The Miracle of Perfection
The Miracle of Perfection
The Miracle of Perfection

Every thing and
Every one and
Every time and
Every where
In the ALLNESS, UNITY, and PERFECTION of the Divine.

"The Divine causes everything Good and Beautiful to occur at its perfect time. The Divine has given human beings an awareness of the Eternal Plan, but in such a way that we must work to acquire comprehension of its detail and final purpose."

Ecclesiastes 3:11

  In the terrestrial domain, 'pefection' refers to entities (persons, events, objects, situations) that are free from evil or defect, an exemplification of supreme excellence, having reached full realization, having realized full understanding so as to be capable of apprehending divine realities, or being completely appropriate to the occasion.

  However, entities in the terrestrial domain are never free from connection with the processes of deliberate or non-intentional evil, decay, malfunction, and ultimately, death or annihilation. Thus, we most often speak of "perfection" in relation to the supersensible, spiritual realm, where there is no imperfection, including decay and death.

  But there is a type of perfection that is part of the essence of both the supersensible and terrestrial domains, and it is perhaps this element to which Jesus referred, as he is said to have urged his followers: "Your heavenly Father creates a Perfect Reality of loving-kindness toward all beings, so you must strive to be perfect in expressing loving-kindness to all beings." Matthew 5:48 1

"Creation begins and ends nowhere and nowhen. . . Why should we not conceive of the whole of things, selves, and the world as being originally thought into being by a super-human mind which exists in intimate relation with our own?"

Paul Brunton, The Wisdom of the Overself, 1943

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1599

"I seemed to comprehend the nature of things. I understood that the scheme of the universe was good, not evil as our Western society had taught me as a child; all people were intrinsically good. Neither time nor space existed on this plane." (Claire Myers Owen)

Reported in Colin Wilson, Beyond the Occult

"The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. We are at length restored to consciousness by awakening in a real universe, the universe created by the One Mind as opposed to that perversion of it which has been created by our egocentric selves.We then see the visible world as the expression of the immanental life of God, the Divine in manifestation. In relating ourselves to it we live in that Presence subjectively in the depths of our mystical being. And in the properly integrated personality the two processes have become one."

Lawrence Hyde, The Nameless Faith, (1950)

  The concepts discussed in this essay do not derive from a Pollyannaish impulse: the proclivities of a foolish person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything, one who is foolishly or blindly optimistic. This essay explores esoteric teachings from the Perennial Tradition concerning the Miracle of Perfection.

  In this essay, we will concentrate exclusively on situational perfection, the unceasing occurrence of perfection within continually-unfolding life-events, such perfection being brought about through both supersensible and terrestrial agency.

  The specific type of perfection with which we are concerned--situational perfection--does not involve a total absence of elements which may seem negative to the humans involved and it does not comport only with elements which seem to those humans as positive. The type of perfection which we are exploring may (and usually does) involve elements which feel to the involved humans as decidedly unpleasant or negative in some way. We can say that this type of perfection does not always feel perfect to the persons involved. Situational perfection blends all seemingly positive and seemingly negative elements into a configuration of Miraculous Perfection. In some instances the elements which seem, at the moment, to be (or are in some sense negative) are necessary for the ultimate occurrence of Perfection. In many instances the elements which seem negative to the persons involved are essential for the moral, intellectual, or emotional development of the individuals involved.

  Specific situational elements within the overall configuration of Perfection which seem negative may occur for the purpose of encouraging (not forcing) the person to stop or amend specific negative behavioral, emotional, or intellectual patterns and make changes in thought and/or action required for the person's positive evolution.

"Do you know that at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know that you can use that eternity, if you so desire?"

don Juan

Our Work in regard to the Miracle of Perfection involves:
  • Realizing that the miracle of perfection requires effort on our part: working each day to comprehend how our life-experiences are perfect within the circle of our earthly life AND taking place within a larger, cosmic domain of Supersensible Perfection

  • Maintaining the firm conviction that the Work of the Divine always involves bringing into reality in general and bringing into reality in each individual's life-experience, that which is ideal, most in allignment with Divine Forms or Prototypes, that which results in or evinces the most good for all persons involved.

