What is Perfect?

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What is Perfect?

Postby anna » April 5th, 2005, 11:46 pm

Someone somewhere stated that an avatar, or God incarnate, would have to be perfect, in order to be God incarnate. My question, then, if this assumption is true, is, then, what is perfect? Who is to determine what is perfect? How do we know perfection? Is there such a thing as the perfect man, or woman? Is that an oxymoron? And if that IS an oxymoron, then, can there even be such a thing as an incarnate God who is perfect? Just mulling this over............. :?

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Postby iamDiane » April 8th, 2005, 9:48 am

:idea: A little Food for thought or mulling over ??
> "God Dont Make Junk" & or beauty/perfection is in the eye of the beholder!
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Postby zoofence » April 14th, 2005, 3:14 pm

Anna asks whether an incarnation of the Divine can be perfect. That raises the question, is it possible for God to create something, anything, that is not Perfect? Including you and me. Is it not inevitable that the entirety of God’s Perfection must be bestowed upon everyone and everything God Creates? I don’t see how it could be possible that God might set out to create something “imperfect”.

But then, why do we see imperfection all around us? Maybe because when we use the word “perfect” we mean flawless to the senses of the body. As iamDiane says, according to the eye of the beholder. That is, the body’s eyes, ears, nose, and so on, measure what they perceive according to a set of standards developed by and inherited from the egoic body/mind’s parents, friends, teachers, culture, and so on, and the closer a thing comes to meeting those standards, the closer it is to being perfect.

Somewhere else on The Zoo Fence, I ask the question, is a rotting apple perfect? It certainly doesn’t seem so at first glance. But think about it. If apples didn’t eventually naturally rot, the world would be up to its ears in apples.

Is a volcanic eruption perfect? When we remember that volcanic eruptions are what created Waikiki Beach, I’d say pretty perfect.

So, a rotting apple is perfect when it’s on the ground beneath the tree, but not when it’s in my refrigerator. And a volcanic eruption is perfect when it occurs umpteen million years ago in the middle of an ocean.

Let’s face it. Very nearly everything we don’t like (and therefore label “imperfect” or worse, like “evil”) somehow threatens the body each of us calls “me” and its things ... its health, its home, its possessions, its nation, and so on. But the use of the word “perfect” in that context cannot be the same word “Perfect” when used to describe a Teacher, can it? Just because they’re spelled the same doesn’t necessarily mean they have the same meaning.

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Teacher-Perfect-Meaning

Postby iamDiane » April 15th, 2005, 4:19 am

"Meaning" well, to be honest who knows! Words, verbal, written communication appears to limit real expression , Just by its structure & implementation alone, such as the dictionary definitions! correct or incorrect use! right or wrong! always separating correcting! "Meaning appears to be in a constant state of change or evolution you could say! we even have spell check & word meaning on our comutor to make sure we get it right or perfect! I don't want any-one to think I am stupid or cant spell now do I! I want to make sure my message is right, so it will reassure me of my point of view & I know what I am talking about, dont I, or else, that would tend to damage or threaten my self-esteem, if someone does not clearly understand me., can't have that now can I! that would question my foundations of who I think I am!

America & Australia spell several words differently, such as colour/color/ does that make one brighter or more superior than the other, or the perfect teacher, I personally dont believe so, I recognise the word & apply the same relevant meaning & who cares!
I suppose, With reference to, Teacher or Student, I have found both are one & the same, so one could say Perfect! or All is exactly as is! with no reference to right or wrong, perfect or imperfect! :!:

All are potential teachers & students or All is exactly as is meant to be at that time! change is eternally in motion! How one sees themselves this moment may also be differ in the next, so Meaning can either expand, encompass or loose its meaning or no longer sit right, determined by the subjective perceiver!

Or perhaps, authentic "Meaning" is when both the observed & observer are one & the same encompassing all that is just as it is!

Yes, Meaning definitely seems to appear relevant within this perceived realm of form! Human doings constantly search for Meaning! often unaware of the influences reflected through external experiences! It appears that, it is All in how one looks at it! which tends to serve as one's reassurance & definition of who one believes or sees themselves as at that moment! All of which is part of the perceived awakening process of human forms experience, hence applying meaning to life, things, events, beliefs based on unique internal frame of reference & experiental influence upon the consciousness of the beholder!

