Posts Tagged ‘literal’

Gently making fun of literal interpretations: “Thou shalt not kill potatoes”

March 24, 2015

Gently making fun of literal interpretations: “Thou shalt not kill potatoes”

Most humans begin life at a very young age, which may explain why they can be so naïve when it comes to complex things like language. When there are two distinct languages and someone is translating from one language in to the other one, there are at least three distinct factors that affect the quality of the translation.

The first two are quite obvious: the more fluent that a translator is in each of the two languages, the better that we can expect their translation to be. In other words, if we had 100 translators all together, we would expect that the translators who were the most fluent in both languages would probably produce the translations that were most likely to be approved by everyone else in the group, too. In that case, consensus or popularity could be a decent measure of accuracy.

Another issue besides general fluency in each of the two languages is familiarity with the way that the original author is addressing the specific subject matter. This is already assuming that the translator has some expertise in the subject matter itself (like even if I know two languages very well, I might not be the best person to translate an instruction book for how to perform brain surgery or piloting a helicopter). But what about the nuances that the original author may have used? What about any “inside jokes” or symbolic references?

It could be a notable thing when a group of people present so little direct comprehension of a subject that they rely on books (or even translated ancient texts) as the foundation for how they organize their activities. It is one thing to respectfully credit ancient sources for their usefulness as resources (tools). It is quite distinct to assert that authority comes from certain sequences of words.

“I have authority because I am repeating the exact words of the ancient teacher who actually did not speak this language at all, but they said something like this and then some translators with however much comprehension of the subject created some translations. So, now I worship exactly one of those translations as having special authority as the exact words of the ancient teacher who did not actually speak this language that I am using. Got it?”

For example, in the famous stories about Jesus, did Jesus assert authority based on quoting Isaiah? Jesus repeatedly quoted Isaiah, but was Isaiah the source of the authority of Jesus? In fact, there is at least one passage in the Bible noting how Jesus did not quote scripture as the basis of his own authority, but instead spoke with authority whether or not he was quoting scriptures from prior teachers.

If, hypothetically, we were to assert that the authority of Jesus was based exclusively on his repetition of Isaiah’s statements that were later written down, then where did the authority of Isaiah come from? Did Isaiah’s statements have special authority before they were written down or only after they were written down (or without regard for the issue of whether they were later written down)? Did Isaiah’s statements have authority before Jesus ever read the transcripts of Isaiah’s prior statements?

The audience who is fluent in a particular language is who can give meaning to sequences of words in that language. How many meanings can different audiences give to the same words? More than one meaning, right?

Next, let’s focus on something simple that needs no quotations to be obvious. The word authority is related to the word author and also to the word auto. Authoritative means self-generated, like authorship or automated.

How can the authorship of Jesus come from anyone or anything outside of Jesus? Someone’s authorship can be said to come through them or from within them, but logically it cannot come from someone else.

I cannot invent a saying that I have already heard. That would not be inventiveness, but duplication.

What if logic, not conformity to prior traditions, was the basis for authority? Traditions may have social influence through popularity, but do they have practical relevance? Someone who focuses on the practical qualities of relevance and logic and inventiveness may be a more effective leader than someone who simply has a lot of followers.

The idea of authoritative inventiveness is of course distinct from social influence in general, such as the influence of an armed robber or of a wealthy lobbyist or of a propagandist who creates the programming curriculum for a television network or a school system. Maybe those people are inventive in their actions and maybe they are not.

Note that inventiveness is also not limited to words. There are many ways to be inventive.

Earlier, I mentioned three issues in regard to translating an ancient transcript of an oral tradition. Two issues were the fluency in first the original language and second in the “destination” language. The third issue I mentioned was the translator’s familiarity with the specific way that the original author was addressing a subject.

For instance, how familiar is the translator with the subject of inventiveness? If unfamiliar, then they can easily create an imprecise translation- even one that lots of other people who are also unfamiliar with inventiveness will agree is technically accurate (though perhaps of no practical value).

When someone is unusually inventive and then talks about inventiveness, that could be rather challenging to translate well. They may talk about it in an inventive or unfamiliar way. That can be had to understand at all, much less to translate.