  • Moving through the great labyrinth [an intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one's way of life with grace, poise, and equinimity in the face of deliberate ignorance, perversity, and evil-doing.] Today, the best description of most Websites, companies, and bureaucracies is: "Circumlocution Office" 4

  • Working to attain the understanding, through ongoing experience, self-discipline, and meditation, that the Divine "moves" in actualizing the Perfect at its unique pace, thus learning to avoid trying to hurry Perfection along (as Zorba tried to hurry the birth of the butterfly by breathing on the crysalis), and developing the virtue of patience, while maintaining faith that the Divine always brings into Reality only the Perfect.

  • Working to attain the understanding that the Divine has chosen to make human freedom one of the pivotal aspects of Reality, thus making it necessary that humans be free to choose to commit evil actions. We work to attain essential understanding of how the Plenum (a continuum containing all elements: beings, objects, events, processes; everything that comes into eternal being or temporal existence passes into it), includes evil when the essence of the Plenum is Goodness.
    Deliberately choosing to avoid all phenomena which conduce to evil or portray reality as evil; for example, choosing not to watch a movie such as Babel, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, which portrays evil occurring in a number of different lives.
    Deliberately choosing to initiate or support phenomena which conduce to Goodness and Perfection.
  • Working assiduously to attain a Higher Comprehension of how Perfection is the essence of All of Reality--when so much of Reality appears to our ordinary feeling and understanding to be the outcome of deliberate or unmindful ignorance and evildoing. It helps if we operate on the time-scale of eternity: "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." (Martin Luther King, Jr.) Perfection is not merely an "interpretation" of Life and Reality; it is the Essence. Watching loved-ones and oneself moving inexorably toward death, we maintain the firm conviction that the All is evolving toward the Ultimate Perfection of Each Being.

"The things and beings of this physical world are by no means only what they appear to be for physical perception. They are the expression and effluence of a Higher spiritual world. What the senses perceive is only part of the Plenum, and it is in the supersensible domain that the beings dwell who express themselves in the reality and Perfection of the physical world."

Rudolf Steiner

  The primary manner in which the supersensible realm affects the terrestrial realm is the Divine creating and sustaining a reality which orchestrates a specific, perfect life-experience for each human, each moment of which provides precisely, perfectly coordinated learning experiences transcendentally matched to our current needs and capabilities. The Divine has the power to take all human actions, emotions, and thoughts and use them to assist us in our personal evolution. All persons receive precisely the experiences they deserve and from which they can best learn what they need for their personal evolution--and at the same time for the evolution of all humankind. The Divine does not create negative elements, those are created by human error and perfidy through the exercise of human freedom.

  The ongoing Miracle of Perfection within each human's life originates both in the supersensible realm with eternal spiritual beings and in the terrestrial realm with mortal human beings. The Miracle of Perfection redounds 2 to the particular humans involved in a specific manner. Awareness of, comprehension of, and participation in the miraculously perfect nature of each human life requires an advanced type of discernment and self-development, which each human must work assiduously to achieve. Life-elements which seem to the humans involved to be negative are, from a higher perspective, perfect in that they are essential so that the humans involved have the opportunity to gain a higher understanding essential to the development of the humans' higher discernment of and involvement with terrestrial and supersensible realities.

  The essence of this perfection is not in each event and each element of life unfolding in a manner that is perfectly pleasant and never involving unwelcome elements. When one attains higher discernment, the Miracle of Perfection is seen to occur not in spite of elements which seem unpleasant to the person, but, in a higher sense, embracing and incorporating those elements.

"Thus do they [classical philosophers and mystics] commonly speak, not as beholding things speculatively, but absolutely in themselves; as comprehending the integral operation of every particular in that great chain of universal cause which, dependent from the Supreme Will, deifies existence, whose every link is an efficient reason, and whose whole is the perfection of all manifested being."

