A Course in Miracles Blog

The myth of perfection in the world

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On the level of the physical world, all objects and forms can never be perfect. This is sobering to recognize. It's actually because of the nature of spacetime.

In order to have space, or locations, it's necessary that something is in one location and NOT another. It's also therefore necessary that any given object LACKS what any other given object has. There is no real sharing, whereby two objects are literally one object. Everything is separated out, exclusive, unique, different and unequal.

This applies throughout this universe. It sets up a scenario where, in terms of a physical object, which includes planets and human bodies and toys and cars and houses and food, it is literally impossible to find perfection.

"It is the world you see that is impossible."

"The world was made that problems could not be solved."

"All its roads lead to death"

So now, as we enter this physical world, seen through false perception of the body's eyes, blinded by sight of form, we now seek to try to find "the perfect thing".

The ego presents objects as options, choices, and then asks you to choose between them. It does not ask whether you believe in the objects existing at all, it simply assumes they do exist and leaves you with the only remaining "choice" of choosing A OR B. This "either or" scenario is built into the whole ego thought system of spacetime. "Do you want to die this way, or that way?"

But the problem is, you are now left with two inferior, partial, temporary, incomplete, unwhole options. Neither of them ca be perfect because they both are lacking something. They both entail compromise. None of them truly mirror any kind of divine nature. They are all flawed.

So now the best you can do is choose between two flawed possibilities, where you know that to choose one you will lack the other. And committing to any of them is not fully possible with full satisfaction or certainty because to choose one is to reject something else, leaving you empty handed.

If you choose object A, you lack what object B has to offer. It drives you nuts trying to settle on what you want. You try to look more closely for signs that one thing is "better" than the other, to judge and evaluate its worth or value, as if its even possible for one of them to BE perfect.

Then after a lot of frustration and fear and uncertainty and lack of commitment and inability to trust, you "settle" for what you think is the lesser of two evils. It seems to be the best choice only because you're willing to accept its limitations and what it cannot offer you, which seems less of a sacrifice than the other choice. And so you "commit", reluctantly and in fear, crossing your fingers that it will be the right one.

The ego is playing this game all the time. It is literally impossible to be 100% satisfied with ANY choice the ego offers, because they are limited and lacking. And it would simply have you choose between two forms of death. And you think that by choosing the better of the two, you will defer death a little longer.

As you look at this, you'll find yourself trying to seek for this "perfection in the world". The perfect choice. The perfect option. The perfect car, perfect house, perfect body, perfect diet, perfect tv show, perfect city, perfect president, perfect whatever. Trying to find that one something that is completely whole and lacking nothing and utterly fulfilling and flawless. And there is NO SUCH THING in this world.


I stumbled on this many times, particularly in terms of artistic projects and trying to come up with something that was perfect. My mistake was not recognizing the ways in which limitation are inherent to this world. I thought in terms of ideas, that some kind of perfection was POSSIBLE among the physical objects or physical choices or things I could create physically.

This would lead to tremendous frustration and blown-out expectations and procrastination and low self worth and being afraid of the judgement of others when they would find out how flawed and imperfect my creations were, implying my own imperfection. And this would just snowball into a huge amount of avoidance and shame and dysfunction trying to deal with this whole mess of "how will I achieve perfection". And this search for physicalized perfection is the spiritual ego, with its mantra, "seek and do not find."

It is much better to recognize when I am seeming to seek perfection at a FORM level, and to recognize the truth that ALL form is INCAPABLE of perfection. So for example if I am trying to create a piece of art, or some project, I have to realize there are built in limits as to what is possible. It cannot BE perfect, ever.

Limits have to be realistically set, there is only so much time and energy, there are only so many features, there are only so many design decisions, the object cannot ever be some kind of "miracle" that pleases everyone infinitely.

For example maybe I'm writing a book and getting hung up on how this book will "cover everything", how it will "talk to everyone", how it will be everything to all people. And then this becomes paralyzing, because as soon as you try to appease the myriad "forms" the ego presents, such as billions of disagreeing egos, it is now literally impossible to please them.

In any creative endeavor, any form of shopping, any kind of selection process, any decision making about your life or your time or where you will go or what you will do, if it entails the physical level at all it is far more productive and sane to "accept" that there are these limitations on this level. And to then simply work within those limitations, removing the sense of expectation or "wishful thinking" that form CAN BE anything other than it can be.

This means accepting that the world of limits IS fundamentally limited and limiting. And by that I don't mean to just settle for imprisonment, because of course we are meant to rise above these limits, break all the laws of physics, go beyond all boundaries and demonstrate "the impossible is possible." But in terms of the form level, it JUST IS a world of limitation and pretending it isn't really gets us in trouble.

There is one passage in ACIM where it touches on this with regards to why Jesus was not able to "perfectly" save or teach the whole world during his lifetime. The nature of the beast is simply that operating IN TIME AND SPACE, there were limits, and he had to be selective, and there was a plan and a goal and various things to be done and not others.

A physical life cannot truly embody unlimited infinity, nor can divinity be fully expressed at the level of the world. This is a world of partiality and lack and temporary differences, inequalities and flaws. It can never be immortal or perfect or holy or innocent or have eternal life or be whole. It lacks, because it is a picture of lack. We can work with it, or we can break its rules with miracles. But even miracles can't keep death while expressing life.

The world can only do what it can do. It's in its nature. It's a world of limits. It won't ever give you heaven or salvation or the attributes of God's perfection. Through true perception it can be seen as a reflection of God's perfection, but it cannot be it.

"Is he the Christ? O yes, along with you. His little life on earth was not enough to teach the mighty lesson that he learned for all of you. He will remain with you to lead you from the hell you made to God. And when you join your will with his, your sight will be his vision, for the eyes of Christ are shared. Walking with him is just as natural as walking with a brother whom you knew since you were born, for such indeed he is. Some bitter idols have been made of him who would be only brother to the world. Forgive him your illusions, and behold how dear a brother he would be to you. For he will set your mind at rest at last and carry it with you unto your God."

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