“After all, what do you really want? Not perfection; you are already perfect. What you seek is to express in action what you are. For this, you have a body and a mind. Take them in hand and make them serve you.” — Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Our culture doesn’t want us to know that we are perfect and complete. That is how the sellers get us to buy useless stuff. However, we are uniquely perfect. We must learn how to live it fully. Learning to do this isn’t as hard as it has led you to believe.
Already Perfect And Complete
What’s the problem? Why don’t we accept our uniqueness as perfection? It’s because we get a different message from our culture. Our culture tells us we need to conform to the standard they sell. It costs a lot to keep up with the culture’s changing standards.
However, these flaws and imperfections are part of what makes us unique Beings. We are perfectly flawed, and that’s part of what makes us perfect. We must learn to accept ourselves, as we are, with all our imperfections, for this is our natural state.
Learn How to Live it!
When we accept ourselves, we live in a natural state of contentment. Our hearts are open to allow us full access to the virtues within. No matter our situation or condition, we realize that we are already complete, already perfect. We can live an authentic life pursuing what makes us happy, not what makes the culture money. We can learn to live it fully and completely.
From this state of acceptance, we can fully express the “virtues of the spirit.” Living these virtues is how we represent the higher values of our nature. These virtues are gifts from our ancestors. These gifts are gratitude, joyfulness, happiness, love, thankfulness, blissfulness, appreciation, mindfulness, and serenity.
Connecting with these virtues brings us home. When we connect with them, we can learn how to live it. Living these virtues is the essence of our true spirituality. Watch a young toddler, and you see them acting out these virtues in their unique way. They explore themselves and life without boundaries without fear. However, their fearlessness is why you must watch them. Toddlers don’t understand that some things could be harmful.
We can walk in our authenticity when we express the virtues of the spirit. They give us the strength to walk because we realize that we are already complete. We do not need someone else or something else to complete us. So, it tries hard to undermine our self-confidence with fear.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the message we have reinforced by our culture. The culture bombards us with messages telling us we aren’t perfect. Advertising tells us we can only attain this state of acceptance if we buy stuff. They use basic social fears to sell, sell, and sell.
Superimposed Cultural Fears
Growing up from toddler to adolescent, we learn about the dangers of this world. Society teaches us culturally manufactured fears.
The natural fears of being burned, falling, etc., are on the same level as the culture’s superimposed fears. And, these beliefs include judgments and prejudices which impose boundaries and values. These are the things the culture wants us to believe and learn how to live it. Doing so makes us excellent consumers.
These artificial fears include people of other ethnic or racial backgrounds from different economic or social statuses. And the biggest fear is those who don’t ascribe to the same religious belief mythologies.
The culture that we live in fights against us. It does not want us to access the virtues of the spirit. As long as we believe we are imperfect, they can manipulate us into buying “things” that we think will make us perfect. Of course, buying things doesn’t work, so we purchase more.
The culture is continually reinforcing boundaries that separate and divide us. It separates us from each other and the virtues of the heart. It must do this to maintain control. We wouldn’t be very obedient followers or consumers. If they reinforced the positive values that we are already complete, we would buy fewer things.
Personality and Perfection
The Enneagram is a cognitive science system, and we use it as one of the essential tools in our blended learning process. This system uses a questionnaire to identify our default personality profile. Answering these questionnaires unmasks the mechanism of the Ego.
Understanding your Ego will help you see how the culture manipulates us. This process also shows us the positive aspects of our nature that make us complete. When we accept that we are already perfect, this attitude balances our mindset.
Some personality types are especially vulnerable to the concept of perfection. Seeking excellence and perfect order can be powerful drivers. For example, striving for perfection can be an unhealthy obsession for identifying with Type One of the Enneagram Personality Profile. And this tendency magnifies if you are a type one with self-preservation at the top of your instinctual stack. In this case, the world can be frustrating because of the imperfections you’ll find everywhere.
We can overcome this negative programming. All it takes is some inner work with the Enneagram. It will expose the thought processes leading to the fixation on perfection through things.
The Sources of Cultural Programming
When we access the “virtues of the spirit,” we can see through social programming. We see and appreciate the differences in humanity. So, proclaiming our individuality and spirituality would free us. When we see through the programming, we also see injustices and inequities of the cultural systems.
It’s most important to learn the institutions that project and protect these boundaries. At the top of the list is organized religion. Politics is the tool of extremist religious beliefs. When your heart opens, you will recognize advertising, in its many forms, is also attempting to project and control our values.
Cultural programming is a handy social tool. Its primary tactics for manipulation are the use of fear, anger, and the misuse of our sexual instinct. These abuses are the cornerstone of The Abrahamic religions (1). These are the Semitic religions of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
How to Identify Cultural Programming
First, we recommend that you get in the habit of questioning everything, especially your cultural narrative. Second, avoid contact with all religious programming. Be especially wary of Western Organized Religion. We aren’t against all religions. We only want to prevent those who use extremists to promote harmful agendas. Minimizing your contact with of Abrahamic tree of religions mentioned above is healthy. Eventually, you will see through the motives and tactics of manipulation tactics. Take a permanent vacation from religion.
Third, develop the habit of questioning your thoughts, especially the messages you get from social media. It’s an excellent way to identify when someone is trying to manipulate you.
- What emotion is being evoked by the message?
- Is it trying to manipulate me through fear, anger, or sex?
- How is this message trying to use or shape my values?
- Am I able to “See” the motives behind the message?
- What is this message asking me to accept or buy?
- In what way does this message tell me I’m imperfect, flawed?
Accept You Are Already Perfect
We need not doubt that our perfection is unique and authentic. These qualities form the heart of our nature.
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(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia