Perfection (Part 2)

First I want to thank by friend and fellow kung fu brother Peter Koval for his comment to yesterday’s “Perfection” post. Peter is an amazing photographer; please check out his work at This is what he had to say about yesterday’s post:

“Carsten, congratulations on writing so much drivel everyday. It’s really great.

About perfection. If you say you are not even perfect and admit to not knowing what perfection is, then how can you really say that being perfect is boring?

I have a feeling that perfection is not boring, and it’s a sort of ultimate euphoria, as almost a sense of enlightenment. I think the concept of perfection and how you characterize perfection is at fault. Good looking, rich, well dressed are not characteristics I would necessarily associate with perfection. Those are only temporary materialistic desires to help ease the suffering of the current world we’re in.

I think, if you want to achieve true perfection, study the 4 noble truths, and do your best at everything you do, and with good intention. I think that’s a good start on the road to perfection. Forget about dressing well… I’ve seen your clothes… really… forget about it.”

I am really excited about his comment. I have been writing my posts for over three months now and so far nobody has critiqued what I have been saying. I’m personally more interested in critique then in praise since I am trying to push the envelope with my posts and people not agreeing with me shows me that they read what I wrote thoroughly and that my ideas are worth disagreeing with.

Because honestly I have no idea what I am talking about. I just express viewpoints that feel right to me. I am trying to not get my head involved.

Peter is right. If I do not know what perfection is, how can I say it is boring! But the question is does perfection exist?  Or does it only exist in our minds by visualizing what we believe to be perfect?

The word “perfection” derives from the Latin “perfectio”. The expression comes from “perficio” to “finish” to “bring to an end”. Did the Romans consider everything that is finished to be perfect?

Aristotle considered perfect the following:

– Which is complete, which contains all the requisite parts

– Which is so good that nothing of its kind could be better

– Which attains its purpose

Who can achieve perfection nowadays? Which is so good that nothing of its kind could be better? It might have been possible to be the perfect flutist or write the perfect play back then when there were maybe 100 or 200 people that could have done the same. But today? How can I consider an image that I shot perfect? How can I say that nobody could have taken a better image? Perfection in the outside world does not exist.

Since this blog is mainly about finding joy and happiness in life I also want to mention that striving for perfection is counteracting happiness. I exhausted myself for many years to find perfection in the outside and inside world. Nothing was ever good enough because perfection is unreachable. I spent thousands of hours retouching almost perfect images to perfection but never had a perfect image in my hands. I tried to yoga and meditate myself into perfection and never reached it. I was not able to find a girl to date because none of them was ever perfect. Striving for perfection pushed me further and further away from joy and happiness.

Can we find inner perfection? The joke is that deep inside of us we have always been and will always be perfect. It is not what we imagine perfection to be. Perfection is to be able to follow the river of life. It is to be able to do whatever we came here to do, whatever we must do. It is the ability to let go of controlling our lives based on our ideas and to follow the universal intelligence. When we follow that energy, when we let go of our beliefs then everything we do, say and create is perfect because it follows the universal plan for all things.

How do we get there? This is where I disagree with Peter. I do not think learning or following anything will help. The way to perfection is to undo and to let go. We have to undo our brainwashing and let go of all we have ever believed in. The only thing that stands between perfection and us is our minds/egos. After we transcend them we are able to follow effortlessly wherever life leads us and whatever happens is perfect. 





“Perfection (Part 2)” Williamsburg/Brooklyn, Electric Heater  04-03-08 at 05:05 PM


Please check out my website at


About this entry