Perfection is Not Only a Goal, But a Starting Point

Everyone would like to be perfect! Some individuals believe they are perfect! Others believe they can never be perfect. Yet others believe that perfection will come only in another (subsequent) life. But some occasionally become inspired to strive for the closest possible semblance of perfection — even though they instinctively assume that they will never attain its manifestation in their own human lifetime. Not everyone would like to go through the process of “becoming” perfect. What is it that would instigate the thought that perfection is indeed a possibility? What is it that would deprive anyone from contemplating the possibility of perfection? Was Jesus serious when he said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5: 48)?

Human pragmatists are convinced that mortal existence is the reality of life. Mortal existence consists of a chronology of BIRTH, GROWTH, DECLINE, and DEATH. Therefore, such a perspective of life would approach the concept of perfection on the relative basis of materialistic determination. Perfect beauty would then be at the discretion of the physical senses of the individual beholder. Any entity would intimate a life of its own, with varying degrees of personal competence and status. A self-made-man would be an imaginary product of substance-less arrogance! How can a perfect man emanate from a state of helplessness?

“There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding,” is a Bible verse from Job, 32: 8. If we can believe in a power greater than our own, and this power to be God, from whom we derive a semblance of His omnipotence, then we can begin to understand how it is possible for man to be perfect. But this perfection is not derived at from man’s sheer dependency on God. The man who, more than all other men, demonstrated his (and our) innate perfection, once made this statement: “I can of mine own self do nothing… I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father…”- (John 5:30)

Jesus reached a point, in what we call human existence, where his perfection was established in full view of imperfect humanity. Mortal eyes witnessed his extraordinary human capacity and accomplishments but were unable to fully understand the means by which he was able to master those tendencies that seem to hold a mastery over the ordinary man. He seemed immune from the vices everyone else only willfully denied themselves with reluctance and self-justification. And his obvious virtue was more pronounced than even the most pious could comprehend, even to the point of ignorant denunciation. But most indignant to the moral and civic conceit of the age was his blatant disregard for contemporary laws of religion and physics, healing indiscriminately both the “spiritually depraved” and “genetically impaired.” It was too unnatural for someone to be “So Perfect.” Without peer equality, nor the prospect of emulation, how could human nature resist the temptation to envy, hate, covet, and destroy such a societal aberration?

What the ignorant masses didn’t realize about Jesus’ unassuming lofty status was that his perfection was actually the means to recognizing their own perfection. His teachings and demonstrations of Truth were simply illustrated for their benefit, through his astonishing healings and thought-provoking parables. When he was informing Nicodemus about “heavenly” entitlement (John 3: 13), he said, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” He cannot reach the kingdom of heaven unless he was first in the kingdom of heaven! When man attains the kingdom of heaven it will be after he realizes that he always was in the heavenly kingdom!

Those mortal inhabitants of earth who are personally enveloped within the “Adam Dream” are incarcerated by a consciousness of limited, finite capacity. That sounds a little like “Hell.” Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, refers to heaven and hell as not really physical localities, but rather states of consciousness. In her textbook, Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, she explains, “Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there and man is found having no righteousness of his own, but in possession of the ‘mind of the Lord,’ as the Scripture says.” She defines hell as mortal belief. And on page 266 of Science and Health, she says, “The evil beliefs which originate in mortals are hell.”

Can a mortal, material man ever be perfect? No more than could a severed branch of a fruit tree exemplify its perfection in yielding an abundance of fruit! As the severed branch, by its separation from the source of its substance, will remain imperfect and ever-diminishing in its finite capacity, so will be any man whose mortal consciousness denies him of his infinite potential. Jesus’ illustrations of the “Vine and Branches” and “the Prodigal Son” define man’s true heritage and its eternal status of perfection.

Chapter15 of John’s Gospel elaborates on the essence of the Christ, and how it establishes an eternal connection for man to the substance of infinite Spirit—God. In the gospel of Luke, Chapter 11, Jesus’ message illustrates two aspects of man’s eternal perfection. In the parable of “Prodigal Son,” the younger of two sons separates himself from the cloistered environment of wealth and security. While he wanders aimlessly through the darkened corridors of materiality, he squanders “his substance with riotous living.” Before diminishing himself completely, he regains a consciousness of perfect being (with his father and family) and works his way back to where he originated (in perfection).

After the initial celebratory commencement, the older brother harbors some resentment about the reconciliation. But the father reminds him, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” He implied that the faithful “homebody” didn’t miss out on anything substantial by abiding in perpetual state of harmony. So, why harbor resentment toward the brother whose separation from “the vine” only caused himself anguish.

Earth was not the original home of the itinerant younger son, nor is it for us! Perfection (harmony—heaven) was and is his/her home and heritage. We have to repent (rethink) our lustful mortal desire to be an independent entity. We have to recall our perfect state of being before we can return and experience it. These illustrations could shed new light on another of Jesus’ more perplexing statements: “The last shall be first, and the first, last,” – (Matt 20:16). The last is to the first, as the first is to the last. “That which is like unto itself is drawn.” – Law of Attraction, Abraham-Hicks

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