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Saturday
Feb282009

Perfection: Accept It

By Bonnie Starr Mandell-Rice

 

The idea of perfection has come up several times this week, once in a conversation with a friend and then in yoga class. So I have been thinking about perfection and what it means to be perfect. One definition of “perfect” is to be without fault, defect or error. Someone gets a “perfect” score (100) on a test or on a performance (a “perfect” 10). What that means is that (at least in the mind of the teacher or judge) no mistakes have been made by the one taking the test or giving the performance. Another definition of “perfect” is pure and complete.

 

To me, the word “perfect,” like the words “love” and “life,” is synonymous with or at least descriptive of God. Other terms to describe God are Prime Mover and Unchangeable, which seem paradoxical. If God is the Prime Mover, then there is movement in the Allness that is God, and where there is movement there is some change. It is the nature of God – Love, Peace, Joy, Abundance – that is Unchangeable. The movement is the evolution and expansion of God through God’s expression in, as and through each of us and all of Creation. As I write this, the image of a kaleidoscope pops into my head, and I see how it is possible for the Unchangeable to change.

 

A kaleidoscope consists of a tubular object containing loose, multi-colored bits of glass or plastic between two flat plates and two mirrors. The mirrors display the bits and the patterns created by the bits as they move (which they do when the kaleidoscope is shaken or turned). The movement thus creates change in the image displayed, but that very image already existed as a potentiality in the kaleidoscope. In this metaphor, the kaleidoscope is God (except that God is boundless and unlimited). We (and every other living thing) are the bits. Most of us view ourselves as the bits and tend to believe we are separate from each other and from God. In truth we are contained within and are essential parts of God, even as the bits are contained within and are an essential part of the kaleidoscope. Together we create through our movement (the living of our lives) “new” patterns of perfection in God, patterns that before had been only potentialities. The bits and the patterns are perfect, because that which is perfect (God) cannot contain imperfection.

 

Thus it is that we are perfect. We are perfect here and now, in this very moment. Without each one of us, the pattern would be incomplete, and there can be no incompleteness in the kaleidoscope that is God, for God is perfect. To deny our perfection is to deny the truth of ourselves and thus of God.

 

Most of us (certainly I) have or have had strong resistance to claiming that we are perfect. Who among us has not sinned, by which I mean “missed the mark”? What is it to miss the mark? It is to misuse the Love that is God and that is the only Power. Love is the energy of God in motion. It is constantly giving of Itself. It goes where it is called. It gives us that for which we ask, and our every thought, word and deed is a prayer that directs the Power that is Love. Thus it is we are told to “be careful what you pray for!” When we miss the mark, we have misdirected this Power.

 

When I believe I am not perfect, I am at war with myself. Then every day is Judgment Day, and I am the prosecutor, the judge and the jury. I am the one who renders the verdict: “Guilty of imperfection.” I am the one who sentences me to exile (separation from God) and imprisonment, binding myself to limitation and cutting myself off from direct access to the boundlessness that is God.

 

The quest for perfection is a denial of the truth of us, of our perfection. If we are questing for perfection, it means we believe that we do not already have it, we are not already perfect. Because “as a man thinketh so he is” (Proverbs 23:7), we create and experience in our reality what we believe. Thus the tragic irony is that by our thinking we are not perfect and that we are sinners, we separate ourselves in consciousness (but not in Truth) from God, who is perfect, and make our imperfection what is so. We make it so not in Truth but in our experience of ourselves. So what is the solution?

 

Even as I ask the question, I hear the answer: “Silence the voice of judgment and condemnation. Drop your resistance to the notion of your perfection. Accept that you already are perfect, exactly as you are, because you are made of God, you are a part of God.” As I hear these words, I feel my body relax into the loving embrace of the Omnipresence of Love that God is. As I relax, I feel myself accept the Truth of who I am, of who we all are; the chatter in my mind ceases; and I see all the things for which I judge and condemn myself, these things with which I have bound myself, fall away and dissolve. Being thus unbound, the perfection that I am is now free to emerge and to be expressed in, as and through me, and I experience myself and everyone and everything else as that.

 

In other words, when we stop denying that we are perfect and one with God, then our perfection and our Oneness are freed to show up and express itself in our experience. Imagine how the world will change when enough of us are doing that!

 

COPYRIGHT: @ Bonnie Starr Mandell-Rice 2009. This article may be forwarded provided that the complete article and this copyright information are included

 

Look out for my interview with Bonnie Starr next month, and have a look at our review of her latest book Beyond Foregiveness in our Soul Search Section this month.