It's a deeply relieving thing to hear. Maybe you aren't hearing it though. Take a moment then to read those three little words again. Breathe in. Breathe out. Do that a couple of times. Let that truth sink in.
I know the objections that may be coming up instead. They are saying that you aren't enough of this. You don't have enough of that. On and on, those objections may come up, but even those objections are embraced by the total and complete perfection of the universe. That is how it is with the universe; at no time does it ever reject anything. In that total acceptance, we find our own perfection where nothing can be improved, degraded, lost, or found. You already are, and that is perfect.
But most likely, you don't believe any of this. You may think this is a bunch of woo-woo, fairy-tale spiritual crap. Those of you who know me better know that this is nothing of the sort. But if you want to learn how to improve yourself, you have to connect with this truth first. Until then, you're usually operating from a lot of false ego ideas about what improvement should look like in your life, and that can get you very knotted up and confused inside.
So on that note, let's talk about spiritual perfection and how it is an impossible quest when you already are perfect.
The Perfect Pear TreeThere once was a pear tree who wanted to be a blueberry bush. She was surrounded by blueberry bushes, so she quite naturally thought that she should be shorter. She thought she should be creating a different type of flower, and she should be creating blueberries. She was also quite young, so she could almost stoop down to the level of the blueberry bush. But try as she might, she couldn't become bushy. And she couldn't create blueberries.
Then one day, a passing crow saw this stooped over pear tree and asked what she was doing.
"Well, I'm trying to be the best blueberry bush that I can be," she replied.
"But you're a pear tree," the crow remarked and then flew off.
In this little spiritual story, we'll assume that she got it. Many times, we hear the truth and dismiss it. But the story doesn't end with this realization of what she really is. You see, she'd spent her whole life trying to be something she was not, trying to reach an impossible ideal. So she has to make a lot of changes to stand upright again and so forth. Then, she has to allow her natural maturation process to continue so that she can become a fully matured pear tree and produce her many sweet fruits to share with others. Just because we realize a piece of the truth doesn't mean we immediately become fully matured.
(For a similar story, check out The Tale of the Butterfly).
Oneness Leads to Enlightened DualityPerfection is in oneness. When we unite with even a piece of the truth (such as the pear tree realizing she's actually a pear tree), our life tends to shift. We see things more clearly. We know what--if any--actions may be required of us. It doesn't free us from pain. It frees us from the suffering of the mind--the mind which is never happy and always judging. That's always an important point to make on the spiritual path. There will continue to be physical pain in this world. However, we can let go of the suffering caused by the ego that upsets our thoughts and emotions. This is part of what happens each time we touch the truth of our perfection. We see how beautiful we already are. There is no way to enhance this beauty, and there's no way to lose it. When we see this beauty, it immediately sheds light on how we are living our lives. If there are things that don't feel true to us or are harmful and unhealthy, this light of perfection illuminates them. Then we're asked a question: Do we clean up our lives or leave things as they are? You're still perfect either way, but in your soul, you know what feels best.
All Suffering Is PerfectI know this subhead is hard for many of you to understand. I am speaking from the space of higher truth. Remember that the universe embraces everything as perfect. It doesn't reject one thing, and that includes all kinds of suffering. When we say that this planet is perfect, we are accepting and seeing the whole of it. In that clear, perfect sight, we almost naturally come to a place that encourages peace and kindness.
The agitated, judging ego is never happy. It tries to impose its will on you and everyone else. The more upset an ego is, the more it attempts to control and manipulate life around it. A cruel dictator is an example of someone who is truly sick and scared. In their disease, they are attempting to control huge numbers of people and situations. This obviously causes immense suffering.
But this suffering is still perfect. As some of you have learned, this suffering is one of humanity's greatest teachers. It is always placing before us an open question of "Is this how we want to live?" If we collectively all want to change it, then we come inwards to touch our perfection to erode the fear and pain that underpins all suffering.