What appears to resonate or feel & sit right with an individual does not necessarily have the same effect upon another! as in what some may refer to as "Art" others a may refer to as junk! So, all in all, I suppose "Meaning" is all in the way One looks at it! & how that is would be determined by awareness of real self!
Such as meaning-Full would be " All That Is" no matter what, including diverse & unique difference's!
So, Meaning could be said to be Anything any One., so choose's it to be! based on ther internal frame of reference!
The Understanding or interpretation, we apply to any interaction/experience is unique to each aspect of the one beholding it!

I got a little carried away, due to the fact, that this particular topic "Meaning" has been very much a significant part of my personal experiential journey toward an unfolding learning to trust & be my-self just as I am, not determined by acceptance based on anything outside of myself!
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Postby Bhakti » April 15th, 2005, 11:41 am

I recently saw a movie called Stage Beauty. It take place in England during the reign of Charles II and focuses on an actor who plays the roles of woman in Shakespearean plays and is considered the best in the world. At that time, there was a law that barred women from acting professionally on the stage; however, Charles amended the law so that women could be professional actors.

This one actor who plays the woman feels that, although he's a man, he's the "perfect" woman inside. He truly feels himself to be a woman on and offstage. He sleeps only with men. In other words, his womaness is the only "meaning-ful" thing in his life, so his life falls apart when he can no long act as a woman and so-called "unreal" woman take his roles on stage. He no longer knows who he is and he falls by the wayside, drinking and acting the buffoon.

This one woman who was his dresser, and who becomes his stage rival, helps him to discover who he is inside, and then he becomes an even more perfect actor as a man onstage because he has found himself and is beginning to know who he is now.

Maybe our daily discoveries—if we are open to them—give Oneness, which is full and infinite in meaning, color, expansion, form, ugliness, and beauty. Who cares about perfection, which seems "meaning-less," it's what's inside that counts!! Blessings, Bhakti

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Postby iamDiane » April 16th, 2005, 12:08 am

Thankyou for sharing your insight on stage beauty Bhakti! Sounds like an inspiring film!
Yes, I am inclined to agree with you. the true nature of who/what One Is Authentically, is the Source giver of life in "All" perceived & unperceived Forms! no matter how perceived! both polarities co-exist as One:

I have found that If one journeys within & ultimatley wades within the fountain of truth that dwells therin, One begins to view the universe through the eyes of the heart (spiritt) and becomes an open channel that embrace's All that is, just as it is, "It-Self"
then One is naturally innately empowered toward manifesting the source of all that One is, which of course I feel is many aspects of One & One of many! All is Perfect Just As It Is!
""Being"
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Postby zoofence » April 16th, 2005, 1:26 am

Here’s something we learned this evening watching “Joan of Arcadia” on television. (It’s one of our favorite TV programs.)

In Persia (now Iran), a country justifiably famous for its fine rugs, rug makers intentionally include an error in every rug they weave, in recognition that Perfection exists only in Allah.

It’s called “The Persian Flaw”.

I don't know what, if anything, that has to do with this thread, but it strikes me as so cool, I had to post it.

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Cool

Postby iamDiane » April 16th, 2005, 11:50 am

I agree, I have also watched it here in OZ (Australia) and I have learnt & been inspired with "Joan of Arcadia" Sure is a Great show, I quiet enjoy watching the Medium also, apparently it is based on a true life story of a medium! oop's can't remember her name!

Interesting., The flaw in rug is cool!
Maybe that intentional practise could be seen as a symbol of humility?

Or perhaps another example of measuring, judging, labelling or unique perceptions of what represents Perfect * Imperfect?

Or perhaps, one could ask the question? how can it be a Flaw-imperfect-or mistake if one intentionally creates it!

Or maybe, a belief that one is imperfect & not worthy?
Who knows :?:
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What is perfect

Postby Zayus » April 7th, 2006, 1:15 pm

From what I have understood 'perfect' is a word, a concept an idea, a thought the discriminating mind creates and projects either internally or on to something in the world.

