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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. January Theme: "Peace"
Volume 2 Issue 2 ISSN# 1708-3265

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On Peace & the Pursuit of Perfection

with Dawn Baumann Brunke

Some conversations take us deeper than others. Sometimes, the flow of our consciousness is so thoroughly engaged that our thoughts coil, curl, and spiral in upon themselves until we come to discover that what we were really talking about was, in fact, much different - much deeper - than our original focus. We innocently begin with one subject and, following the mysterious energy surge of true exploration; end up somewhere totally different, totally unexpected, from where we started. We find ourselves in a new place entirely.

So it was one morning when my canine pal Zak and I were discussing the nature of perfection. Zak surprised me when he stated that perfection is 'the state of absolute self-absorption.' I had been thinking in a different direction; that perfection was an ideal, something akin to peace - a rather serene state of being in which everything fits into its proper place and all is right with the world.

"It is a state in which nothing exists but the self," held Zak. "We might call it bliss. Or, think of it as a final exam party, a state of being in which all is clear at that level - but only for a time. This is not information you necessarily want to hear, but I will explain anyway.

"Perfection is something which humans both fear and envy," continued my friendly little Zen master. "Most animals do not have this concept of 'perfection' in the human ego sense of the world. Perfection is not necessarily a 'bad' thing, however; for it allows for striving, a goal of sorts. The problem comes when one thinks perfection has been achieved. The irony (some would see it as a cruel joke) is that coming into the state of perfection is also necessarily a state of forgetting. The self-absorption is so great that the being forgets the universal flow of which one is a part in ever-becoming."

Zak paused. "Are you wondering what this has to do with you and why am I telling you this now?"

"I'm sure you're going to tell me," I observed, with a bit of puzzlement and only the slightest hint of sarcasm.

"Perfection is a temptation of sorts. We might even call it a karmic illusion. Let's take it to a personal level. For many humans, you included, perfection is an abstract concept. You may not even think you worry about perfection in this sense. However, I would point out that perfection is found in comparison of any sort - those who are smarter, more beautiful, those with more money, more cars, nicer houses, a better mate, etc. All of this is rolled up in the pursuit of perfection.

"Another aspect of perfection is the sort of thinking that begins with "if only" - if only I had true love, lived somewhere else, in another time, on another planet, etc. All of this is a measurement against an idealized version of perfection. It is a bypass to the real work."

"A bypass?" I asked. "Do you mean it's a way of diverting yourself from whatever is the 'real work'?" Although I had run across this line of thought before, I had never thought of it in connection with an idealized concept of perfection. But, as I contemplated the idea, it sunk in and made a kind of sense.

"I would go so far as to say some meditative states and what many call 'bliss' is also a bypass of sorts. Though, of course, sometimes a bit of bliss is needed; sometimes a just reward, or a celebration, is a spiritual movement. In general, however, yes, it is recognizing and becoming one with the flow of connection that is the 'real work' - and that is also the real bliss. It is when you are most intensely alive.

"My other point about perfection is that there is no such thing. It is an idealized concept. It is also purely subjective. Even in scientific terms, there is never really a perfect cube or perfect square. Atoms are always coming and going; molecules forever moving house, so to speak. Nothing is ever really perfect in the sense of being constant.

"True perfection is found in movement, the flow, the universal heart beat.

"Sometimes you worry that you are not doing what you 'should' be doing. Though, of course, the 'should' is tied up in your own ideas. This is true for everyone. There is no real perfect path. There are only movements deeper into the self. It is true that by choosing the 'path with heart' you move at a deeper, closer, more synchronistic beat than if you choose another. But even this is subjective. And it is always an individual choice and realization. None of us can truly discern the perfect path for another."

And with that, Zak trotted off to have himself a little meditative quiet time in a beam of winter sunshine which streamed over the mountains and snow-covered trees outside, through the big picture window, to form a pool of pale yellow light on my living room floor. As I sat down next to Zak, ready to ponder these thoughts, I remembered a definition recently shared with me: PEACE = People Experiencing A Creative Eternity.

"It is true that we are now moving into quicker movements, deeper aspects of our self-becoming," conveyed Zak as I closed my eyes and ran my hand over the fur of his back. "As always, my advice is to tune in deeply. Don't worry so much about the surface appearance of perfection; seek instead the inner path, the deep beat, the words which resound at the core of your being; the words you can barely hear. It is there you will find peace."

Dawn Baumann Brunke is the author of Animal Voices: Telepathic Communication in the Web of Life and Awakening to Animal Voices: A Teen Guide to Telepathic Communication with All Life. Both books explore the deeper nature of our relationship with animals, nature, each other and ourselves. For more, see Dawn's website.

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