Thomas South, Early Magnetism In Its Higher Relations to Humanity, 1846

  The primary Work of each human involved in the Miracle of Perfection of one's life-experience is in the ongoing development of the highest posssible qualities and capabilities during mortal existence. This is what Plato and other Greek thinkers referred to as Arete (àρετή), the aspiring to achieve one's full potential in all areas of human and supersensible life: excellence and wisdom.

  Along with working to achieve excellence in all areas of one's life, the individual participates in the Miracle of Perfection through attaining a higher discernment of the preternatural essence of the perfection of one's particular life. This higher discernment involves both realizing the Perfection of one's life and remaining steadfast in comprehending that Divine Goodness chooses to create perfection in one's life-experience, even when (or especially when) elements in one's life appear to be less than perfect or even negative.

  A person attains a higher discernment of perfection in one's life through assimilating and responding to experiences of a troubling, destructive, or evil nature (persons, events, objects, situations), not by allowing oneself to fall into despair or lashing out in anger, but in tranquilly enduring in an untroubled manner, and, most importantly, working to attain a superior understanding of the meaning of the overall phenomenon so that one can respond in a creative manner. If it happens to rain, you can sing and dance in the rain.

  The reality of the Miracle of Perfection is decidedly not of the nature of the Oriental concept of karma: unchangeable destiny or fate. Persons involved in the perfection of their lives can and should participate in bringing about the perfection, not merely "suffering" whatever transpires. However, the persons involved must not take it upon themselves to assume full credit for the perfection which transpires, since there are many "forces" involved.

"One of the determining factors as to whether a given human soul shall enter the body in one household, in one station of life, in one race of men; rather than in another household, another station in life, another race, is that in that household, station or race, either by physiological inception or by personal development, the conditions exist, or are easily assembled, for the action of law, which will there precipitate those attributes from the quality-reservoir, so to speak, which are needed to fill out the completeness of that soul."

Betty White, The Gaelic Manuscripts, circa 1935

  Connected with each human person are specific supersensible beings who act within both the terrestrial and supersensible domains. They are actively involved in that particular human life, in both a direct and indirect manner. Using supramundane means, the supersensible beings with a connection to you are as involved in your present earthly life as you are. You can, through awareness of your Higher Self and its supersensible life, gain awareness of their presence and influence in your present supersensible and terrestrial lives.
"It seems to the student ever more and more as though the solution of the riddles over which he ponders is whispered to him in tones and words out of a higher world. And he is able to connect with ordinary life whatever comes to him from a higher world. What was formerly only accessible to his thought now becomes actual experience, just as living and substantial as an experience in this physical world can be. The things and beings of this physical world are by no means only what they appear to be for physical perception. They are the expression and effluence of a spiritual world. This spiritual world, hitherto concealed from the student, now resounds for him out of his whole environment. . .

"What the senses perceive is only part of the Supersensible Plenum, and it is in the spirit world that the beings dwell who express themselves in the facts of the physical world. Man must become a partaker of the spirit in order to carry its revelations into the physical world. He transforms the earth by implanting in it what he has ascertained in the spiritual world. That is his task. . .

Rudolf Steiner, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, 1904

  The Miracle of Perfection is revealed through each moment and each element of every person's life being exactly as it should be. Our seeming mistakes, our hesitations, our cruel or thoughtless or evil deeds, our joys, our raptures, our heartaches, our thoughtfulness of others, our ongoing learning as life unfolds--all are part of the Perfection. We must work to gain understanding of this divine perfection and learn how to have our being in, participate in, and comprehend this Perfection.

  We attain discernment of and assist in the creative realization of the perfection of our lives by meditating on the Divine's creating a perfect life for us at each moment which provides elements to which we can and should respond by learning the evolutionary lessons our life-situation helps us comprehend and assimilate. We say to ourselves: "What lessons should I be learning, what improvements in my being should I be making, through experiencing and comprehending this perfect life-situation which the Divine provides me out of the Divine's infinite Goodness? What improvements in understanding and behavior is my perfect life teaching me and encouraging me to learn?