Further, why are people even so interested in a translation about inventiveness? Doesn’t their own lack of comprehension of the subject of inventiveness create the interest in the subject at all?

לֹ֥א יָדְע֖וּ וְלֹ֣א יָבִ֑ינוּ כִּ֣י טַ֤ח מֵֽרְאֹות֙ עֵֽינֵיהֶ֔ם מֵהַשְׂכִּ֖יל לִבֹּתָֽם׃

”They have no da’as nor binah; for their eyes are smeared over, that they cannot see; and their levavot, that they cannot understand.”  (Isaiah 44:18)

For those of you who are not familiar with the Hebrew language, here is a more complete translation:

They have not known, nor understood: for their eyes are covered that they may not see, and that they may not understand with their heart.

Here are a few versions of Isaiah 6:10, in which Isaiah uses similar metaphors:

“Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.”

“Dull the minds of these people; deafen their ears and blind their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their minds, turn back, and be healed.”

“Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”

So, while these metaphorical references might be famous to Christians as sayings made by Jesus, he was just quoting Isaiah, which is explicitly noted in Matthew 13:14-15….
Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

So it is clear enough that both Isaiah and Jesus were interested in the subject that we could call spiritual blindness (or “spiritual darkness”). In other words, they appreciate poetry and are aware that most people do not even understand poetry. Many people could even worship the word inventiveness and yet be completely blind to the simple reality of inventiveness itself.

Sorry, I meant to say that only some people appreciate pottery, not that only some people appreciate poetry. Of course everyone appreciates poetry. Don’t be silly.

Everyone knows that Harry Potter is the father of his son, who shall be named Emmanuel, which of course is Hebrew for “Clay.” So, therefore, Clay “Emmanuel” Potter was conceived by a virgin (like Horus, which is probably just the word for clay in another language).

Excerpt from :

The virginity of Horus’s mother, Isis, has been disputed, because in one myth she is portrayed as impregnating herself with Osiris’s severed phallus. In depictions of Isis’s impregnation, the goddess conceives Horus “while she fluttered in the form of a hawk over the corpse of her dead husband.”  In an image from the tomb of Ramesses VI, Horus is born out of Osiris’s corpse without Isis even being in the picture. In another tradition, Horus is conceived when the water of the Nile—identified as Osiris—overflows the river’s banks, which are equated with Isis. The “phallus” in this latter case is the “sharp star Sothis” or Sirius, the rising of which signaled the Nile flood.  Hence, in discussing these myths we are not dealing with “real people” who have body parts.

Obviously, by now you must be wondering what all of this has to do with killing potatoes. I will now reveal this deep and practical spiritual doctrine.

Those who harvest potatoes may notice that the part of the potato plant that people eat is the root of the plant (like the carrot is also a root, as well as the onion). If you eat the root of a plant, then the rest of the plant is basically going to die, right?

So, because God commanded you personally not to kill anything ever, you will go to hell and experience eternal guilt if you have ever eaten any potatoes (or carrots or onions etc). Without killing the organism, you can eat a fruit or a single leaf of a plant, but you can’t eat a carrot without the carrot dying, right? You can’t eat a potato without killing it either. So you are guilty of killing potatoes even if you personally did not kill them yourself (but just ate some that someone else killed before you ate it).

As for those who assert that there is no commandment in the Hebrew tradition of “thou shalt not kill,” these people are probably hysterical and need to be whipped and crucified in public in a holy ritual of human sacrifice to show everyone that killing is very bad. The Hebrew people (some who even claim to understand the Hebrew language) may protest that the commandment is actually “thou shalt not murder,” but they have no right to make such an assertion because they are not even real Christians, right? How arrogant of them to question our logic, right? What could they possibly know about human history?


Sure, maybe God commanded Moses to start a war and slaughter a few neighboring tribes, but what about the ancient teaching to take an eye for an eye? If someone cuts the eye out of your potato (at least without your written permission), then don’t you have the right to put a needle in the eye of a rich camel trying to get in to heaven? If you do take the camel’s eye, what are you even going to do with it? Where are you going to take it? Why would you even want a camel’s eye? That is really disgusting of you and you should be very guilty about this entire potato-killing situation.

