Psych Central


“The Buddha lived in India five centuries before Jesus and almost two centuries before Aristotle.  The first step in his belief system was to break through the black-and-white world of words, pierce the bivalent veil and see the world as it is, see it filled with ‘contradictions,’ with things and not-things, with roses that are both red and not-red, with A and not-A.  You find this […] theme in Eastern belief systems old and new, from Lao-tze’s Taoism to the modern Zen in Japan.  Either-or versus contradictionA or not-A versus A and not-A.   Aristotle versus the Buddha.” (B. Kosko)

Seeing yourself as either perfect or imperfect is black-and-white thinking.  Time to update your understanding of perfection from the standard Western, psychologically toxic, dualistic view of perfection to a more self-accepting, psychologically healthier, nondual view of perfection: you are neither perfect nor imperfect or, if you prefer, you are perfectly imperfect.  Same thingless thing!

Perfectionism suffers from Aristotelian dichotomies and bivalences: it cuts life in half, into “what is” and “what should be,” into “perfect” and “imperfect,” into “actual” and “ideal.”  A perfectionistic mind is sore with the either/or self-fragmentation.   Time to learn to accept your whole self in its existential continuity.   In other words, time to stop falling onto this Aristotelian sword of black-and-white self-judgment.

Yes, you are doing the best that you can at any given point in time and you can still do better.   Time to perfect perfection!

Resources:

Self-Acceptance Manifesto

 


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From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (June 8, 2010)

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    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2010). Perfection: Aristotle versus Buddha. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 23, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2010/06/perfection-aristotle-versus-buddha/

 

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Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. is the author of The Lotus Effect, Present Perfect, The Smoke-Free Smoke Break, and Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time.


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