"...Man's earthly forces would become paralysed if no help comes from the spiritual worlds. What we acquire through a spiritual-scientific knowledge and bear with us through the portal of death, gives us the power allowing spiritual forces to descend upon the earth. This will have to take place in a growing measure, so that the human beings who live upon the earth may receive the forces descending from the souls who are penetrated with the spirit, souls who have passed through the portal of death and who send back what they have taken with them from the earth, but in a changed form, according to what has taken place through the fact that their life-experiences have entered the spiritual worlds."

Rudolph Steiner, The Problem of Destiny, 1916

  Some persons receive and internalize the divine revelation of the perfection of earthly existence through a near-death experience. Jeffery Olsen experienced a horrendous automobile accident in which his wife and infant son were killed while he and his older son were severly injured but survived.

"I realized that sitting in a wheelchair and holding my surviving son in this realm was no less divine than being in the other realm and holding my son who had passed there. Suddenly, heaven, if you will, was right here... It's never gone away, for twenty years now...

"I would go to the graveyard and lie on my wife's grave. I was angry, like 'how could you leave me like this? I don't even walk right, I'm trying to raise our son, and you're in that beautiful place. How dare you leave me!..' I felt as if she came and put her hands on my shoulders behind me and then she communicated so clearly... 'Don't berate me for leaving... I loved you enough to leave.'

   "I thought, wow, that can't be right, that doesn't make sense. And she communicated, she said: 'You would not be learning what you're learning. Life would be so different. I would have loved nothing more than to grow old with you and be with you, but that was not the plan... We made this deal that you would come, you were going to have this experience, and I was going to love you enough to go so that you would have those feelings and have your soul expand in such a way...' 'Yeah, but I'm having feelings for another woman...' And she laughed at me. 'Of course you are, of course you are. I want you to be happy. I want you to have love. I want you to be with someone. I am not jealous, I'm not upset, I'm not hurt...' It's like she communicated: 'I sent her your way. You can do whatever you want, you have the choice, but she will teach you unconditional love.'"

"Man does not have it in him
to desire things the like of which
have been prepared for him."

Hakin Sanai, The Walled Garden of Truth

"It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. Right? And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.

Ricky Fitts in American Beauty

"I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me; but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes, I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much--My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And, I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But, don't worry. You will someday."

Lester in American Beauty

"Time is not real, Govinda, I have experienced this often and often again. And if time is not real, then the gap which seems to be between the world and the eternity, between suffering and blissfulness, between evil and good, is also a deception.

"These 'times to come' are a deception, are only a parable! The sinner is not on his way to become a Buddha, he is not in the process of developing, though our capacity for thinking does not know how else to picture these things. No, within the sinner is now and today already the future Buddha, his future is already all there, you have to worship in him, in you, in everyone the Buddha which is coming into being, the possible, the hidden Buddha. The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life.

"In deep meditation, there is the possibility to put time out of existence, to see all life which was, is, and will be as if it was simultaneous, and there everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, I see whatever exists as good, death is to me like life, sin like holiness, wisdom like foolishness, everything has to be as it is, everything only requires my consent, only my willingness, my loving agreement, to be good for me, to do nothing but work for my benefit, to be unable to ever harm me."

Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, 1922

  At times, the Miracle of Perfection occurs within our lives in an unexpected manner. I describe two different episodes of the Miracle of Perfection as they occurred within ordinary life. The first took place when a man allowed himself to worry about having imposed on the time of a woman and her son-in-law who were doing him a kindness; the man suggested they might want to spend time retrieving a sewing machine which he had offered to the woman but she had not yet taken the time to retrieve it from an attic. When the man apologized and mentioned his concern to the woman that she might have felt that he was imposing on their time, she kindly assured him that there were no feelings at all that he had imposed on their time. Then, the situation moved on to perfection, when she said that he need never worry that he could offend her in this way, that he was very special to her and her family and such a negative feeling could never arise between them.

