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Monday, April 22, 2013

Essential Imperfection

Imperfection lies at the heart of reality. If the unlimited expanse of the Void were perfect, empty, there would be nothing else existent. If space-time were perfect it would be infinite and could never expand as there would be no emptiness in which to do so.  

If Chaos was perfect there could be no predictability, no rules, and no linear time (because everything tries to happen at once).  Perfect Order allows no novelty, no alteration, and no inspiration. Both would be perfectly stagnant.  Perfect Good would be unable to make tough decisions involving necessary sacrifices beyond its own, a grower unable to prune.  Perfect Evil would be unable to form communities because its selfishness encourages only the individual. Order forms from Chaos and Chaos explodes from Order. Good intentions can produce Evil and Evil can inspire Good to heroism. 

Perfection is unattainable and could never be maintained. It is a horizon to travel toward, not a destination. There is always farther you can go. The concept of perfect does, however, function as an ideal for comparison and progress.  It is Evil that claims and values perfection – the perfect race, the perfect bloodline; the perfect ideology. That is apparent from history. 

Biblically, perfection is not expected in this life. That is why the concept of repentance exists. We are expected to reach for the ideals, to keep walking toward the horizon so we don’t stay where we are or turn backwards.  We are expected to try, not succeed, and learn in the process while our mistakes our limited to one planet.

Even those we call gods are imperfect. Otherwise life would be perfect, with no soul lost. If that was possible, it would be reality. Instead, we are told that there was a war in "Heaven", so "Heaven" can’t be perfect. Eden wasn’t perfect because it included the serpent and the divine knowledge of Good and Evil, without which there could be no progress. It could not be maintained without limiting us all. I believe god did not forbid eating from the Tree of Knowledge, he just told them what the consequences of such knowledge, adult knowledge, would be. I hear it more as the warning of a parent of the way reality works than the first commandment that was disobeyed. Of course, the very act of disobeying what they though was a law gave them that knowledge and activated their consciences.  Without the knowledge of Good and Evil there is no conscience.  Without a conscience, as well as the pain of childbirth and the responsibilities of work and survival, there is no adulthood or progress. 

I believe those who we call gods to be “more perfected” than us, more highly evolved physically and spiritually. My church teaches that we are gods in fetal form, not yet born to our real lives.  Heavenly Father was once like us and we may one day become like him. Of course he’ll still be far ahead.  He is not something truly alien to us, as orthodoxy would have us believe.  We are indeed in his image.  He is only omniscient and omnipotent in comparison to us. 

“Heaven” is not ultimately perfect, thank god, just perfect in comparison to our present phase of existence.  It allows room for progress. The gods don’t offer us a perfect path, just a better one, that they have traveled ahead of us.  If “Heaven” was perfect there would be no point to existence. Instead, the point seems to be progress through the active balancing of Chaos, Order, Good and Evil. We, including the gods, are all part of a reality which is developing and exploring itself, like the many cells and microscopic species making up our bodies. We are brain stem cells, gods are mature neurons.  

Perfection offers no potential or room for growth.  It is often the mistakes that end up being of most value genetically, cosmically, and personally.  Small imperfections in the early universe allowed matter to survive and collect to form stars and us. Small genetic mistakes enabled some species to adapt and survive what more “perfect” genetic examples could not, leading to the unstoppable common cold, and us. And, it is commonly said that you learn more from mistakes than success. Reality seems to agree.

No, imperfection isn’t a disease to be stamped out by the pure, by the perfect. Imperfection is essential.