Along with words like justice, good, evil, beauty,left, right,up, meaning, responsibility, cause, free will and so on.

Words to describe reality or what is, are not what is - just a biased interpretation depending on your relative point of view.

'Meaning' for instance is a word, a concept, that humans apply to events or processes in their lives in reality, or to what is, or if you will, to the universe.

To say that the universe is meaningful or is meaningless or 'perfect' or anything else about it - is applying human words and ideas to a reality that merely 'is'(whatever 'is' means)

Every idea we have about the universe, reality, what is, - including this one, is projecting or applying a point of view about it on to it.
Usually we reach some kind of consensus about events - this earthquake was tragic, that party was great, this rose is perfect - you get the idea?

From there we can mistake the mental idea of perfect for some physical
thing process, event etc.. and because large numbers of us can agree on what is or is not perfect - we think (a sunset for instance) we see perfection.

bit it seems to me that nothing any being can say or think about reality, what is, the universe or what ever you may call what we experience - is it.

All of this is not to say that I dont have ideas about reality - I obviously do - its just that Im aware that whatever I do think about a given thing, process or event does not apply (except in my limited ,personal experience).

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Postby iamDiane » April 8th, 2006, 9:26 am

:D touch'e to that!
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Postby zoofence » April 16th, 2006, 6:39 pm

Zayus makes a good point. Whatever we say is spoken from our own perspective, a product of our own basket of thoughts, memories, and expectations.

My guess is that iamdiane is right, too. The “Persian Flaw” almost certainly originated as an expression by rug-makers of humility before God rather than a metaphysical measure of reality. Its subtleness is what appeals to me, very Sufi-like.

In the end, of course, there is no world, perfect or otherwise. There is only God. All the rest is the illusion, itself undoubtedly divine as well (if God is infinite, what else could it be?).

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There is only God

Postby Zayus » April 21st, 2006, 9:54 am

May I play devils advocate (no pun intended) and suggest that the idea that there is only god ….

Is the trap that we continuously fall into when using words about reality and what is.



The sentence - there is only god – is an ‘idea’,



A great idea, a bad idea, a silly idea, a preposterous idea, a fundamentally fabulous notion…



But an idea, the same as any other idea about what we may experience.



I understand the non-dual view that all phenomena is noumenal extended in spacetime,

Or expressed differently that ‘what is’ is a vast interdependent unity of matter/energy etc…



But somewhere along the line the ‘idea’ of god or divinity being introduced into what is …



Is a human phenomenon that brings with it each persons concept and ideas of god,

Which only confuse and complicate reality, especially when they conflict with another persons prejudiced interpretation of what ‘god’ is.



I imagine every persons ideas or persons non-ideas are wonderful when expressed and deliberated over or not, in the search for what may be the facts of any matter (truth).(like this)



Things only get messy when people express notions of divinity that other people cant tolerate due to their conditioning of every type – National, religious, social, cultural, political, educational ad infinitum –



But I have found that it is enlightening to understand that –



(the only ideas we have about everything and everyone we experience is what we interpret/accept from other people from what we are told as a child etc. and what we read in books or on websites etc. – but none of these people have ever known or know anything, they went through the same conditioning process as us (I may be preaching to the converted,) – don’t accept my word for it - investigate what you think you know and see where it takes you.



Most people ‘think’ that they know, because they have acquired ‘ideas’ from everyone else that are accepted in ‘normal’ life.



But what do I know? %)



Zayus

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Postby zoofence » April 26th, 2006, 2:23 pm

Over the past week, Zayus and I have exchanged several messages about the thoughts expressed in this thread. Because I believe those messages may be of interest to other visitors to Open Forum, and because I think (I hope) others may want to join in the conversation, I am, with Zayus' agreement, posting excerpts from them here.

I wrote: Of course, you're right, the statement "there is only god" (or, "there is no god but god and god is all there is") is just an idea. But then, in the end, so are "reality" and "what is" only ideas. The human body/mind is pretty much limited to its ideas, which it calls thoughts, memories, and expectations. Each of us perceives (creates) our concept of "me" and lives in a "world" generated by what we believe to be so, by the ideas we cherish.

