Chapter 2: The Stretched Soul Makes Music
These neurotics have created hell as a punishment for all those who are not perfectionists. Naturally, they suffer here, they suffer deeply. They only suffer, their life is a suffering. They have crucified themselves; now they cannot allow you to go on enjoying life. They say, “Okay, you can enjoy for the moment. But remember, finally you will be thrown into eternal hell.” That is their joy, that you will have to suffer eternally. They are suffering only for the moment - sooner or later they will be free from this life and they will be in paradise, and they will enjoy all kinds of joys that they have never allowed themselves here. And you will be suffering in hell - and eternally, forever. That is a pathological mind. It is not capable of enjoying, and it is not capable of forgiving others for enjoying.
Drop this word perfection, it is a dirty word, and it is one of the root causes of your misery. You can never be blissful with this attitude towards life. Then you are always bettering, then you are always improving. Your whole energy is lost in improving yourself, and the day never comes when you can enjoy. When can it come? How can it come? You can always imagine a better state of affairs.
The horizon goes on receding. You go on approaching it, but you never arrive. You cannot arrive; it is an imaginary phenomenon, it is illusory. This is the first thing I would like you to understand.
The second thing: imperfection is a fundamental law of life. Man is the only animal who is imperfect. Dogs are not imperfect; each and every dog is a perfect dog. Cats are not imperfect, trees are not imperfect, rocks are not imperfect. In this whole vast existence man is the only animal who is imperfect. And that is where his glory is - because in imperfection there is growth, in imperfection there is opening, there is evolution. When you are perfect there is nowhere to go. Perfection will be suicide for humanity.
Just think, what will you do when you are perfect? In the first place it cannot happen; in the second place, if it happens, what will you do then? The perfectionist will be at a loss, utterly at a loss, because he knows only one way of life, and that is to go on improving. Now there is no more to improve he will commit suicide.
Man’s glory is that he is the only animal who grows. Out of his imperfection man has become a tremendous power. The child of man is the most helpless child, and out of that helplessness great things have happened. Man is born with very weak instincts. That’s why he becomes intelligent - he has to become intelligent, he has to substitute his weaker instincts with a stronger intelligence. A dog need not do anything, a dog is perfect; he lives through his instincts, he never allows his intelligence to grow. What is the point? The instincts are doing far better, more perfectly, than intelligence will ever be able to do.
Intelligence is there because you are weak in your instincts. Man has developed all kinds of technologies, science, because man is very weak. Just watch: he cannot run like a wolf or a dog, he is not strong like a lion or a tiger, he is not swift like a deer. Out of these imperfections he has done great things. He has developed weapons because he is weak physically; he could not have survived without weapons. He is delicate, he is not strong. Because he is not speedy he has developed speedy vehicles. Because he is prone to illness and disease he has developed medicine.