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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 3
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Chapter 10: A Song Untouched by Time

The first question:

The contemporary ideal of living completely within the present moment, no less than the classical mystical notion of living totally within the divine eternal, is as impossible as it is inhuman. It results in a diseased rather than a graceful present. Graceful existence integrates present, past and future.

The ideal as such corrupts. Whatsoever the ideal, it is a calamity, it is a great disease to be avoided. It is the ideal that has been driving humanity neurotic. The moment you start thinking in terms of ideals, you are condemned. Then you are always falling short of it, then you are never okay; and guilt arises and you start feeling you are not worthy, that you are worthless. And the moment a man starts thinking he is worthless, he becomes worthless - because you are that which you think you are. As a man thinketh, so he becomes.

All ideals are perfectionist, they demand perfection - hence they are all inhuman. Man is not perfect. Nothing is perfect. Nothing can be perfect, because only in imperfection is there growth. The perfect means the dead; the perfect means the perfectly dead - the absolutely dead.

So let me say to you: Even God is not perfect, cannot be, otherwise he will be a dead God. Only in imperfection is there a possibility to evolve, to grow. Only in imperfection is there future. Perfection consists only of the past - then there is no future. If God is perfect, then what is going to happen to him? Nothing is going to happen. All that had to happen has already happened. All that he was destined to become, he has become - there is no future. Then the God is a graveyard. Then he is not a tree blooming, and he is not a river flowing.

Even God is not perfect, so how can man be perfect? Everything that lives is imperfect, because life is possible only through imperfection. Imperfection is a great blessing. Feel blessed that you are imperfect. Imperfection means your circle is not complete, something is still open. You have a future, you have a possibility.

Imperfection is a promise, a hope. Imperfection carries potentiality; all has not yet become actual, something is still in the seed. You can remain excited. Something tremendously new is going to happen to you, something unknown, unfamiliar; something unexpected you can still expect. That’s what life is.

So the first thing to be understood is: All ideals are perfectionist. Hence, all ideals are inhuman. And all ideals cripple and paralyze you. All ideals create a kind of subtle bondage around you, they imprison you. The really free man has no ideals.

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