Instead of saying "there is only god" would it be better to say, there is no what is but what is and what is is all there is? Or, there is no reality but reality and reality is all there is?

Certainly, the meaning is the same, isn't it? But, as you suggest, restating it in that way avoids offending someone with a different interpretation of what "god" is.

Zayus replied: I considered your response and it is interesting that when, as you did, I substituted the word(s) "reality" or "what is" for "God", I felt somehow less secure/positive in some obscure way that is hard to define.

Perhaps it is that I can't imagine a "what is" as easily as the word "God".

Even though I understand what I say regarding this issue, it seems in some small way comforting to have the idea of a benevolent overseer.

I imagine this is quite rational -- that having had parents who nurture and love and support to whatever degree. And then becoming independent -- the idea of being able to be nurtured by a greater being or power is very attractive/addictive/desirable.

I imagine it's extremely difficult to be aware of the effects of our conditioning, but substituting one word for another helps clarify the effects that words and labels have on me.

I replied: I like your reaction to substituting the words "what is" or "reality" for the word "God" in the statement "God is all there is". Very perceptive, very honest.

I agree with your observation that "what is" seems less comforting or reassuring than "God". Undoubtedly, as you say, it is partly a result of conditioning. But maybe too, part of it is an inner realization that whatever "what is" is, it is greater in every sense than what I perceive "me" to be, and the term "God" seems to approximate that greater idea better than "what is" or "reality", which seem somewhat lifeless at first encounter.

The danger posed by the word "God", of course, is that, as a result of our conditioning, it generates an idea of an "other" ("He/She is God, and I am me" "God is in Heaven, and I am on earth" and the like). In a way, the expression "There is no God but God and God is all there is" is intended to cut through that conditioned, separative image, in the same way that "what is" does.

The distinction between jnana yoga and bhakti yoga discussed briefly at TZF's essay On Healing Mistakes may apply here.

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Postby whimsicaldeb » April 28th, 2006, 5:47 pm

wrote: Of course, you're right, the statement "there is only god" (or, "there is no god but god and god is all there is") is just an idea. But then, in the end, so are "reality" and "what is" only ideas. The human body/mind is pretty much limited to its ideas, which it calls thoughts, memories, and expectations. Each of us perceives (creates) our concept of "me" and lives in a "world" generated by what we believe to be so, by the ideas we cherish. -- zoofence


imo ~ Stop there, and go no further. It's makes sense, is well said and accurate. For when you (we) stop at this point, everyone (each body) is left with their own personal version of what the connect with God/Source/GreatSpirit/Universe/AllThereIs/Nothing.

It's when we follow these perfect thoughts/understandings with continuous (doubts?) questions such things what you mused next ...

Instead of saying "there is only god" would it be better to say, there is no what is but what is and what is is all there is? Or, there is no reality but reality and reality is all there is?


When forget that the words themselves and anything we try to say in explanation of that which is at it's core beyond words and explanation, by design - will always incomplete and lacking - as it should, because the words and thoughts and expressions are not the whole.

In addition, there are as many ways to say the same thing; as they are people, languages and minds to understand. It is that this is some deeply perfect that it fits each of us perfectly ... each moment, as we are.

