Your perfect life: revolutionary results in health, wealth, and relationships

Your perfect life: revolutionary results in health, wealth, and relationships
“My life was perfect, but then I learned to speak….”
What exactly does perfection mean? Perfection is simply a word. There is no single meaning to any word, including the word “perfection.”
For instance, in the game of baseball, a “perfect” game is a label for a certain set of results (when the opposing team has an entire game with no hits, no base-runners, etc). In bowling, a perfect game is a score of 300. However, for a gymnast competing in the Olympics, a perfect score is not 300, but 10. 
So, the word perfection means different things in different contexts (in different settings or circumstances or conversations). Outside of a particular system of scoring, there may be no clear definition of perfection. Through language, we can create definitions of perfection.
Perfection is always relative to some standard (constructed in language). Without first inventing some rules for what is perfection and what is less than perfect, there is no referential foundation for labeling anything perfect or imperfect or anything else. 
We can inherit standards of perfection that were previously invented. We can also invent new standards of perfection (just like the people who invented bowling or baseball and so on). So perfection is simply a label that can be applied to compare some particular outcome to a pre-existing standard.
But what about a “perfect life?” What standards do we have for measuring whether an individual life is perfect or imperfect?
There are many popular standards of legendary characters: Superman, Oprah Winfrey, Mandela, Gandhi, Queen Victoria, George Washington, Yoda, Marilyn Monroe, James Bond, as well as heroic religious figures like Jesus Christ, the Buddha, Venus, St. Francis, and Mother Theresa. Some of these characters are completely invented. Some are historical characters whose lives have been referenced by many people in many ways (even in many languages). 
Imagine how George Washington might be described by various people: his wife, his parents, his children, a military mentor who trained and guided him, military troops that served under his command, opposing military troops, the military warlord leaders of tribes in the Mid-West of North America, and the leaders of military governments in Asia or Africa that had little interest in his activities. Some would know him from direct experience. Some would know OF him indirectly through people who know him personally. Some would know him only through reputation and rumor and legend (and even elementary school history books… or movies with translated subtitles).
So, even among people who know him personally, isn’t it possible that his wife might describe him slightly differently than his uncle or his grandson? It is not just possible, but absolutely inevitable!
Why would different people describe him differently? First, different people would use language differently. A person who speaks only French would use different words than someone who speaks only the language of the Delaware tribe (or Russian or Arabic or Japanese).
Further, if a few people were asked to describe his appearance, George Washington could be standing in the center of that circle of people. There he is, simply one man, and yet different people see him from different angles. Some will describe his face. Some will describe his wig. Some will describe his profile. To a child, he will seem huge and tall. To a larger man than he, Geroge’s physical size may not be very notable at all.
Now, is George Washington perfect or not? As an athlete, he may not be much of a bowler or gymnast or golfer. He may have rather little talent in those realms. To assess his perfection, we would need some standard for assessing perfection, right?
So, what standards could we use to evaluate George Washington? How does he compare to Jesus Christ? How does he compare to Martin Luther? How does he compare to Napoleon Bonaparte or Julius Caesar or Hercules or Zeus or Venus or Athena?
If I was the father of a woman that a young George Washington was courting, wouldn’t I be interested in whether I consider George Washington to be a decent match for my daughter? In general, is he the kind of fellow that I would want as a son-in-law? Is he a perfect match for my daughter? Maybe he is a better match for a particular one of my daughters – no, not her, but her older sister, right?
Ultimately, most people would compare George Washington to themselves. Is he taller than me or shorter than me? Is he better at horse-back riding than I am or not as good? Is he even interested in the same things that I am? Does he talk like I do? Does he walk like I do? Does he sulk like I do?
If I complain about how the British Colonial leaders are too greedy with their tiny new tax on tea, does he agree with me? Does he complain about the things that I complain about? Does he condemn the things that I condemn? Does he hate what I hate and fear what I fear and like what I like?
Well, I really would not know. Since I am typing on a computer right this second, I expect that he would be rather amazed at my incredibly advanced technological skills and equipment. In contrast, he would probably be very disappointed at my lack of experience in horse-riding, marksmanship, and of course cultivation of tobacco and hemp.
I know that he was a high-ranking member of the Free Masons. I do not know exactly how that was important in his life or career, but considering that so many of the statues and images of George show him wearing his masonic apron, apparently his membership was important to a lot of people making those statues and paintings. Obviously, if I was also a member of the Free Masons, then his membership might mean something different to me than to someone who was not a member, right?
So, to those threatened by George Washington, he may be vilified. To those seeking his protection, he may be glorified. Cities and monuments and temples may be named after him. Institutions may be planned, funded, and sustained to glorify his legacy (his legend).
So, again, what does all of this have to do with YOUR perfect life? You can stop comparing yourself to others religiously!
You can stop agonizingly trying to match pre-existing standards of perfection. You can also stop trying to destroy pre-existing standards of perfection (or otherwise “save” people from perfectionism). You can even participate in systems to promote a particular standard of perfection to a particular individual or to large groups of people (such as through public school programming or mainstream media publicity).
You can stop arguing that your life is not perfect. You can stop blaming others for your own past assertions that your life is imperfect (your parents, your teachers, your spouse, your co-workers, etc…). You can stop hiding “imperfections” and compensating for them… or you can continue!
You can consider the ancient spiritual teachings which declare that you were created perfect by a perfect creator. What does that mean? Does that mean that you are better than George Washington in every way (better at baseball, video games, and horse-back riding)? Or does being created as a perfect “image of God” (facet of God, branch of God, form of God) simply mean that you exist independent of any comparing that you or anyone else might do?
The presence of pre-existing standards is simply a fact. In every culture, people have standards that influence how they raise and nurture their children.
In my own cultural background, George Washington happens to be a venerated and even worshiped figure. Other cultures venerate and worship other figures. So, veneration and worship of heroes is simply a consistent pattern across various cultures.
George Washington