   We must gain the ability to experience all reality not as something arising from the outside, but as something appearing, emerging, growing from within as beings released out of the Divine into existence, as entities (persons, events, objects, situations) revealing themselves directly to human existence. Only a human being who is deeply moved by awe and who remains in a state of reverence does not fall prey to the will-to-explore-and-dominate that which shows itself to him, but remains all ears and eyes for the summons of the perfect, awe-inspiring phenomena: the non-objectifiable occurrence of the primordial, emergent, opening-up illumination.

   The awe-inspired person does not want to get hold of or possess what he reveres, with the aid of his intellectual concepts. He seeks only to get himself into the frame of mind appropriate to the revered object--one which renders him open to its summons and makes his vision clear for its beckonings. He knows that if he manages to comply perfectly with the phenomenon that is worthy of his awe, that he catches sight of its entire truth, that he has succeeded also in releasing himself from the chaos of all delusions.

     The second incident occurred when a man was dealing with a computer hardware specialist who was installing a new computer for him, the specialist having many years before installed a new computer for the man's wife. The man had experienced a moment of hesitation over spending the appreciable amount of money involved, phoning the computer specialist to ask him to refurbish his laptop instead of installing a new computer. The man then changed his mind and asked the technician to go ahead to install the new computer. The man allowed himself to worry about having offended the technician through his vaccilation. The situation took on the aspect of perfection when the technician indicated, as he was installing the new computer, that he was not in the least put off by the man's hesitation, saying that he understood perfectly how such money concerns affect us all. The perfection of the situation then increased when the technician expressed explicit regard for the man and his wife and offerred to help them in any way whenever there was need.

"Thus we have a harmonized collectivity of consciousnesses which together make up a sort of super-consciousness; the earth is covered by myriads of grains of thought but enclosed in one single enveloping consciousness so that it forms, functionally, a single vast grain of thought on a sidereal scale of immensity, the plurality of individual acts of reflective consciousness coming together and reinforcing one another in a single unanimous act."

Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe, (1961)

  Through working to attain understanding of the Miracle of Perfection of each instant of our lives, we gain new perspectives concerning
Spiritual Manifesting. We manifest what we desire (and what is most conducive to goodness for all--Perfection--) by gaining a higher awareness of how our desires and aspirational envisionings are blended into the ongoing Perfection of our lives. By gaining a higher discernment of the Perfection of our lives we attain an awareness of how our desires and aspirational envisionings are integrated with the elements which Higher Beings discern are essential to our ongoing development and advancement.

Angels Unawares

   Never let your brotherly love fail, nor refuse to extend your hospitality to strangers--sometimes men have entertained angels unawares.

Hebrews 13

  Part of our Work in Realizing (becoming aware of; assisting to manifest) the Miracle of Perfection is in recognizing persons, events, and situations sent to help us in our personal evolution.

  Huxley quite correctly indicates that Graces--angels unawares--are very seldom so extraordinary that we are immediately aware of their true nature as Godsends. We must work to gain awareness that disguised Graces are assisting us in ways that we should recognize, assist, and express gratitude for.

  In the movie, Resurrection, Esco--the "crazy old coot"--as Edna Mae's father refers to him, "lays his hands on" Edna, not to heal her, but to bestow the gift of healing on her (which she later learns how to activate to heal herself and others).

Heaven, I'm in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we're out together dancing cheek to cheek

Heaven, I'm in heaven
And the cares that hung around me through the week
Seem to vanish like a gamblers lucky streak
When we're out together dancing cheek to cheek

Oh I love to climb a mountain
And reach the highest peak
But it doesn't thrill me half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek

Oh I love to go out fishing
In a river or a creek
But I don't enjoy it half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek

Come on and dance with me
I want my arms about you
Those charms about you
Will carry me through...

Right up to heaven, I'm in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we're out together dancing, out together dancing
Out together dancing cheek to cheek

  The two motion pictures that most effectively portray the essence of the Miracle of Perfection are:
  • The Bishop's Wife

  • Grand Canyon

   ......"Keep the baby...She needs you just as much as you need her."

"The 'invisible world' is at all times, at various places, interpenetrating ordinary reality. Things which we take to be inexplicable are in fact due to this intervention. People do not recognize the participation of this "world" in our own, because they believe that they know the real cause of events. They do not.

