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February 28, 2012
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Does sight exist not to see, or hearing not to hear?

So too does existence not exist to achieve imperfection but rather perfection. More still, existence tends towards perfection and not imperfection.


This idea is scoffed at in many ways, one being this: reality cannot be anything other than 'it is.' I.e., nature's imperfections is reality's perfection. We cannot speak of ideal perfection for we do not know it. We cannot know it. Nothing exists beyond 'it is.'

What these ones do not recognize is that every motion is a motion "for" or "towards" some end. Every motion either does not achieve that end or achieves that end in degrees of perfection.

Unconscious, we may feel like we act with no purpose or that all happens around us without purpose. Yet, this is where we must look inward at ourselves: who do I want to become? In what manner am I becomming that person?

We may be surprised that the end we desire is not the one we are moving towards. We may, at times, be surprised by the low, imperfect, and inconsequential ends we strive for.

In Christ, I believe, we find that someone we may strive for. But see what a marvelous perfection it is!

Christ bore weakness and himself was weak. He bore weakness and was strong. His smallness only magnified his glory. The perfection we seek is not in losing ourselves, but dying to ourselves such that we regain ourselves completely. Even 'it is' strives towards 'it is perfect.' The fact that we are individuals does not mean we must seek to lose individuality, but claim it totally. This is what a relationship with God is.

Do we, then, exist to tend towards imperfection, or perfection?
A brief reflection with a whole new section added.

The first half was written about 2 weeks ago, and the latter half today.

I wanted to address two things:

That perfection we cannoy see does not mean it is not there.

That perfection does not always mean "one and immutable."

It's a brief reflection meant to assist you and not meant to be an academic account, though I certainly drew on more academic accounts when thinking of this.

Comments are always welcome; questions likewise.

M

P.S. Still working on the piece on Original Sin.
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:iconbishop-myriel43:
bishop-myriel43 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
One Jesuit professor here might say, "Whatever exists, exists to be more full and perfect." Of course, he wouldn't quite put it as awkwardly as I have, but say it in flowing and poetic Filipino :D

I haven't even gotten to second-year philosophy yet, and I'm already learning a little. Thank you for your wonderfully written reflection.
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm happy the faith is still being taught there in the Philippines.

Philosophy is very difficult if you're not humble, but a heart that is set on humility, especially humbling your own intellect by force, is a great start to learning more than you thought possible. But likewise, it takes courage to find what is good and true and hold onto it.

I've come to realize that if philosophy is the "love of wisdom" and Jesus is Wisdom itself, then seeking Him can make us philosophers indeed--the reading dedicated on St. Bartholomew's day says as much.


Thanks again!
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I had always thought of the Christian lifestyle as imperfection striving towards the ends of perfection. Do you agree with that?
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hm, I could, perhaps.

When you say imperfection I suppose you mean us?

And insofar as you mean perfection, what do you mean? (obviously we have a context, but let's see what's there when we clarify)
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I've actually just concluded a discussion with an atheist on the matter of perfection. (She insisted that God could not be perfect because the world we observe isn't. She also quoted the Second Law of Thermodynamics but didn't really explain why that meant anything. :shrug: )

Our view of perfection (I believe what you referred to as "ideal perfection") is oftentimes not what perfection actually is.

God is perfect. So, at least to my understanding, perfection is everything that God is.

We are all flawed and imperfect beings. However, as Christians, we always strive to become models of Christ. In other words, we are constantly seeking to become more like God. That's why I believe that Christians are imperfect beings striving towards the ends of perfection.

Additionally, although I don't understand the concept fully, I could point out the fact that imperfection cannot be mixed with perfection. It is for this reason that hell exists, and it is also for this reason that God appears to us through physical mediums rather than face-to-face. (Jesus is technically still a physical medium.)
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yea, that argument doesn't work because it either assumes a sort of pantheistic reality or she doesn't grasp the relationship between creator and creation.

Additionally, although I don't understand the concept fully, I could point out the fact that imperfection cannot be mixed with perfection. It is for this reason that hell exists, and it is also for this reason that God appears to us through physical mediums rather than face-to-face. (Jesus is technically still a physical medium.)

