Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Prosperity of Perfection

"The soul prospers in the failure of perfection."--Thomas Moore

While we may perceive events as either immanent or as transcendent, the soul of a person knows no time but its own. When relating to others, it isn't always easy to open one's soul to another, to risk opening the self, hoping that another person will be able to tolerate a sometimes rational, and sometimes irrational nature. It may also be equally difficult to be receptive to the revelations of others.

The light of Oneness not withstanding, there is great temptation to separate, to judge, to make comparisons of these oddities of soul. Yet this mutual vulnerability is one of the great gifts of love.
To give another sufficient space in which to live and express one's soul in both its reason and unreason, then to further risk revelations of your self, in all its potential absurdities is a great gift.
The courage required for this is not easy; it is infinitely more demanding than making either judgment or comparison. While most of us contain ourselves fairly well, the soul and its ways eventually surface bringing forth the unexpressed that we sense stirring inside.

We all have to some extent, a sense of the fearfulness of such an enterprise. Oneness by its nature asks that we move aside, that we move beyond moments with others to a place that may ask for a share of soul in its whole form.
In the story, In Praise of Folly, Erasmus says, "it is precisely in their foolishness that people can become friends and intimates. For the greatest part of mankind are fools... and friendship, you know, is seldom made, except among equals."

As modern thinkers, we may present to the world a well developed intellect, a sense of proportion, still the soul is more fertile in its own imagination, in its own earth, finding value in sometimes irrationality. Perhaps this is in part why great artists and inventive minds seem a bit eccentric or mad to the average onlooker.
At times when seized by strong passions, our greatest anxieties often comprise the fear of being seen by others as foolish. We fear in love, in passion, that we appear irrational, foolish even, but that is exactly the point.
The soul is not the least concerned with reason or intellect. It operates more deeply, and more persuasively. So then, love in wholeness calls for acceptance of a Soul's less rational outposts, sometimes recognition that a heart may contain both love and contempt.

We need not only to know more about ourselves, but also we need to love more of ourselves, in an unsentimental way; that is the way to equanimity. Tolerance like patience matters because, "honoring that aspect of the self that may be irrational or extreme is the basis for intimacy," writes Thomas Moore.
With proportionately fewer expectations of perfection, less judgement, less and less are we separated by false notions. We come to recognize that the soul, in its meanderings, tends to move into new and positive areas in spite of, and because of the oddities expressed. Perfection plays no part here.
 In Oneness a beloved may be surprised by these developments, but not undone by their unexpected appearance. The soul, as a creative being, does prosper in the failures of perfection.

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