadow is perfectly what it is supposed to be. AND…every little human being on the planet as well—the good, the bad, the suffering, and the happy. You are being exactly what you are supposed to be! Interesting deviations from exactitude are considered desirable!  Anything without those…is imperfect.

Now, finding out and bringing the “what I’m supposed to be” into consciousness and nurturing it, is called living dharmically (I may stretch the definition a bit here) in the yogic teachings.

The only thing you should want to be when you grow up—is yourself! That’s it! Nothing else.

This is why sometimes, after decades (I am over 50) of messing around, stopping, starting, screwing up, procrastinating, and occasionally working hard, when I sometimes find I’ve “nailed it,” by achieving a sought-after balance in a piece of art or design or writing, something that makes me and others pleased to behold it—well, it’s not “perfect.”  It’s just what it should be, no more or less.

I mean, hell, there’s always someone with more technical skill or imagination out there! I think the issue is to take in hand your definitions rather than to randomly going around measuring all sorts of things and people with widely varying backgrounds, skill, desires, and so forth against one standard of…well, what DO you mean by “perfect?”

I know what I like, anyhow: Poise in motion, composition, and execution; freshness in ideation. Artistic realism and naturalism.

Try using words other than perfect to describe what it is that makes the something desirable! You may get some clues that way.

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