George Washington (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

Next, in order to be open to methods that consistently produce dramatic, breakthrough results in health, wealth, and relationships, it may be relevant to simply admit to the historical existence of prior programming about cultural ideals. It may be relevant to even be grateful for the existence and influence of cultural ideals, yet not consider them limits. They are only foundations, not ceilings.
If the ideals from my past are not sufficient to produce the results that appeal to me, so what? For a perfectionist, that may seem to be a confusing problem: how do I stay loyal to my past ideals and yet produce the results that I value? For former perfectionists, we can appreciate the myths and ideals of our past without making them in to limits. We can continue developing our ideals and values.
Winfrey on the first national broadcast of The...

Winfrey on the first national broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we shift from being a child to an adult and even to a grandparent, we can open to new experiences, new learning, new insights, new values, new ideals, new methods, and new results. We can even learn new languages and new ways to use a language that we already know.
The openness to new things is also referenced frequently in several ancient spiritual traditions. “Be as a little child” is a simple, concise version of that teaching.
Small children do not reject new information because it does not fit with their pre-existing models of idolatry. They simply do not have pre-existing linguistic models of how life should be. They do not reject aspects of reality that conflict with their most sacred obsessions and presumptions.
Over and over in the New Testament, the famous prophet Jesus quotes the Old Testament prophet Isaiah in regard to the innocent spirit of children as distinct from the hardened, mechanical, perfectionist spirit common amongst adults. Both prophets told humorous stories about the foolishness of so many adults. Some stories tell of adults who are so confused about language that they worship particular series of words. While this can be useful transitionally, the worship of a particular sequence of words is not the ultimate goal of spirituality.
What is the ultimate goal of spirituality and what is useful in promoting that goal? Many ancient and modern teachers suggest appreciating the receptivity of young children in order to experience what those teachers refer to with labels like “heaven.”
“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
(Luke 17:20-21 KJV)
5 minutes in to the video, Douglas talks about the openness of children as it relates to the kingdom of heaven.
Portrait of George Washington Carver.

Portrait of George Washington Carver. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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