So I have been looking at perfection today, now this topic is a big one, so far many questions and few answers but I am finding it a great direction to look.
What I always found in myself is being stuck in a certain dichotomy which seems to arise out of a misunderstanding around what perfection actually entails.
What I see is that in the real world where everyone is already separated from actual perfection we need to generate a synthetic perfection by living as closely as possible to the various values, beliefs etc (which are the absolutes in this case).
Often when I have contemplated what the PCE demonstrates there was this feeling of “well if everything is already perfect then why would I strive to be excellent at anything”? In short when actual perfection is experienced 24/7 what motivation is there for excellence?
So this is the dichotomy, this belief that if I am to let go of the endless pursuit of moral perfection I will revert to some lousy state, an actualist hobo. This can often express itself in various forms of ‘actualist morality’ e.g. “why am I going to the gym to look good if my body is already perfect?” - so essentially this kind of actualist morality is the same old spiritual morality in disguise, to let go of any worldly desires as they are somehow intrinsically immoral.
As above though I am coming to the seeing that this dichotomy is based on a misunderstanding as to what actual perfection entails and what ‘functional perfection/excellence’ is all about.
I started thinking about Richards example of the burnt toast vs a golden brown toast, how this would be an example of a ‘functional perfection’ even though both the black and brown toast exist within the arena of the actual perfection of infinitude.
I have had experiences recently where for a brief moment everything including myself is seen to be actually perfect, and that it has always been this way, it is like all of a sudden the entirety of existence is infused with actual perfection. This actual perfection is not a product of the mind or the heart, it is concrete.
So how to reconcile this seeing that everything is already perfect with the fact that the black toast is not as good as the golden brown one?
What I came to conclude so far is that it is all to do with frames of reference, and how infinitude lacks those. What I can see is that the ‘functional perfection’ is indeed a product of the mind, it requires the intellect to hold 2 variables in a ‘intellectual vacuum’ and then to compare those against a yardstick which is taken to be the absolute.
For example I have an injury to my arm at the moment and it is seized up so I cannot bend or straighten it.
If the yardstick was my ability to use this arm for martial arts then it is indeed bad compared with a healthy arm, it is lower on that ‘functional perfection/excellence scale’.
Yet if I change the yardstick I can observe that my elbow joint has swelled up/seized up in order to protect itself, it has become painful in order to prevent excessive pressure being applied so that recovery can happen, now all of a sudden it seems to excel at doing exactly what it is meant to be doing, how is this arm not excellent?!
So in order to judge the ‘functional perfection’ I have to use my intellect in order to take a vantage point, as there is no fixed frame of reference in infinitude this vantage point can only ever be arbitrary, essentially I decide to look from a certain angle.
Arbitrary does not imply that it is not actual, for example I am indeed bigger than an ant, yet both mine and the ants sizes are equally meaningless when compared with infinity, neither of us is closer. Which brings me to the seeing that in actuality where there is no fixed frame of reference it is impossible to compare things/events in terms of their actual perfection.
Yet it is very possible and in fact sensible to use the intellect to asses things in terms of their ‘functional perfection/excellence’.
The problem seems that as ‘entities’ being separated from actual perfection, from perfection that is not vulnerable to change, we are desperately driven to seek fulfilment via this ‘functional perfection/excellence’ only. The morals/beliefs/values become the absolutes and the people, things and events are compared against this yardstick.
This ensures a never ending search for perfection, for it is a perfection that is not concrete, it will change as the vantage point changes because at the end of the day it is a product of the mind or heart.
I will end for now with something that has been on my mind lately, something that I keep getting glimpses of - both good and bad disappear in the perfection of infinitude.