Flawed Holiness

You know, I think as the 21st century starts to mature, human beings have developed a powerful tendancy to be extremely hard on themselves.

I am guilty of it myself and see it all around. We are so often obsessed with trying to get things right, without ever pausing to dwell on the ultimate perfection of ourselves and the world around us.

It dawned on me that we perhaps have become a bit intellectual about the way we view perfection. Perfect to many means without error, perhaps straight lines, and accuracy; black and white, right and wrong. Somehow I believe that we have lost in translation the realisation that perfection is actually full of flaws.

A tree to me is a great, well in fact, perfect example. Just down the road from my office is a beautiful specimen of the native New Zealand pohutukawa tree. Its branches, leaves, and in summer, crimson blossom fan out in this perfect round shape against a bright blue sky. It is utterly beautiful. It is perfect. But close up it is full of scars, deadwood, broken branches; a chaotic jumble of limbs, twigs, leaves, flowers; complete disorder going in all directions. But on the skyline and from here, it is absolutely perfect.

I wonder if we often forget the link between the words, whole, and holy. I believe that the reason the word holy is important in religion and spiritual practice is that it is to remind us that we are all whole, perceived flaws and all. And that spiritual faiths are telling us that from a place of love, we are all whole. We are integral, complete, just the way we are, and that flaws that we have as imperfections are like the tree, a story of our lives, twists turns, great times, bad times, survival; weathered.

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