Well, maybe.

There is still the transfiguration of Jesus and his appearances after the Resurrection.

That thought is also largely Middle-Platonic and doesn't consider the immanence of God. God's perfection is so great that he can even take on imperfection, which is most powerfully expressed in the Incarnation and the Cross. His is a perfection that confounds our perception of what "perfect" is by even making himself intimately known in imperfection.

So Jesus isn't "technically" a physical medium since he was fully God and fully man.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Student Digital Artist
True, I suppose.

And that would also explain why Jesus never worried about being "unclean" in terms of the laws God passed in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You see, the passage where Jesus says 'anything that goes into the body goes through to the toilet. But what enters the heart is more important.'

But, look here now. The purpose of the Old Law was to make men obedient and it was meant to train their hearts. The whole Old Testament attests to the fact that "the sacrifice of the unjust man is an abomination, but the supplication of the just is the Lord's delight."

So, the purpose of not being "unclean" was because Jesus' charity and justice were of God. And this is why he permitted some men to be 'unjust' under the law because their hearts and faith were what was pleasing to God. Recall by this that I don't mean the many wicked people who deny all law and ritual (like many who just debase Catholicism) and say that as long as I love God.

Only idiots feel they can do it all on their own and don't need guidance. This is why many people who say they just use the bible or pray to God are really praying to themselves in a small way. What I mean is that we should not see the law as abolished but fulfilled. That the purpose of the law is supposed to culture our hearts to have charity with ourselves and others as well as harmony with creation. Catholicism teaches that ritual and laws were passed down by the community and the Apostles to help us deal with the many spiritual crisis that attack us. The Jewish law was structured similarly.

I know I'm throwing a lot out at once, but it's a big topic. Sorry! Maybe I typed too fast for my own good so it seems a little mean or jagged.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You see, the passage where Jesus says 'anything that goes into the body goes through to the toilet. But what enters the heart is more important.'

...what?

The purpose of the Old Law was to make men obedient and it was meant to train their hearts.

Very true. People often forget that when they claim that the Old Testament and the New Testament contradict.

And this is why he permitted some men to be 'unjust' under the law because their hearts and faith were what was pleasing to God.

Like the woman in the Gospel reading today who had hemmorages and touched Jesus' cloak to be made clean?

What I mean is that we should not see the law as abolished but fulfilled.

It's very difficult to be Christian if you don't believe this.

Maybe I typed too fast for my own good so it seems a little mean or jagged.

Not at all!
And even if it did, don't worry about it. I've read through the comments that people send you. I can understand your frustration in dealing with certain topics, and especially the frustration of compiling many topics together in a concise explanation to answer a single question.
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:iconwontdieacopy71:
WontDieACopy71 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You have beautiful concepts. I love your writing. It's the kind of writing I like to read aloud to myself :)
I'm so intrigued by your ideas, too. You put the thoughts I've always had into words and it's like I'm reading my own thoughts!
Great job!
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much. I'm very glad you liked them.
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:icontkdshadow:
TKDshadow Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012
"The perfection we seek is not in losing ourselves, but dying to ourselves such that we regain ourselves completely" :thumbsup: :heart:
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
precisely.

Thank you for reading!
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:iconcalleighblack:
CalleighBlack Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
There has only been one who was perfect, and He was crucified for us. However, I do believe we should strive to achieve the very best we can to be a close as possible. We have to keep striving, even when we fail.
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It truly is a case of 'pick up your cross and follow me.' It's not a "death sentence" as many make the cross to seem, but a sign of hope as well, that in carrying whatever burdens we may carry we can likewise grow closer to God. But even if we do fall, as He also fell, we have to get back up and keep moving.

Perfection is perhaps not being free from blemish, but having a will to achieve something higher than ourselves.

Well, after all, the Scriptures say that it's wisdom (knowing everything in its proper place and measure) and not knowledge (knowing/controlling something) which is the most treasured thing.
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:iconcalleighblack:
CalleighBlack Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I completely agree with you.
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:icontomoko-karahime:
Tomoko-Karahime Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
this s pretty kul :) I love it
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
much appreciated.
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:icontomoko-karahime:
Tomoko-Karahime Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
ur welcome :)
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:iconcrimsonwarden:
CrimsonWarden Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
Its a very nice article that gets me to reflect on my own concepts of "perfect" and "ideal".

