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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Perfection: it's an illusion. - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

Perfection: it's an illusion.

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Kol Drake created the topic: Perfection: it's an illusion.

January 3 2013 -- Doing Jedi is being Jedi

NPR ran a story today on a weight loss study. The experiment sought to find out if all those sexy models inspire us or hinder us. Half the women in the study were given a food diary with a picture of the same sexy model on every page. The other half's diary contained a picture of a tape measure. That was the only variable. Those with the sexy woman diary actually gained a little weight. Those with the tape measure lost weight.

The theory is that we see that image of perfection, realize we can never get there and get discouraged.

The same thing happens spiritually. In our culture we are held to an image of a perfect god/dess. We can never measure up to that so we give up trying. This is not helpful.

When we move on to realize that the process of becoming perfect is perfect in and of itself a great deal of the pressure is relieved as that perspective correctly reveals we are all a work in progress and that is just fine. In fact, it is part of the design. There are other advantages:

- If the process is perfect, then there can be no flaw in any part of the process. Given that we are part of the process, we too must be perfect.

- Positive and negative actions then become lessons rather than moral judgement.

- By accepting that we have things to learn and are in a continual process of becoming, we can enjoy those lessons and the successes they later bring. This makes a spiritual life a fun life.

- When we have to give things up to grow, we feel less deprived and more honored that another lesson has been bestowed upon us.

Trying to be perfect right now, in a moralistic sense, does not work. Realizing it is the process that is perfect allows us to relax and see ourselves realistically. We are not judged by the divine but continually guided to newer 'versions' of perfection.
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J. K. Barger replied the topic: Perfection -- it's an illusion.

Good post- it reminded me of the Dzogchen style of teaching. Are you familiar with it? I've always thought it was neat compared to other methods of teaching.

They actually start out backwards compared to conventionally held styles of practice. They actually point out the mind directly, without elaboration, in its primordially pure state- just as it it. If you don't "get it", then they elaborate on it, eventually adding supplemental visual and ritualized practices to get one to realize the initial introduction to the original perfected mind one started out with.

I also like how you commented on how going through the process is perfect in and of itself. It kinda validates and empower's one's gusto don't you think?

Th
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Perfection: Letting Go.

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Kol Drake replied the topic: Perfection: Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi
Sounds like the name of some Star Wars character, no?
Not quite. Instead Wabi Sabi can be considered a 'way' about life, love and looks.

So, what is wabi sabi?
It is a term that describes the beauty to be found in imperfection. It originated in Japan, where artists will often leave subtle fractures in the glaze of a vase or a rough surface on a bowl as a reminder of the wabi sabi nature of life. Wabi sabi recognizes that all life is in a constant state of change and that decay is as much a part of life as growth.

The concept originated in 16th-century Japan with the tea ceremony, a ritual that provided a way to step out of the chaos of daily life and reconnect with that, which was simple and tranquil.

Through the centuries, wabi sabi came to mean an approach to life and art that is in harmony with nature, one that values the handmade and rustic, and recognizes the impermanence of life. It encourages us to be respectful of age, both in things and in ourselves, and it counsels us to be content with what we have rather than always striving for more. Wabi sabi has a hint of wistfulness about it.

For being so 'earthly' in origin, it has something very basically Star Wars and perhaps even Jedi-ish about it.
I have met a few artists who toss pots that still stick to the idea. Some hold to the old idea that only 'God' can make perfection so each pot has some 'flaw' to it to acknowledge that 'fact'... be it a slight uneven lip or an intentional thumbprint somewhere on the piece.

Wabi sabi doesn’t mean settling for less than you deserve and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to improve your situation. Instead it’s about balance and contentment rather than striving for the unattainable. It encourages us to accept our own flaws as well. So you’re not a perfect parent, and your kids are not perfect either. Congratulations! Welcome to the human race. And all of those people you think are perfect? They are likely struggling too.

We all know at one level or another that moments of joy will pass, but so will any pains and sorrows. Trust in the Force -- try to live fully in the moments, learn their lessons and let them go. And in the meantime, a few laugh lines are proof that you have enjoyed the journey along the way.
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