Seeing perfection in imperfection

While God is unknowable and beyond our reach, seeing the beauty of His creation is crucial. For how can we claim to love God, if we do not love His creation? But what about imperfections? A flawed human being as I am, I had to embrace my own imperfections as the current state of my reality, in order to see the potentiality for beauty within me so that, with God’s help, I could start seeing such potentiality for beauty in others. Once I was able to see the beauty of God’s creation in everyone, I felt inspired to start treating them with the dignity they — all of God’s creation — deserve which in turn resulted in starting to treat myself with the humble dignity I always wished to be treated with. But it all started with a loving yet honest look at myself:

I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.
(Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

The first Taraz and the first effulgence which hath dawned from the horizon of the Mother Book is that man should know his own self and recognize that which leadeth unto loftiness or lowliness, glory or abasement, wealth or poverty.
(Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 34)

Nothing is more fruitful for man than the knowledge of his own shortcomings. The Blessed Perfection says, “I wonder at the man who does not find his own imperfections.”
(Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 244)

Tonight’s study circle produced a fascinating discussion on the sacrifice a germinated seed needs to make so that through giving up the only life it has known, it could get a chance at fulfilling the purpose of its life and at reaching its potential for fruition. One might say, well the seed has no choice but to grow. Yet not every seed gets germinated. A seed that has fallen on a dry asphalt would probably not germinate while another one placed in a fertile ground might, based upon the conditions of rain and sunlight it requires, not only germinate but grow into a fruit-giving tree. So, it is all about potential and its fulfillment. None of us chooses the circumstances of the starting point of our lives. But as we grow, we are more and more able to make choices and through discerning the right ones, make ourselves potentially more deserving of being granted the chance to fulfill our potential. It all depends on God’s Will, of course, yet we do play our part in this Covenant through the choices we make — of choosing to sacrifice something that is of lower nature for something of higher nature, or not.

Every man trained through the teachings of God and illumined by the light of His guidance, who becomes a believer in God and His signs and is enkindled with the fire of the love of God, sacrifices the imperfections of nature for the sake of divine perfections.
(Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 452)

Having accepted that we all have potential for both imperfection and perfection, and having realized we are the choices we make, then living a real life becomes a matter of clear vision, attitude and faith. For if we choose to see the world through divine eyes, the way the Creator would look at His creation, yet humbly see ourselves as part of that Creation, we can start exhibiting divine qualities, imperfect as we are, failing as we might, never getting discouraged, never giving up.

So, can you see perfection in imperfection? God can. And I am pretty sure He wants to teach us how to do that too. That is why He’s been sending us Divine Educators in a progressive revelation.

6 Responses to “Seeing perfection in imperfection

  • Martijn Rep
    12 years ago

    Beautiful post, thanks. I check your blog regularly but do not usually reply. Just want to let you know I do appreciate your reflections

    11 years ago

    could it be that god created nature to sustain itself, to function by itself, and as in our free will we make mistakes, nature in is free work also makes them, jesus teaches us how do deal with them?
    just asking.

Trackbacks & Pings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.