Let us be proud with He who is Perfect that came to help us reach His own standard of Perfection.

I'd like to share this with my friends on facebook. [link]
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Awesome, and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

Feel free to share it. I wonder if your friends will rip it apart, ha ha.
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:iconcrimsonwarden:
CrimsonWarden Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012
Naw. Most of them actually ask me to write some stuff for them but I usually get trouble in trying to provide some nice material.
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
well, let me know how much trouble I got you into.
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:iconciscobuddy:
ciscobuddy Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
Very thought provoking. I like that.
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much. I'm happy it assisted you in reflecting on this difficult subject.
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:iconciscobuddy:
ciscobuddy Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
You are welcome very much.
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:iconlordofallhumans:
LordofallHumans Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"Ideal perfection" is the only perfection that exists, Because it is "one's" ideal, You can and may be your ideal self. Christ I see like Krishna. The of end emanation, to end reincarnation and be born to immortality. One that is not obsessed with how they appear but not what they say and do, are far from non-self. action speak louder than word. perfection exist in a raw form in all. Is a diamond in the rough perfection or is it when it is cut and placed on a ring? Ideals are personal and thoughtful, is this a description of the perfect person? personal and thoughtful.


Also I am drunk while writing this though Jesus was a drunk, Krishna smoked ganja. I know I am not at the end of emanation and that more lives are required.

And what Buddha experienced under his tree would today be called a psychotic episode. So what is perfection???

And what today says about the past "Ideals" no longer reflect today's.
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I can't say I can understand exactly what you're saying.
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:iconlordofallhumans:
LordofallHumans Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Flow of consciousness..... Perfection is a perceivable "Ideal". they belong to one person. One may say an uncut diamond is perfect. where another would say A cut diamond on a ring is perfection. "Perfection" is an individuals idea not a group consensus. Sorry for the ramble, I'm good like that!
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:iconparsat:
Parsat Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Student Writer
I simply think of 2 Corinthians 12:9: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
certainly not a bad connection to make.
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:iconnerdus:
Nerdus Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012
Nice work! Converges well with some recent thoughts I've been having about precisely the subject of perfection.

I think it -is- pretty funny that in asserting that anything at all "is" they doubters in perfection imply that there is at least one thing with a nature- namely being. If there are natures, those natures can be either perfectly or imperfectly exemplified (the greatest being qua being, of course, being God).

It further seems quite striking to me that people quite appreciate the intellectual cost of denying the existence of natures, since the denial of natures in general is to deny the existence of things which have that nature. The denial of "human nature" seems to me to deny, for instance, that there are such things as human beings.

As to the final question- I'm not sure that it's coherent to say that human beings exist to tend toward imperfection, haha, on a metaphyics which allows for perfection at all. After all, if there is such a thing as perfection qua humanity (perhaps in perfectly conforming to the imago dei?), then for that perfection to be the perfection of human beings just is for it to be the end toward which all human beings are to tend...

(Grammarnazi Nitpick: It's "Dying," not "Dieing." :) )
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I changed it. I was typing late, so those mistakes slip through the cracks.

I also think it's weird to deny specific natures. Reducing everything to their parts still does not describe the thing itself in any meaningful way.

I think the imago dei was one of my points here. That our individuality is not an imperfection, but rather an individual instance of perfection. As we approach an even greater relationship with God we "illumine" that individual instance of God's love as "other."

Sorry for all that technical language, but there's a certain beauty to it.
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:iconnerdus:
Nerdus Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012
man, buncha typos in there.

I think it -is- pretty funny that in asserting that anything at all "is" the doubters in perfection imply that there is at least one thing with a nature- namely being.

It further seems quite striking to me that people don't quite appreciate the intellectual cost of denying the existence of natures,
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:iconclefj:
ClefJ Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am all in for believing in Perfection. Most of my faith revolves around it.