We don't need to search so hard, work so hard, to find the perfect expression(s). In fact, when we relax about it all, the most perfect of expressions for each situation can come through easier. Yet even a bad expression still provides and contains perfection, and it is within our abilities to see that: the how’s & why’s it is so.

~~~

Change of subject ...

The distinction between jnana yoga and bhakti yoga discussed briefly at TZF's essay On Healing Mistakes may apply here.


Healing of mistakes requires a change in our perception of them and a looking beneath the surface to any underlying beliefs we might have. In the example of that article it speaks of someone snapping at another is there an underlying belief that snapping at some has been pre-determined to be a wrong action. Something we should strive to not do. And if so, is this fair, reasonalbe, accurate, or even possible?

In the simple case of snapping at someone else, sometimes it’s necessary. Animals do it all the time, with good reason. As human animals, we also have times for such actions as well. Understanding this makes it easier to move our minds (way of thinking/perceiving) to the place where snapping at some one is not a wrong or right, but a correct or incorrect action for any given moment or situation and where an in correction action can be corrected and a correct action can be maintained.

When we use our judgment, and our minds and our thoughts correctly – for discernment for ourselves and our lives instead issuing them for issuing absolutes for others, is when we’ve found perfection in living our daily lives.

It’s the act/action of maintaining our constant efforts for perfection in the form of correction in daily practice, that’s perfection. Not the perfection itself.

...

The article mention UG Krishnamurti … oh I love him! Last year, when a friend of mine send me a link to one of the many sites about him and I started reading his quotes, this thoughts & reasonings I went Yes! Yes! Yes!

UG quotes …

I am not a god man. I would rather be called a fraud. The quest for God has become such an obsessive factor in the lives of human beings, because of the impossibility of achieving pleasure without pain. That messy thing called the mind has created many destructive things. By far the most destructive of them all is God. God has become the ultimate pleasure. The variations of God-- self-realization, moksha or liberation, fashionable transformation gimmicks, the first and the last freedom and all the freedoms that come in between--are the ones that are pushing man into a manic-depressive state. Somewhere along the line of evolution, man experienced self-consciousness for the first time in contradistinction to the way consciousness is functioning in other species. It was there, in that division of consciousness, that God, along with the nuclear doctrine that is threatening the extinction of all that nature has created with such tremendous care, was born.
Source: http://www.well.com/~jct/ugbio/ugbtitle.htm
UG Krishnamurti - A Life; Part 1; The Encounter


Our minds tell us, and we unquestioningly believe we should never snap at one another, lose our patience, question, break any laws, do anything “wrong” or in any way become a nuisance to someone else, usually those we’ve decided or put into authority in our lives, and if we do or should we are no longer, worthy, holy or good and furthermore, must be punished in some form or another. But is this always true, accurate and reasonable? No. Many a time these beliefs have become laws designed to keep civility. But are they fair to us, and is it always possible to keep them. No. Furthermore, they should always be question and adjusted as our needs change. But this is not what's happening, and that is why - as a group, humanity is going insane. Becoming more & more unstable.

And our minds create it all.

Wanting to kill that man and woman is something natural. That is a healthy reaction. If you felt differently for any reason, religious or otherwise, then something is wrong with you. You are a sick man. What culture has done to you has unfortunately turned you into a hypocrite. When someone makes a pass at your girlfriend or when you suspect unfaithfulness, you are bound to be tortured by jealousy, by hate and by the agony that is going on inside you. If some ugly saint in the market-place says that it is possible, that there is a way out, that you can be free from jealousy and yet have sex and the rest of it, he is taking you for a ride. I am sorry I cannot swallow that pill. If jealousy goes, sex goes too. If you can make it possible without going mad, good luck to you!
Source: http://www.well.com/~jct/ugbio/ugbtitle.htm
UG Krishnamurti - A Life; Part 1; The Encounter


Yep, yep, yep … no wonder why I love UG.

Wanting to kill or snap at some one IS a natural desire within us. What’s also natural is self restraint, not acting upon those desires. And that is not something that’s exclusively human as our minds would have us believe; it’s animalistic – cats don’t always pounce, snakes don’t always bite. It’s a form of maturity, and experience and expressed in difference ways by each animal (human or otherwise) due to individual personality/traits. DNA.

It’s our minds that takes something so biologically normal, and inflates by attributing it to “God.” It’s our minds that keep us sick/addicted .... here's another example from the Healing Mistakes article:

In some ways, Nancy and I are a little schizophrenic spiritually. On the one hand, we follow the path of the mind or of understanding (jnana yoga, as it is called in Hinduism), endlessly questioning "Who am I?" and endlessly rejecting every partial answer.


Schizophrenic spirituality sounds like a never ending vicious circle, and that sounds like living in hell to me. Then again, you're not me. But at the same time - endless questioning and rejection could very well be the flip side of "acceptance without attachment" which is what I use.

