Perfection: Aristotle versus Buddha

Perfection: Aristotle versus Buddha
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"The Buddha lived in India five centuries before Jesus and almost two centuries before Aristotle. The first step in his belief system was to break through the black-and-white world of words, pierce the bivalent veil and see the world as it is, see it filled with 'contradictions,' with things and not-things, with roses that are both red and not-red, with A and not-A. You find this [...] theme in Eastern belief systems old and new, from Lao-tze's Taoism to the modern Zen in Japan. Either-or versus contradiction. A or not-A versus A and not-A. Aristotle versus the Buddha." (B. Kosko)

Seeing yourself as either perfect or imperfect is black-and-white thinking. Time to update your understanding of perfection from the standard Western, psychologically toxic, dualistic view of perfection to a more self-accepting, psychologically healthier, nondual view of perfection: you are neither perfect nor imperfect or, if you prefer, you are perfectly imperfect. Same thingless thing!

Perfectionism suffers from Aristotelian dichotomies and bivalences: it cuts life in half, into "what is" and "what should be," into "perfect" and "imperfect," into "actual" and "ideal." A perfectionistic mind is sore with the either/or self-fragmentation. Time to learn to accept your whole self in its existential continuity. In other words, time to stop falling onto this Aristotelian sword of black-and-white self-judgment.

Yes, you are doing the best that you can at any given point in time and you can still do better. Time to perfect perfection!


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