A Perfect Score of 42

square-cut clear diamondI found a new way to relax, even feel more creative and awake, when hearing the word ‘perfect’. My mind started chewing on it after two encounters with someone steeped in fashion philosophies: in the first, he announced that painful difficulties reflected the perfection of the moment; in the second, he said he wasn’t perfect.

His dissociation dropped neatly into an old basket of irritations about the disintegration of language, courtesy of web-blather. I used to feel argumentative about it. I wrote blog posts about words – like passion, forgiveness, acceptance – that were driving me crazy as I waded through the web. (In desperation, I even made up a grisly rule for all the purported universal wisdom: it must also be true for a child in a war zone with third-degree burns and missing limbs.)

Now ‘perfect’ has been popping up everywhere – by cosmic synchronicity, cultural flood-tide, and/or my Reticular Activating System (activating the neural-net reticule that focuses attention on the word).

So I dove into the word to resolve the irritation. The -fect part (from facere) is about doing and making. The per- part means through. So ‘perfect’ is what happens through doing, what’s created through making. Fundamentally, it’s manifestation, downshifting from potential to expression, morphing infinite variables (including the observer) from the previous instant into ever-new realities – as in complexity theory. Every instant is a perfect expression (ef-fect) of what has gone before (and/or, theoretically, of what is to come), revealing what all the multidimensional factors have created in the factory of time. In this context, even a test score of 42 out of 100 is perfect: it reflects everything that has gone into the result.

That’s where the relaxation comes from. As for feeling more creative and awake, that comes from realizing that any dissonance (“That is not perfect”) or harmony (“That is perfect”) is a function of the observer’s own preferences (ideals, expectations, desires) at a level of reality where a separate self is experienced. These preferences, like everything else, were generated from the observer’s previous experiences (conditioning, sensitivity, visions, context). Even the most transformed and exalted humans have preferences. When they’re at odds with lived experience, dis-harmony arises as a vibration of dissonance, which might flow out as a mood or attitude.

Harmony usually doesn’t want to be looked at, just enjoyed, and so becomes a problem only when it seems unsustainable or unrepeatable, when the inner-flow feeling gets snagged on an exterior event (nothing will ever be as perfect as that moment/relationship/dream). Dissonance wants to be resolved immediately, so it invites a quick trip inward. This post supports the inward glance: oh, I see, a human with preferences.

This inward glance, stimulated by wistfulness or discomfort, can open self-awareness, offer a chance to drop beneath the wellspring of wishes to a depth where the Good, True, and Beautiful are palpable in their pure form, known to be infinite, ever-present, no matter how dissonant the human expression. Deeper realizations about motivations and possibilities begin to surface in fully coherent ways – creative, awake, alive, complete. Perfect.

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Kia Abell via stockxchange