We may be the yin to each other yang - so that together there is both, and with both - balance.

Acceptance is letting all these thoughts and beliefs flow through your mind without attaching to any one, or set or group of ideals - accept as they pertain to my own personal life.

Example:

God (whatever that means to me) grant me
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.
– The Serenity Prayer

And after all … we are talking about addiction to all of this here; and our own minds ability to both create and then keep us addicted to our own beliefs, thoughts, ways of doing things – our own self created ‘god.’ And since it’s our mind that we’ve used to create these situations – it’s our own minds that we can ‘retrain’ an use to end these situations and heal ourselves as well.

The one thing to remember is this; at it’s core, our minds manufacture our true hearts desire. That is why recovery only works when those working the program(s) want to recover. Want to be sober – clean – unaddicted, straight – to not want to continue going through these endless vicious circles, that can also include endless seeking, endless questioning, and acceptance of a schizophrenic spirituality, or even endless recovery!

That why the most important truth we can ever know, is where our hearts truly are, for that is how we know thyself. Because what we are seeing/living is exactly what we’ve created with our minds.

So, if you want, are happy with and want to continue on with schizophrenic spirituality … then that is what you will create, that is what your mind will give to do, to make so - and it will work for you.

And if I’m seeking serenity; recovery; and balanced health/life/love through this direction … my only question would be "will my association with you help me or hinder me?" What of this situation do I need to accept because I can not - or should not - change; what of this situation do I need to reach inside and use my courage to change … and in the process, all mistakes I make will be 'perfect' because they will help me gain the wisdom I need to know the difference.

What’s not to accept (and love) about a life like this.
:D


I apologize for the length of this posting … I guess I felt I had a lot to say. Like a damn inside has let go. Maybe after this flood of words has passed … I won’t feel such a need to talk so long next time.

Thank you for having this place here for me to express myself.

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Postby anna » May 5th, 2006, 4:51 am

Back to the topic:

Perfection. Whimsicaldeb points out that schizophrenic spirituality sounds like hell to her - I might agree, although I am the Nancy to which he refers, so I actually experienced the process first hand, and I cannot find any fault with the practice, because it was effective. In particular, early on when the mind was in charge and thought it was somebody! The mind, it seems to me, is the problem. So, what works for some, doesn't work for others. And in some folks' cases, the mind is extraordinarily devious, and requires a kind of "purgatory", or better, purging, to get it into proper perspective. Thus, for some, you have to go through purgatory to get to heaven. 8) (Took that from Dante - a little free license here.) In that way, then, everything works for each of us according to who we are - and that is what is perhaps a kind of perfection? Maybe?

That said, let me take this a step further, and state that spirituality by its very nature seems to me to be schizophrenic, and by extension, perfection is similarly schizophrenic. Indeed, the mind, whether "spiritual" or not, is, after all is said and done, essentially schizophrenic, because it is frequently absurd, self-serving, self-contradictory, and obsessed with survival. And certainly it spends most of its time "talking to itself!" :lol: In fact, if human beings are carefully listened to and observed, their minds are composed of numerous momentary expressions of multiple "personalities", even the most "sane" of us, by virtue of the fact that thoughts are generated by desire, and desires change, and with that change, you can often find contradictions immediately apparent within the same human being at any point in time. For example:. How can a person claim to be non-violent, and yet watch violent movies? Two different desires: one to be "spiritual", the other to be "stimulated". This is the same person, but with conflicting "personalities" driven by different desires.

By extension, therefore, all that the mind thinks or presumes, despite its apparent "spirituality", or, its opposte, "materiality", is arbitrary and often contradictory and is the source of our misery or happiness - all depends upon what we claim is happy, or sad. The mind seems to consider its purpose to be to distract, to justify itself, to contrive to continue its process, to rationalize its existence. It will do that spiritually, or materially - both end up unsuccessful so long as the mind is considered to be "who I am". Originally, the mind was essentially an instrument of survival of the bodily form, and when it usurps other positions, such as "who I am", it becomes a problem. Questioning the mind, then, has a function in that it may force a realization upon an individual that the mind is not what it claims to be.

Therefore, with respect to perfection, if the above is true then, I would have to conclude that my initial question about "what is perfect" is impossible to answer, because each answer will depend upon the speaker, and each speaker will have his or her own experience or presumptions on which to base the concept of perfection or imperfection.

I grant you, this kind of puts an end to the question, or even a discussion about it....at least from my own personal perspective. :roll:


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