power of imperfection

The tremendous power of imperfection

"Don't think in terms of having to be perfect, think in terms of having to be total. Totality will give you a different dimension," writes Osho.

Man’s glory is that he is the only animal who grows. Out of his imperfection man has become a tremendous power. The child of man is the most helpless child, and out of that helplessness, great things have happened. Man is born with very weak instincts. That’s why he becomes intelligent—he has to become intelligent, he has to substitute his weaker instincts with a stronger intelligence. A dog need not do anything; a dog is perfect; he lives through his instincts he never allows his intelligence to grow. What is the point? The instincts are doing far better, more perfectly than intelligence will ever be able to do.

Intelligence is there because you are weak in your instincts. Man has developed all kinds of technologies, science because man is very weak. Just watch: he cannot run like a wolf or a dog, he is not strong like a lion or a tiger, he is not swift like a deer. Out of these imperfections, he has done great things. He has developed weapons because he is weak physically; he could not have survived without weapons. He is delicate, he is not strong. Because he is not speedy he has developed speedy vehicles. Because he is prone to illness and disease he has developed medicine.

Out of imperfection man blooms. Because he does not know, he has developed philosophies and religions. No dog has developed a philosophy or a religion. There is no need; the dog knows already, knows instinctively. The dog is not ignorant, so there is no need to know. Man is ignorant, it hurts. He tries to know, he becomes curious, he explores, he becomes adventurous.

All animals are satisfied; only man is continuously in discontent. That’s his beauty. Out of his discontent he grows, he finds new ways of growth. Only man is anxious, anxiety-ridden. Hence he develops meditation techniques. Just watch: whatsoever you have—in culture, in art, in philosophy—is out of your imperfections.

The music is created by the meeting of silence and sound; the music is created by the polar opposites.

Don’t be bothered about perfection. Replace the word ‘perfection’ with ‘totality’. Don’t think in terms of having to be perfect, think in terms of having to be total. Totality will give you a different dimension. That’s my teaching: Be total, forget about being perfect. Whatsoever you are doing, do it totally—not perfectly, but totally. And what is the difference? When you are angry the perfectionist will say ‘This is not good, don’t be angry; a perfect man is never angry.’ This is just nonsense—because we know that Jesus was angry. He was really angry against the traditional religion, against the priests, against the rabbis. He was so angry that single-handed he drove all the money-changers from the temple, a whip in his hand. And he was shouting at the top of his voice, and they became frightened—his anger was so intense, passionate. It is not just an accident that the people he was born to had to kill him. He was really angry; he was in rebellion.

Remember, the perfectionist will say ‘Don’t be angry.’ Then what will you do? You will repress your anger; you will swallow it; it will become a kind of slow poisoning in your being. You may be able to repress it but then you will become an angry person, and that is bad. Anger as a flare-up once in a while has its own function, has its own beauty, has its own humanity. A man who cannot be angry will be spineless, will not have guts. A man who cannot be angry will not be able to love either—because both need passion, and it is the same passion. A man who cannot hate will not be able to love; they go together. His love will be cold. And remember, warm hate is far better than a cold love. At least it is human—it has intensity, it has life, it breathes.

It is the stretched soul that makes music. And souls are stretched by the pull of opposites—opposite bunts, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity, where energies flow smoothly in one direction, there will be much doing but no music, much noise but no music. The music is created by the meeting of silence and sound; the music is created by the polar opposites.

Excerpted from The Revolution by Osho

Osho is known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, with an approach to meditation that acknowledges the accelerated pace of contemporary life.


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