But here's a thought: How does the Law of Entropy fit in?
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:iconnerysghemor:
NerysGhemor Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012
I have often suspected that the law of entropy is broken and is the physical sign of what went wrong in the Garden of Eden. On one hand, entropy provides direction--the arrow of time that is necessary for the experiences of finite beings such as ourselves to make sense. On the other, it has become the agent of breakdown, degeneration, and the eventual heat death of the universe that can only be forestalled or reversed by Armageddon and the new creation.

Have you ever considered one of the mistaken theories that came about as we were trying to figure out the Big Bang--Steady State theory? Under that sort of model, entropy is able to serve the first purpose I described...but the universe is infinitely self-regenerating. Oldness and decay is always giving way to constant newness.

It's easy to see, in my mind, why that theory was so elegant and so attractive: could this be a vision of Heaven, or at least a way of trying to understand it?

That self-regeneration cannot occur...and perhaps should not occur given our current sinful nature, and the fact that we need death as a release lest our sin grow to unimaginable proportions if we should be immortal in our current form (we were denied the Tree of Life for a reason...).

Yet another thing Jesus subjected himself to, therefore, was that very brokenness of entropy--the scar across the physical laws of his universe caused by his creation's disobedience.

Quite something, when you think about it, just how absolute his submission was, in order to save us.
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:iconclefj:
ClefJ Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Mm, well said. Very well said. I feel quite nerdy reading this in Garak's voice, too.

Fair point to bring up that Entropy is only a valid law through a 'closed' system. The incorporeal is far from that.
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:iconnerysghemor:
NerysGhemor Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012
Oh, my...Garak speaking favorably about the Gospels. I think my brain just broke, because he never struck me as the God-fearing type. ;)

Anyway, my understanding could certainly be flawed, but that's the best I can make of it. :)
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not too familiar with it, can you give me it in a sentence or two so I can make sure we're thinking of the same thing?
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:iconclefj:
ClefJ Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
In a closed system (Let's say, the Universe or a glass of ice water), entropy (Decay, chaos) always increases or remains constant.

The greater the complexity of the system, entropy increases in much greater quantities.

...Thus, my concern is a counter-argument that Existence actually works in reverse of perfection. Complexity adds degradations. A group of people adds more chaos than a single person, for example.

I would feel, in clarification, indeed Christ is an ideal. To find the perfection among the entropy, that which does not nor never will degrade.
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Well, I don't think we should be so quick to apply it to everything. When something comes to be or when a community is formed, it's for the sake of life or for achieving some end greater than just one person.

The greater the parts, however, the more difficult it is to achieve perfection. This is why biological bodies decay--there's too many pressures and parts. But in regards to a human life, there's such a thing as our interior (soul) and exterior (body). I hate to frame a dualism, because it's not really. But it's the only way to speak about it, really.

When we have complex desires, such as ones between charity and greed, the tug of each can pull us apart. But one is a poison, the other a cure.

I think also of God in the burning bush ("it was engulfed in flames but not consumed") or the Resurrected body and person of Christ--resplendent yet carrying the marks of his death. Certain things perfect and illumine us, even if and when we carry complexities.

But it's wisdom as old as the world itself that things come to be and pass away.
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:iconclefj:
ClefJ Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed, I do agree quite a bit. I don't think there's anything quite wrong with thinking with dualism, either. ^^
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Well, we have to speak "dualistically" simply because the two are distinct. But I think in Jesus' Resurrection it shows that the person/individual can and is never radically distinct from his body, despite the change-able nature of it all.

And I use the resurrected body as a religious example. There're philosophical reasons as well.
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:iconlordofallhumans:
LordofallHumans Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Humans have the power of observation over entropy. The observer can see it become chaotic. perfection may be, being at peace with it. the world spins quickly, and we move across it chaotically, but still there is order, though it be dollar signs that guide mans hands in unity.
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:iconclefj:
ClefJ Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Mmmmneh, or Euro signs. lol.

I get the point of observation and the ability to avoid chaos through seeing patterns, though.
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:iconlordofallhumans:
LordofallHumans Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I sort of see it as a acidic fractal repeating. Feedback loops are great!
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