In conclusion, all religions teach peace and love. I know that there is a saying in the book of Ecclessiastes about a time for love and hate, for peace and war, for killing and healing. However, if I do not like the content of those passages and find them embarrassing or terrifying, then I can just claim that those translations were imprecise (probably while I worship other translations from the same translators).

So, when people lack self-confidence in regard to their own perceptiveness, inventiveness and authority, then they may cling to groups, such as a particular denomination or political party. That can be reassuring for those who are most anxious. That can be good for them at that stage of development. Maybe they even seek the glory of a position within such a group. Such positions certainly have their value.

Later, they may realize that all large groups have a tendency to favor familiarity over relevance and precision. So, they may value a particular author or teacher more than a specific network. That is also good for them at that stage of development. Maybe they even seek the re-assurance of socializing with others who are fans of the same “cult celebrity.” They can bond with each other and validate their emerging common interests (which may be beyond the typical range of interest of a large group or institution).

Rare is the one whose preference is to both appreciate competent guidance from a perceptive expert… while also developing inner clarity and intuition. They may value a relationship with a particular teacher, but not for the sake of attracting validation from others who also respect that same teacher. What if they valued the teacher simply because of the quality of the teaching?

Last, if some teacher says that they are only interested in promoting a particular set of spiritual doctrines, why would they say that? Why exclude all other possible priorities and interests (other than spirituality in general or even just one specific spiritual tradition)?

Beware of those who present spirituality as the pinnacle of human purpose. It is a doorway to be used, not to be worshiped. It may seem to be a very valuable doorway (which someone may experience with an over-powering attraction to explore). Let them do so.

But why expect anyone else to value it the same as you? Maybe you do value it now. If so, isn’t it true that until you did, you didn’t?

Likewise, we should not celebrate the root of the potato as if that is the only part of the plant. Maybe that is the only part we eat, but without the leaves and the soil, the root would not grow.

Is spirituality deserving of unique respect among all fields of human endeavour? Perhaps for you it will be for a time. However, if someone told you to hold your breath until you master spirituality and experience enlightenment, that might be a joke (though perhaps a joke that provokes very clear insight very efficiently).

If a particular “spiritual exploration” produces for you an increasing respect for all aspects of life, so be it. Spirituality can even be used as an excuse to retreat from a particular momentum of activity (and that may also be quite appealing for someone at a certain stage).

Use it like a tool, like a ladder. If it does not reliably produce a noticeable improvement to the quality of life for you and your kin, why else would you invest any further time in it?

Those who are most terrified by an idea may be the fastest to flee from it. Those who are disturbed but not totally horrified may be likely to hysterically argue against it. How reassuring it can be for them to gather in to groups to validate their presumptions, pretenses, and delusions!

Many creation myths feature “virgin births,” such as the birth of Eve from out of the side of Adam (who was of course a virgin in the sense that he did not engage in sexual activity in order to produce Eve). Pictured here is an ancient statue detailing a similar myth regarding the birth of the Buddha from out of the side of his mother (which in many sects of Buddhism is not emphasized or even mentioned at all).

What really bothers me is that different cultures and groups are inventive in different ways. Don’t they understand what inventiveness means?!?! 😉

Contempt: the pinnacle of all mental illness or ill will or sin

October 16, 2012

Contempt: the pinnacle of all mental illness or ill will or sin

What is the connection between rage, madness, mental illness, contempt, and ill will? First, what is contempt?

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying...

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying Santa Claus. Date approximate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Contempt is projected shame. When I am afraid to admit that I did not do something that I say “I should have done,” then there is nothing I can do to change the fact that I did not do whatever I did not do. If I condemn myself with some kind of idea that “I should have done something else,” there is no relief from that idea except for the release of that idea.

When I believe that I should have done something else but then do not want to experience the distress of facing my own self-condemnation, I may respond to any perceived threat by projecting that “should be different” accusation on to others in contempt. It is similar to blaming someone for a result that I experienced, except that blame may be “deserved,” as in “you did not tightly close the door behind you and now look what has happened!”

