Once you get an idea deep-rooted in you, it starts becoming a reality. Perfectionism is a neurotic idea. Infallibility is good for stupid Polack popes but not for intelligent people. An intelligent person will understand that life is an adventure, a constant exploration through trial and error. That’s its very joy, its very juice!
I don’t want you to be perfect. I want you to be just as perfectly imperfect as possible. Rejoice in your imperfections! Rejoice in your very ordinariness! Beware of so-called “His Holinesses” – they are all “His Phoninesses.” If you like such big words like “His Holiness” then make a title such as “His Very Ordinariness” – hvo, not hh! I preach ordinariness. I make no claims for any miracles; I am a simple man. And I would like you also to be very simple so that you can get rid of these two polarities: that of guilt and that of hypocrisy. Exactly in the middle is sanity.
St. Peter challenged the Archangel Gabriel to a game of golf. St. Peter’s first drive resulted in a hole-in-one. Gabriel’s first drive produced the same result. The same thing happened at the next shot.
St. Peter looked at Gabriel thoughtfully and then said, “What do you say we cut out the miracles and play some golf?”
I am not infallible, and I would never like to be infallible either, because that is suicidal. I would like to commit as many mistakes as possible and I would like to go on committing mistakes to the very end of my last breath, because that means life. If you are capable of committing mistakes even at the very last breath you have conquered death.
A Zen Master was dying…and I have a deep love for the Zen approach for the simple reason that they also rejoice in ordinariness. That’s the beauty of Zen: no religion has been able to rise to such heights of ordinariness.
The Master was very old, nearabout eighty. He gathered his disciples and said, “Now this is my last day. I don’t think I will be able to see the sunset, and the sun is setting on the horizon. I have called you all to suggest to me some new way to die.”
They were a little puzzled. They said, “What do you mean by ‘new way’?”
He said, “People have died in bed, people have died in the bathroom, people have died this way and that. All those things have been done before, and I always like to do things in a new way, in my own way. Can you suggest something? Have you ever heard of somebody dying in a standing posture?”
There was silence. One man said, “Yes, I have heard about a Zen Master who died standing.”
He said, “Then that is dropped! Have you heard of anybody dying standing upside-down, on his head, doing a sirshasan, a headstand?”
Everybody said, “We have not heard of such a thing. We have not even imagined such a thing, that anybody would die standing on his head!”