ToV 25 – perfectly imperfect

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.

…since then it’s all kinda gone to shit.

I’ve had a hard time addressing this chapter, in part because it’s been a couple of stupid-busy and disrupting weeks for me, but probably moreso because I have been feeling less than perfect in myself and my life as of late.

I tend to run a cycle from competency in one area of my life into boredom, which prompts me to hurl myself into some new area, overwhelmed and insecure I flounder my way back into competency …then boredom …then down into humility and round we go again. Somehow as of late I have managed to sync up all the different parts of who I am into a down swing in every facet of my life. Painfully aware of nothing but my flaws. So yeah, not really jiving on the “perfection” of this chapter.

I think the lesson though, is it’s in the flaws where the magic happens. Imagine a world where everything WAS perfect:

“So whatcha wanna do today?”

“Dunno, what is there to do?”

“Hrm… not much, everything is kinda perfect already.”

“So we’ll just sit here in perfection …again?”


Sigh… how dull would that be? The world’s an imperfect place, we’re imperfect humans. It gives us something to do. This is our obstacle course and training ground, and in its imperfection it’s perfectly set up to do that for us. Pain teaches us compassion; frustration helps us develop patience; being laid flat by a brutal unrelenting winter helps us feel in accord with nature when, like the earth, we too spring up and come back to life in the warmer weather.

quartzImperfection is part of our existence and what brings us to life. I was playing with a quartz crystal the other evening, when a big inclusion caught the light and flashed rainbows of fractured light within the otherwise clear and solid rock. I think we’re like that, the flaws are what make us unique and interesting, adding vivacity to the otherwise homogeneity of perfection.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

Maybe the Tao knows a thing or two after all. This muddy messy life is perfectly arranged to capture our essence, our imperfections flash out within that formless clarity of where it all began. It is in this contrast that perfection is revealed.

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