Originally posted: http://bendench.blogspot.com/2009/05/everything-is-perfect.htmlWhat does this mean?
Everything that exists is a perfect expression of those conditions that created it. To say that something is perfect is to say that it is without blemish. Likewise, to say that something is imperfect is to say that it contains a blemish of some kind. The concept of a blemish, in turn, requires some kind of criterion by which to judge any given thing in question. Normally people determine criteria subjectively. They set some sort of standard—without an objective base—and assert that things that fall within that standard are acceptable and things that fall outside that standard are unacceptable. If something includes within it some characteristic that falls outside of a standard a person has created, it is said by the person to contain a blemish and to be imperfect.
Objectively, however, everything is perfect. With any sort of ultimate criteria that exist, everything necessarily must comply. For example, if we were to grant that the laws of physics were ultimate principles—and I am not saying that they are, I am merely using this as an example—then everything would necessarily conform with those principles one hundred percent of the time. Yet notice that even if we were to encounter some kind of phenomenon that deviated from those principles we would not call the phenomenon imperfect—rather we would reassess our belief in the ultimate nature of whatever principle was here violated.
Likewise, were there any sort of God that could act as a set of ultimate criteria—and I define a God here as an entity both all powerful and all knowing—it would be impossible for anything to contradict that God’s will. Since by definition God is aware of all things and has control of all things, anything that occurs must occur either because that God desired it to occur specifically or because that God allowed it to occur. There is no other option. Any activity of free will would fall under the realm of things God allows. While it is the fall back position of many Christians (and Jews, and Muslims, etc) that free will allows us to assert imperfection in individuals created by God yet not assert imperfection in the creator, this is merely an attempt to escape the inescapable—that any God that is all powerful and all knowing is necessarily all responsible.
Whatever your thoughts about the nature of whatever ultimate criteria govern reality, however, it is clear that anything that occurs must fall within them and is thus perfect. We may say that we like something or do not like something, or that something is perfect or imperfect relative to some subjective standard we set up, but objectively everything is perfect. It cannot be otherwise. People may not like someone or something—they might not even like themselves—but this does not change the fact that they are perfect—one hundred percent perfect one hundred percent of the time. Ultimately speaking of course.
What does this NOT mean?
This does not mean that you cannot dislike or seek to change things. Your desires and preferences are themselves a perfect expression of the circumstances that created them. Everything is perfect. Distaste with the way things are and acting in such a way as to change them to your preferences is perfect.
“And life itself confided this secret to me: 'Behold,' it said, 'I am that which must always overcome itself.'”
In saying that “everything is perfect” I am arguing against the concept of sin, the idea of an ontological blemish. I am really saying that “nothing is imperfect,” which is the logical equivalent of “everything is perfect.”
By imperfect, I mean containing some ontological blemish. I would argue that all perceived blemishes are the result of subjective value judgments and do not map onto being itself. In that the concept of an ontological blemish is incoherent—that is to say, there is no such thing as an ontological blemish—then all things are without ontological blemishes and are thus perfect.
Once we clear the mind of the idea of ontological blemishes, however, we can begin to look at things pragmatically. We do not say, “This is right; this is wrong,” we say “I want this; I don’t want this.” If something happens that you don’t like, you don’t say, “It is evil,” you say, “This is the perfect expression of those conditions that created it—since I do not like it, how can I alter conditions so as not to reproduce it?” I think that this is a far more effective and accurate way to view the world. To seek to change things because you think something is wrong is to act out of need—to live your life reactively. To seek to change things because you want something different is to act out of desire—to live your life creatively.
Whatever else may be true ethically, sin is not something that can exist. Nothing can contradict the prime principle, of which it is a manifestation.