Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of February 15, 2021


Being Perfect

(Reclaiming Our Life: 6)

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Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. [Matthew 5:48]

Nothing in time can be perfect, not least because it is all impermanent, subject to entropy and decay. Our bodies, emotions, and minds are in time and thus imperfect. However, there is more to reality than time. Beyond time, there is a realm of perfection. Our being and our will are not in time. Our root, our Real Self, is imbued with timeless perfection. This condition of being the meeting ground between the perfect and the imperfect, between the timeless and time, is our challenge and opportunity. We can align with, open to, and embody the perfection of the Sacred. In so doing, we bring the perfect to the imperfect, we bring perfection into this world we live in.

Perfection depends on imperfection. The creation of order in one place has a side effect of creating disorder in another place; less entropy here requires more entropy over there. This dialectic between order and disorder, between perfection and imperfection, when viewed through a wider lens, reveals that the whole is perfect, even if some of the parts are not. Through us, the Sacred realm of perfection can enter this imperfect world. That perfection transcends the distinction between part and whole.

If, however, we adopt perfection as a standard to impose on ourselves, it only leads to stress and self-criticism. Rather, we allow the Sacred to install us in our own perfection. This can be a way to reclaim our present and future from the past, from habits and patterns, from self-denigration. Being perfect is an attitude we adopt, abiding in perfection in this moment. It is not a matter of asking ourselves what would it mean for me to be perfect right now. That separates us from perfection, anchoring us to considerations of what we should be, of what we want to be, of wanting to be different. All of which sets us up for failure and self-reproach. Instead, we seek the clarity and simplicity of being here and we act from the perfection of which we are all a part. We act from our own unique, essential perfection.

Not that we let our ego take this as a reason to pretend or even believe we are better than others, which we are not. Nor are we worse. We are equally children of the One, the Source of all perfection, including our own. To glimpse the perfection hidden in another human being is to be touched by love. To glimpse the perfection hidden within ourselves is to be touched by love. All of us are in the same boat, the same predicament: we want to live to our best life, but we are not sure what that means nor how to get there.

Instead of wondering where to go, we can open to already being there, in this very moment, and we hold ourselves and act from that. We act within the realm of perfection. We move within the realm of perfection. We allow ourselves to be emptied, so that the clarity and order that emerge from our inner silence take on the character of perfection. This wordless affirmation of living our right life, in this moment, can help remake our inner world. This is not about striving toward some future, unattained and possibly unattainable state of perfection. It is about being perfect now, recognizing the perfection within us today, adopting perfection as our ongoing manner of living.

What might this mean in practice? That depends on your own view of perfection. With reference to the spiritual path, it might mean living in presence and equanimity, in body, heart, and mind, with conscience as our guide, with kindness and joy for the people around us, engaging in things that matter to us, cheerfully accepting the many tasks that life imposes and meeting them without reservation. It might mean walking, moving, and acting with the whole of ourselves, being so in tune with our rhythms and needs that our body and psyche are fully supported, while accepting that the unexpected, the unwanted, and mistakes do happen and meeting those instances with our best. It might mean giving what we can from our own uniqueness. All this and much more might characterize living in perfection.

Again, though, we are not asking ourselves how to act to be perfect. We are not setting up a program of perfection. We are not repeating to ourselves "I am perfect." We are not attempting to convince ourselves, against all evidence to the contrary, that we are perfect. We are simply recognizing that perfection is already our fundamental quality and we are living from that in perfect presence. And in so doing, as it happens, we align ourselves with and open to the perfection of the Sacred. That perfection is our perfection. And within that perfection there is always room for further development and growth, for effort and work, but not to get away from or resolve our imperfections, rather as part of being in the living stream of perfection. Is the acorn less perfect than the oak? We work, inwardly and outwardly, as our way of giving, as an expression of the perfection we all share.

For this week, please practice being perfect.


     

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