Take a few paragraphs to describe a perfect world

(This is in response to the Questions and Reflections for March 25, 2007)

In the two truths doctrine of Buddhism there are two levels of truths, or expressions of reality: the relative and the absolute. The relative is the ever-changing nature of reality, and the absolute is the ground
in which everything and nothing happens (so they say). The absolute is
unfathomable to grasp because it can never be imagined. Whatever we
think of the absolute, it’s not it. Still we try. But if there is
such a thing as perfection, only the absolute deserves to be described
as such, because being perfect means being imperfect at the same time.

It is easy for us to proclaim (or imagine) that the world is perfect as
it is — that we are aware of living in every moment. It is easy to project our
ideals on what the absolute is. But from what level of consciousness are we proclaiming this insight? I leave that for you to decide.

My take is that the injunction “describe a perfect world” stems from a dualistic (read: relativistic) notion, so I will answer it in a relativistic fashion.

Yes, we (the whole of humanity) are doing better now, historically speaking. But we can do much
better! And we should. And we would. Because it is in our nature to
push the limits of our individual and collective boundaries. And since
the idea of perfection is always projected somewhere into the imagined
future, allow me to describe my humble version of a Utopian vision.

There will always be suffering and pain in the relative world, because
it is through suffering and pain that we learn. So I equate
“perfection” with the ability to quickly adapt to change with less (not absence of) suffering as much as possible.

Thus, a perfect world to me is a world where:

– human societies develop spontaneously in freedom with minimal harm to the environment, other creatures, and especially to each other

– people settle disputes by diplomatic means instead of bombing each other

– religious differences are tolerated yet dogma is thrown away whenever
it cannot withstand the rigorous test of scientific inquiry

–
spirituality, the arts, sciences, and morals are taught as
complimentary modes of knowing in schools, colleges, universities, and
corporate boardrooms

– morality and ethics could easily catch up with technological breakthroughs and innovation

– poverty is nothing but a distant nightmare

– the inner sciences and exterior technology would enable us to travel
to distant stars, as well as to the depths of our own individual and
collective psyches, in order to fulfill our destiny, which is: to
explore and evolve into Infinity.

In the relative world, we’ll
always strive for perfection yet we would never attain it, because
everything that happens unfolds as it is, in all Its glory and
imperfection.

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