Contempt, like shame, cannot be easily balanced by future action. The labeling of something as “that should have never happened” is too intense to be balanced by any future action. The labeling itself either will persist or will be questioned and relax.

“Those people systematically use coercion against innocent civilians! It’s an outrage! We cannot stand by and let that happen. We need to seize the associates of those people and hold them hostage and threaten to kill them if those other people do not stop terrorizing innocent civilians.”

It’s ironic, huh? I’m not even condemning or shaming contempt, by the way, but I am noting the dangerous addictiveness of it. It is certainly something to be wary of.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

I was already exploring subjects like this (see my recent blogs) when someone recently asked me about a famous fellow named Jiddu Krishnamurti. I am familiar with him and yes I do “believe in” the kind of things that he promoted: introspection and personal responsibility as being subjects that are potentially economical (practically valuable, worthy of time and resources).

I also am clear how ridiculously strange it is that a movie like Zeitgeist would take quotes and clips of him talking about inner revolutions in language, psychology, and spirituality and then use that content to promote contempt and hysteria against “the system” or against any society or social tradition. Jiddu Krishnamurti called many social traditions silly, like I might say about literalists worshiping Santa Claus, but that kind of dismissal is not full of contempt and political rage. For a person who clearly spoke out against ill will and contempt and political rage and other mental illness such as shame to be used in the promoting of those same patterns is quite ironic, quite tragic, and yet also quite comic.

He was not saying that Santa must be defeated but that “hey by now we realize that there is no Santa except as a playful myth or game for influencing the behavior of naive children, so lets just move on rather than agonize about Santa and how to save the world from Santa or save the world for Santa.” His passionate dismissal of literalism is to contrast an alternative to literalism, not to start a new Holy Roman Imperial military inquisition crusade to politically and economically destroy the literalists. He had compassion for all people -even those that we might call fanatic literalists – while also having a clear appreciation of the risk of the addictive error or sin of literalism as a practice.

Annie Besant arrives in Charing Cross Station,...

Annie Besant arrives in Charing Cross Station, London with Jiddu Krishnamurti, his younger brother Nityananda, and George Arundale, prominent Theosophist and tutor to the boys. (Picture and caption appear on page 84 of Krishanmurti: The Years of Awakening by Mary Lutyens) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He staunchly rebuked fanaticism and contempt. They go together. Contempt is something of personal fanaticism to vilify some perceived threat. Those who are not in a panic of desperately and hysterically clinging to some idolatrous sacred principle will never manifest a personal contempt. The contempt is like a fruit which shows the type of tree, or a symptom that indicates the spiritual momentum or karma of a desperate, panicked, hysterical clinging to some form of innocent sincere but entirely inaccurate fanatical literalism.

Confusion indicates a false presumption. To confuse one thing for something else, but not yet know the source of the interpretative mistake is confusion.

Frustration indicates the same: a mistaken literalism, a hysterical attachment to a particular interpretation or label. Blame and jealousy and contempt are all totally predictable forms of spiritual distress or hysterical sin that arise from an innocent idolatry of fanatical literalism.

What kind of statement indicates confusion? “I think that something is WRONG here.”

Only when “something is wrong” (the indicator of a confusion- typically a frustrating confusion), is there any relevance to project one’s own frightened guilt on to the villain to blame for “making my totally accurate presumptions suddenly no longer consistent with reality.” Well, maybe those presumptions are not totally accurate after all. Maybe my linguistic labeling should not be given priority over reality. Maybe “what should not be” about reality is not reality ruining reality, but just reality revealing an inaccurate expectation or presumption.

In contrast, those who are clear what god is and how god is related to language and all the other branches of god are free of all false beliefs and free of the psychological fruits of those false beliefs for they have the clarity of direct personal revelation which is faith.

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)

Faith does not need other people’s approval. Faith is not frustrated if other people are not interested or not responsive. Faith is not desperately trying to get in to an eternal heaven that is presumed to be elsewhere.

Faith is the fruit of the kingdom of heaven AKA kingdom of god, which are just English translations of ancient metaphors that precede the written recording of the Talmudand Torah and Gitas. One who is clear about the simplicity of the doctrines cannot be confused by imprecise translations or literalists who resist the idea that word are symbols that can be used quite differently over a few hundred or few thousand years.

