Stop Chasing. . .

A fundamental concept of modern teachings is that perfection is within our grasp, we simply need to stay on track and try harder. Now many of us know that perfection is a lofty goal and defined by the person. Many a person seems to guarantee us that we will, eventually, be able to overcome all that bedevils us, the pain, stupidity and error which make us so much less than we might be. It is simply a matter of time – but is that perfection?

Many a teacher and coach – individually and collectively – have encouraged us to aim for perfection. I think the energy used for that concept is better framed as – efforts for improvement.” The modern era was founded upon the experience of improvements across almost every field of endeavor: we learned to heat our houses, to feed and clothe ourselves adequately, to criss-cross the globe, to defeat disease and to introduce reliable mechanisms for learning, law and justice. All results of chasing something better and not necessarily perfection.

A problematic result of this grand vision of human progress is that our ongoing imperfections weigh upon us all the more heavily: we are prone, more than our forebears, to feel profoundly frustrated, impatient, cursed and betrayed with all that continues to defy our will.

We respond to political or economic stagnation with rage at the stupidity of those who lead us; we are unwilling to accept that human societies are hugely complex machines. The unhappiness of relationships is quickly ascribed to being with the wrong person – as opposed to the knowledge that to be happy in multiple dimensions with another person over a lifetime requires grace, intelligence and understanding. 

So lets us drop the ideas of perfection and instead embrace the ideas of effort and understanding. With modernity was born the beautiful and fateful notion that this world could through the application of intelligence be rendered conclusively saner, more manageable and kinder. These energies are immensely more noble than chasing perfection.  When we drop ideas and concepts that simply serve no use we are left to embrace the realities of a life lived and improved not through perfection of anything but acceptance of everything.

From there we grow.

Peace and Love, Jim

#stopchasingperfect #thedailybuddha

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