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Spiritual: The Beauty of Imperfection

Spiritual: The Beauty of Imperfection

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 July 2019 2:40 PM GMT

When Life is all about Longing for Greater Heights

Ma Prem Naina

We are all familiar with the legendary Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh and his legendary art works. But many of us won’t be aware of the fact that the great painter committed suicide when he felt that he had finished the perfect painting. If a painter feels that he has created the perfect painting, then he does not see any point in living further, because he has already fulfilled his goal of creation. It would not be an understatement to say that a creator lives to create, and only to create.

We can take another instance in Gibbon, the great historian, who finished his great work about world history. It took Gibbon 33 years to finish the book on world history. He was so tremendously happy for those 33 years that he didn’t age for that period. He remained exactly the same, as if time never passed, as if time has stopped. But the day it was finished he started crying. His wife could not believe it. She said, “You are crying? You should be happy, you should dance! The work is complete.” Gibbon said, “The work is complete. Now what is left for me? My life is complete.” And within five years he aged a lot, so much that by the seventh year he was gone.Osho says, “While painting, each moment can be totally satisfying. But once the painting is complete it can never be totally satisfying, because if it is totally satisfying the painter will have to commit suicide. There will be no need to live any more. That’s why I say life is longing, pure longing – longing to attain higher and higher peaks, longing to go deeper and deeper into existence. But each moment can be utterly satisfying; that difference has to be remembered. When you are painting, each brush, each color that you throw on the canvas, each moment of it, is totally satisfying. There is nothing more to it. You are utterly lost, possessed, if you are a creator.

But if you are only a technician then it is not so. The technician is not lost while he is painting, he is separate from his painting. He is just using his knowledge. He knows how to paint, that’s all. There is nothing in his heart to paint – no vision, no poetry, no song. He has nothing to create, but just the technology. He is a technician, not an artist. He can paint - but while painting it is not meditation for him, it is not a love affair for him. He is doing it; he is a doer, separate. But the creator is not separate while he is creating, he is one with it. He is utterly lost, he has forgotten himself.

That’s why when painters are painting they forget about food, forget about thirst, forget about sleep. They forget about the body so much that they can go on painting for eighteen hours at a stretch without feeling tired. Each moment is absolutely satisfying.”

Once a painting is complete, a great sadness descends on the real painter. The difference between a real painter and a technician is that a real painter feels sad and a technician feels happy that a good job has been done and finished. There was no contentment within the technician. He was just waiting for the result, he was result-oriented. Just the opposite happens to the creator. He is happy while he is painting; once the painting is complete, a great sadness descends on him.Osho says, “Nothing ever is perfect. Imperfection has a beauty of its own. Life can exist only if something is still imperfect and has to be perfected. Life is the effort to perfect the imperfect. Life is the ambition to make the ugly beautiful. Something of imperfection is a must for life to exist, for life to go on growing and flowing.”

Is there something as perfection? A wise man may say imperfection is life. In fact, there is no beginning and no end. We always begin in the middle and stay in the middle. How can we begin anything? The world has existed, people have existed for so long, paintings have been done, painters have been painting, how can we say we are beginning this painting or that work or ending this or that?

No painting has a beginning and no painting has an end. The beginning and the end are arbitrary: because we have to begin, we begin, and because we have to end, we end. Otherwise there is no beginning and no end; everything is in the middle, always in the middle, and everything is incomplete.

But the incomplete paintings are far more beautiful than those which are thought to be completed. The incomplete songs are more beautiful than the ones which seem to be complete, because the incomplete thing has the quality of life. It still breathes because it is not complete.

There is an ancient tradition in India that if you are going to make a great temple, never complete it. So all the great temples are incomplete. If we go into the details, then we can find something is missing. That missing thing keeps them alive. It is beautiful, because if something is really complete then what is the point of its being here? It is dead already.

Perfection is death, imperfection is life.

Osho says, “In this life nothing really is ever perfect or can ever be perfect. God is perfectly imperfect. Hence there is growth, evolution; hence there is movement. It is always, always coming closer and closer to perfection, but it is never perfect and it will never be perfect. Nothing ever is perfect. In fact, imperfection has a beauty of its own, because imperfection has a life. Whenever something is perfect - just think, contemplate - whenever something is really perfect, life will disappear from it.

Life can exist only if something is still imperfect and has to be perfected. Life is the effort to perfect the imperfect. Life is the ambition to make the ugly beautiful. Something of imperfection is a must for life to exist, for life to go on growing and flowing.”

The great Indian poet and mystic Rabindranath Tagore, in his last prayer to God, had prayed thus: “Send me back. Remember, I am not perfect. Send me back. Your world was too beautiful and you gave me such a precious life. And I don’t want to disappear yet: I have yet to sing many songs, I have yet to paint many paintings, there is yet much in my heart which needs to bloom. Send me back, I am not perfect! Send me back.”

That was his last prayer; he died praying this way. It is one of the most beautiful prayers and one of the most beautiful ways to die. How can one thank God more than this?

Life keeps growing. Nothing ever is perfect or whenever something is perfect it disappears, it goes into annihilation. The Buddhist word is nirvana. Nirvana means annihilation, cessation. Literally, nirvana means “blowing out the candle”. All the Buddhas say that whosoever becomes perfect move into Nirvana, goes into annihilation.

Hence the greatest creators are aware how poor has been their creation, because they become aware, more and more aware of how much more is possible. The ordinary person who has never created anything is not aware of what he can do. There is no other way to know what one can do unless he does it.

Naina Rajkumari (Ma Prem Naina) is associated with Osho World Foundation and travels widely facilitating workshops and seminars. Born in Jorhat, she was initiated into Osho Sannyas in 2003 at Oshodham, New Delhi.

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