Biblical Accuracy

Biblical Accuracy (Photo credit: swanksalot)

I was somewhat shocked when I learned what the Hebrew word Israel originally means. I was not shocked to learn that the Hebrew word for divinity (what we translate in to English as god or lord or savior) is the same as the Sanskrit Brahman, as in the inclusive reality which is beyond time (eternal) and locality (omnipresent) and identity (so it is almighty without any conflicting power to threaten it, as in omnipotent).

That many worship a personal savior like Santa Claus is fine. Many Hindus do not know what Brahman means and so anyone who talks to them might conclude that they are all literalist fanatics who all worship a trinity of three gods: the creator father, the sustainer holy spirit, and the destroyer son, plus they have all these different saints and holidays like worshiping Santa Claus and St Patrick and Saint Valentine and yet they claim to be monotheistic. You ask the average Hindu to explain and clearly they are just following some ancient rituals without comprehending the metaphors.

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It is like trying to learn Christianity from the average Christian who has never studied the Talmud and has no comprehension of Isaiah or Abraham and thus have ridiculous fanaticism about Jesus instead of demonstrating the faith of Jesus and discipline of Jesus and spirit of Jesus. It is all totally predictable. What else could we reasonably expect?

If we experience it over and over and over, then maybe it is a pattern to learn from, rather than just a threat to the desperation and mental ill will that goes with literal fanaticism. Contempt is ill will. Jiddu Krishnamurti spoke about it passionately, but as a warning against it, just like Isaiah and Moses and so many others warned about it passionately.

the paradox of “literal interpretations” (and how to stop trying to be perfect)

March 21, 2012

Whether I say what to focus on or what not to focus on, that is saying what to focus on. One cannot focus away from something without first focusing on it, right?


tongue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For instance, “I command you to stop being perfect.” This command implies that there is a pre-existing state of perfection as the primary presumption, and then that there is some other alternative (unspecified) as the secondary presumption.
So, we might focus on language for a moment. I am reminded of the following translation of an ancient scripture:

“…Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth doth come forth blessing and cursing; it doth not need, my brethren, these things so to happen.”

James 3:5-10


Indeed, it is optional for a mouth to pour out words of both blessing and cursing. For instance, a mouth could remain shut!

We may notice that the above translated words are full of poetic and metaphorical language. In fact, all language includes a degree of poetry and metaphor, but spiritual language tends to be among the most poetic and metaphorical, loaded with mythological parables and allegorical myths.
Ironically, spiritual language also tends to be one of the most popular subjects for fanaticism and fundamentalism. Notice that many large groups can gather around specific interpretations as the best literal interpretation. For a while, I have noted the irony of the phrase “literal interpretation,” because the process of interpretation is inherently personal.
The term “literal interpretation” is in fact a relative term, contrasting such interpretations with  more “faithful” interpretations which may be called “figurative interpretations.” Literal interpretations tend to miss the value of the larger message while figurative interpretations tend to retain the value of the larger message. Consider this example:

Imagine that I am talking to a 7 year-old child who is familiar with riding a bicycle about how pilots fly airplanes and I

child on a bicycle

child on a bicycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

am comparing it to riding a bicycle. I say that there is a device for steering, similar to the handle bars of a bicycle. I also say that there is a control for increasing speed, rather like the pedals of a bike. And, finally I say that there is an instrument for decreasing speed, like the hand brakes on the handle bars of a bicycle.

So, because the child may understand all of my references, they may think that they also understand how to fly an airplane. However, what if they do not actually even know what the word airplane means? What if they have never actually seen an airplane at all? Or, what if they have seen an airplane, but they did not know that the label “airplane” applied to that particular type of vehicle?
Now, to make this example a little more realistic, consider that the child that I am speaking to does not know English very well. Maybe they learned to speak some other language. Maybe they are blind or deaf. Whatever the specifics, the issue is that they understand how to ride a bicycle, but they are just learning the new word “airplane.”
The idea of comparing “airplane” to “bicycle” is to present airplane as another type of transportation similar to the linguistic category “bicycle.” Of course, the child may not know the word “transportation” either. So, the child is told that airplanes are a lot like bicycles (people steer them, speed them up, and slow them down) and, most generally, people can use airplanes to get from one place to another faster than walking.
Now, imagine that this 7 year-old child is asked to identify some objects that they have never seen before. The objects are clearly identified as being useful for moving people from place to place and it has a steering instrument, an accelerator, and brakes. The child is shown pictures of a helicopter and a submarine and a blimp and a boat. All of the pictures have the various instruments displayed and identified for serving the functions of steering, accelerating, and braking.
Linear-pull brake, also known by the Shimano t...