"It is only when you can hold in your mind the possibility of another dimension sometimes impinging upon the ordinary experiences that this dimension can become available to you." 3

  At times, supersensible, divine Perfection intervenes in terrestrial affairs to save human life in a truly Miraculous manner. I describe below, in a moment-by-moment-depiction, an incident in which this occurred in my life and that of my wife.
We are driving home in our 1996 Ford Escort, approaching the intersection of a busy north-south road , facing west, and we see a green traffic light signalling that we can cross the intersection, so we proceed to cross into the middle of the intersection. Meanwhile, rapidly approaching the intersection from the north, is a family of five, a mother (who is driving the mini-van ), a father (in the passenger seat), and three children in the back seat, one an infant, in the middle of the back seat. The infant is crying. The mother (the driver), turns her body completely around to tend to the crying infant, totally and blindly ignoring the intersection into which their speeding car is now headed.

  The mini-van strikes our car on the left-front, immediately totalling our car. My wife and I are horribly shaken by the impact, but not injured. Meanwhile, the minivan, having struck our car, careens onto its left side and flips over twice before stopping upside-down in the middle of traffic. The five members of the family in the mini-van are uninjured.

"We know that to those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good."

Paul's Letter to the Christians in Rome

There's a reason for everything.

  This concept of the Miracle of Perfection is not equivalent to Carl Jung's principle of synchronicity, which he defined as: "circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection." Jung's definition reveals that he ultimately believed that the only reality was the physical world. So, in Jung's mind, synchronicity was a sort of delusion, which if a person persisted in it or became excessively involved in it, led to mental illness.

  The Concept of the Miracle of Perfection involves belief in a supersensible realm of souls joined in the One Soul (God). We have our Ultimate Being as a soul in this realm. Together with our Higher Advisors, we form a plan for a terrestrial life (to realize specific goals of soul-development), live that earth-life, and return to the Soul-Life to realize further soul-evolution.

  It's essential that we approach the concept and reality of the Miracle of Perfection with proper respect and seriousness. Some persons who talk about "near-death-experiences" and communication with Higher Beings in the supersensible realm, not only lack correct understanding of these realities but describe and explicate them in a flippant manner. Alex Ferrari, an unsophisticated person lacking elemental comprehension of philosophical, metaphysical, or spiritual realities, interviews persons on YouTube who claim they have had near-death experiences. He glibly describes human life as "a really advanced video game": humans being "bots" or "avatars" in a computer game played in the Higher Realm by Higher Persons. The only persons who agree to be interviewed by Ferrari are egomaniacs who crave any and all attention.


Mulla Nasrudin was sitting in a tea shop.
His friend came excitedly to speak with him.
"I am about to get married..." his friend said, "and I am so very excited."
"Congratulations..." Mulla Nasrudin said, nonchalant, glum, poker-faced.
"Tell me--Nasrudin--have you ever thought of marriage yourself...?" the friend asked Mulla Nasrudin, who had remained a chronic bachelor.
Mulla Nasrudin was still a bachelor despite his advancing years.
Nasrudin replied:
"Of course--I did think of getting married. In fact--in my youth--I very much wanted to get married."
"So--what happened...? Why didn't you get married?" the friend asked, curious.
"I wanted to find for myself the "perfect wife"..." Nasrudin said, "so--I travelled all over--searching for the "perfect wife". First--I went to Damascus. There--I met a beautiful woman--who was gracious, kind, and deeply spiritual--but--she had no worldly knowledge."
"Oh, how sad...!" said the friend, "then what did you do...?"
"Then--I travelled further--and I went to Isphahan. There--I met a woman who was both spiritual and worldly--she was beautiful in many ways--but --her social graces were not of the highest standards."
"What a tragedy...! Then--what did you do...? Did you give up...?" the friend asked.
"No. No. I don't give up so easily. And--I very much wanted to get married--so--I kept on searching for the "perfect wife". I travelled all over the world--meeting so many women--yes--for many years--I kept on searching and searching for the "perfect wife"..." Nasrudin said.
"And--did you find her...? Tell me--did you finally find the "perfect wife"...?" the friend asked eagerly.
"Yes..." Nasrudin said, "after travelling all over for many years--and meeting so many women in my quest for the "perfect wife"--finally--I went to Cairo--and there--after much searching--I found her. She was exactly what I wanted. She was spiritually profound, intellectually accomplished, extremely graceful and truly beautiful in every respect--yes--she was the ideal woman for me in all aspects. I knew I had found the "perfect wife"..."
"Then why didn't you marry her...?" the friend asked excitedly.
"Alas..." Nasrudin said, as he shook his head in dismay, "Unfortunately--she was searching for the "perfect husband"..."

