When I say that the present is perfect, I am not being metaphorical. I mean this in the most literal sense. Each and every moment of life is all that it can be, i.e. the best that it can be. That is perfection. No, not that theoretical, unattainable, hypothetical, imaginary, abstract, naively-idealistic perfection that we have been all conditioned to chase, but an immediate, concrete, practical, realistically -inevitable, ordinary perfection of all that is.
Perfection, as I see it, isn’t a fantasy of what could be, but a reality of what is. I am, of course, not alone in this worldview; I am not the first mind to have this sentiment. This perspective dates way back.
Here’s how it is phrased in Dzogchen Buddhism:
Everything is pure and spontaneously accomplished from the outset.
Dzogchen (ancient teaching of “natural perfection”), according to Lama Surya Das, is “the summit” of all Buddhist teachings. Here’s another Dzogchen proclamation about the perfection of reality, attributed to 14th century Dzogchen master Longchenpa:
Since things are perfect and complete just as they are, beyond good and bad, without adopting and rejecting, one just bursts out laughing!
Monks are poets. And poets are monks. Here’s Walt Whitman for you, in a Dzogchen moment of acceptance, in his Leaves of Grass:
And I will show that there is no imperfection in the present, and can be none in the future…
Or here’s Whitman, echoing the same sentiment, in “Song of Myself:”
There… will never be any more perfection than there is now.
Seeing present as perfect is a baseline of awe. I remember a not too distant time when I myself was a classic perfectionist, sometimes seeing faults, sometimes seeing areas for improvement, but always seeing the potential of what could be while being blind to the perfection of what is. Now, this reality-rejectionist has been reborn as a reality-acceptionist, more interested in the obscure poetry of reality than in rhyming verses of imaginary potentials.
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