Linear-pull brake, also known by the Shimano trademark: V-Brake, on rear wheel of a mountain bike (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The child is asked “which one of these is the airplane?” The child could say “I do not know,” which would be typical of a certain level of intelligence. The child could confidently say “all of them,” which could indicate a lower level of intelligence, or the child could even just pick one of four objects like it is a guessing game, but with no sense of certainty.
The child is being asked to label something. Labeling something is an interpretative process. Interpreting can also involve multiple languages (translation), plus if one of the linguistic sequences is hundreds or thousands of years old, that can make translation even more “interpretative.”
So, I later hold up a photograph of an airplane and say to the child “anyway, this is an airplane.” The child responds, “that cannot be an airplane. That is just a little flat photograph. It does not even have any steering device!”
And that is an example of a “literal interpretation.” Of course, the child is right that the photograph of an airplane is not an airplane but is only a photograph. However, the literal interpretation can also lose ALL of the value of the communication. The point of showing a photograph was of course to indicate what an airplane looks like.
An optional to the airplanes portal

An optional to the airplanes portal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Similarly, when people focus on literal interpretations of scripture, that can reveal a general lack of comprehension of the subject matter. For instance, the point of the above quote from the Christian Bible that “the tongue also is a fire” is not a literal statement. In English, it is not literal. In Greek or Latin or anything else, it is not literal.
In fact, those who “believe” in “literal interpretations” are warned about throughout spiritual texts of all ages and in many spiritual teachings that are oral rather than written. Some might go so far as to say that a literal interpretation is  “a fire, a small spark that can set off a raging wildfire of arrogance, corrupting congregations and sending them in to hells of confusion and animosity.”
Mastery of language is like a “miraculous sixth sense.” Those who lack a mastery of language do not know what they are missing, like a person who has always been blind cannot fully comprehend the advantages of the ability to see.
And so it is written that “many will see the signs, but few will recognize them. Many will hear the sounds, but few will hear the message within the sounds. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
The land of the blind is a reference to being in the midst of those who are blind to the reality of what language is and how it functions. The land of the (metaphorically) blind is where we have been all along.
For instance, consider how many people believe that a particular medical condition is incurable just because someone who does not know how to cure it says “it is incurable.” There are a long list of “diseases” (or perhaps a more precise term would be “nutritional deficiencies”) that have been widely considered “incurable” by the high priests of the empires of official government-approved science, but then were later recognized as easy to “cure” (prevent, remedy, etc). In fact, “witch doctors” have long identified the “cures” to the high priests of medical “science” which were dismissed (or ridiculed, censored, or simply criminalized).
So, back to the original question in the title of this composition: how does someone stop being perfect? First, they pretend that words are “the measure of reality,” rather than just symbols to represent patterns of reality. Then, they identify some set of patterns as “inherently right” and some other set as “inherently wrong,” then notice some of those “wrong” (or “evil”) patterns within their own present or past, and then finally identify themselves or label themselves or relate to themselves as “wrong” or “evil” or “imperfect” or “needing to become perfect” or “needing to compensate for their guilt and shame.” In other words, to “stop being perfect” is entirely a verbal (intellectual) process.
How does someone “start to be perfect?” Simply discontinue the worship of the idolatrous idea of imperfection or corruption or evil. Turn away from evil, like turn away from the very idea of it.
Or, you could “try” to stop being perfect, but fail totally. That might require a bit of a sense of humor, though. 😉
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and without faith, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” Titus 1:15
“I am conscious of this, and am certain in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is corrupt in itself; but for the man in whose opinion it is unclean, for him it is corrupt.” Romans 14:14

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