"And, as you may have guessed, at exactly the time when it was quite natural that it should be so, and not a moment sooner, Edmund came to speak the whole delightful...and astonishing truth...."

Mansfield Park, 1999

"Wrong Would it be wrong to kiss
Seeing I feel like this
Would it be wrong to try?

Would it be wrong to stay
Here in your arms this way
Under this starry sky?

If it is wrong
Then why were you sent to me
Why am I content to be
With you forever?

So, when I need you so much
And I have waited so long
It must be right
It can't be wrong

Charlotte's Song
(Music: Max Steiner / Lyrics: Kim Gannon)

  If you would like to comment on this essay, please send your comments to the author (pictured below at age 2) [the year my father died of double-pneumonia]


1 This is the author's translation from the original Greek. This passage is often mis-translated as "Be ye therefore perfect as your heavenly father is perfect." This assumes that the passage speaks of perfection as a kind of moral quintessence which one has to strive to attain. However, it is absurd to speak of the Deity as achieving moral perfection, since the Deity created perfection and all entities that strive for perfection. The Greek words more directly refer to having one's being in a Perfect Reality: the Divine's loving-kindness toward all beings, and our striving to express loving-kindness to all beings, as God does.

2 Redound:
  • To result in, to contribute (to a specified situation or consequence). I must wait and see whether the situation redounds to my advantage.
  • To attach, come back, accrue (to or upon someone). His infamous behaviour only redounded back upon him when he was caught.
  • To arise or occur in consequence (from or out of something).

3 Idries Shah, The Sufis, 1964

4 The term Circumlocution Office was first coined by Charles Dickens in his novel Little Dorrit to describe, and parody, the government bureaucracy of the day.

In Book 1, Chapter 10 of Little Dorrit, Arthur Clennam visits a government department called the Circumlocution Office trying to find out about the case against a man called William Dorrit, who has been imprisoned for debt. He is passed from official to official trying to find a satisfactory answer. The officials in charge of the department are typified by the nepotic and self-serving upper-class Barnacle family, who revel in obfuscation and red tape. Charles Dickens deliberately introduced the Circumlocution Office into the novel to parody civil service mismanagement. At the time Dickens was writing and publishing the early chapters of Little Dorrit there was a public outcry at government mismanagement of the Crimean War, a conflict that had started in October 1853 between Russia and an alliance that included Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire. Graphic descriptions had appeared in the British press of troops serving in the war suffering from disease, hunger and neglect. The alarming reports of mismanagement led to an enquiry by a parliamentary select committee. Public opposition culminated in a riot on Sunday, 21 January 1855, in London's Trafalgar Square. Less than two weeks later the government, a coalition of political factions under the leadership of Lord Aberdeen, fell and the Home Secretary, Lord Palmerston, took over as the new Prime Minister. The Crimean War ended with the signing of The Treaty of Paris in March 1856. Little Dorrit was serialized in twenty monthly parts from December 1855 through to June 1857, followed shortly after by the whole novel in one volume.

  "It being one of the principles of the Circumlocution Office never, on any account whatever, to give a straightforward answer." Today, it is one of the guiding principles of all capitalist corporations and state or federal bureaucracies to:
  • Never give a straight answer
  • Never check your Internet Website to be sure it's working properly; nevertheless require that customers use your defective Website to place orders or make inquiries.