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Future Perfect. Wednesday May 25, 2016

I was apologising again. I do a lot of this (see Managing Friends 101; 8th July last year).

"Don't apologise," said Raz. "I have a rule that I am only friends with perfect and beautiful people. Therefore, if you have made a mistake, it is only a part of the process of you becoming perfect – and, as time is an illusory irrelevance, you are already in that state of perfection."

I didn't argue. Raz is a quantum physicist, priest, philosopher, musician and poet: I do not pretend to understand him even half the time. I was just grateful he wasn't upset with me.

I'm a writer (hey – you knew that, didn't you?) and so grammar is one of the tools of my trade. The perfect tense in grammar refers to the present statement of an action in the past. For instance, "I have painted this picture." The action of painting took place some time ago. The word perfect, in this case carries the Latin meaning of completed or finished. There are also the forms of pluperfect (or past perfect): "I had painted this picture," and future perfect: "I will have painted this picture." In all cases the picture is a completed and finished work of art. Whether it is varnished, framed and ready to hang in an art gallery with a fabulous price tag is not part of the discussion; the fact it is finished is what makes it perfect.

Maybe I am trespassing into Lex's area of expertise here, but I like to think that we are all working on ourselves – constantly seeking to improve ourselves. We are in fact, working on becoming perfect. Absolute perfection seems unachievable, like infinity: all we can do is "tend toward" it (as I remember from my old A-level Mathematics days).

Our problem arises when we demand absolute perfection right here, right now, in our current time. We want to be proudly exhibiting perfection, just like that painting. And every mistake we make devastates us emotionally because it ruins perfection absolutely.

We could accept the present tense: I am painting this picture. But this present imperfect tense carries no sense of completion: we could be painting that picture for ever more, and never get beyond the background and a few squiggles that might – or might not – be trees.

Instead I like the future perfect tense: I will have painted this picture. I will have become perfect.

I don't understand time as Raz does; quasi time is his particular field, and I didn't get past chapter 3 of Stephen Hawking's Brief History of it, but I'm willing to accept that time is much more complex than I could possibly imagine.

So just maybe, we are all completely perfect, both in the future and right now. Any mistakes we make are just part of the present process of becoming perfect.

You know - I think I can live with that. Even if I don't quite understand it.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Lou Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 7:06am

I love the Moodscope blog; you never know what you are going to get, but it’s always going to make you think! And this one made me smile.

Thanks Mary.

Lou

Hopeful One Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 7:51am

Hi Mary- a well written and thought provoking blog. Is there anything that is ever perfect? I think its like beauty -only in the eye of the beholder. I avoid setting it as my target if I can but instead concentrate on the best I can be.

Today the Joke Squadron is wandering into tiger country and is prepared for flak. It likes the Gurkha saying that the best way to locate one's target is to be ambushed by it.

A very nice, innocent Australian woman wants to get married, but she is only willing to marry a man if he has never had sex with another woman .After several unsuccessful years of searching, she decides to take out a personal ad. She ends up corresponding with Scotty Greer, who has lived his entire life in the Australian Outback. He has no experience with women.They meet and she is very happy with him. Eventually they end up getting married.On their wedding night, she goes into the bathroom to prepare for the evening. When she returns to the bedroom, she finds her new husband standing in the middle of the room, naked. All the furniture from the room is piled in one corner. "What happened?" she asks. "I've never been with a woman" he says... "But if it's anything like a kangaroo, I'm gonna need all the room I can get!"

Lou Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 8:02am

Oh HO! this made me laugh so loudly - thank you so much :) Lou

Leah Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 9:03am

Hopeful my dear boy!, 3 questions 1- have you ever met an Australia? 2- Have you ever been to australia? 3- have you ever met a kangaroo?? ps there are no innocent nice Australian women!! men in the outback have lots of experience with women!! as Mary said no one is perfect or did she say some have a long way to go to perfection!! Still smiling!! Leah ,

Hopeful One Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 9:49am

Hi Leah- Touché ! the answers are - no and no and thanks for the ps updating the Squadron on the fairer sex of Australia and the men which one supposes go together.

Mary Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 10:50am

Still sniggering here!

LillyPet Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 9:12am

Hi Mary,
My home, my work, my relationships, my health all seem far from perfect, I am constantly striving to get to a better point where I feel comfortable, balanced and able to keep moving forward without feeling that I'm not keeping up! I'm not satisfied with my state of imperfection, I dont expect to be perfect, but hope to get to a comfortable state of imperfection.
Thank you for a thought provoking blog! Good wishes to all :) LP xx

Mary Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 10:52am

We are perfect in the struggle. I wrote another blog last night which may go out later this week, which looks at the same subject from a different slant. I hope it will help you be comfortable in your state of becoming perfect.

Tutti Frutti Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 10:58am

Hi LilyPet Just wondering whether what you say on the feeling of not keeping up comes from comparing yourself to others. I often feel inadequate in comparison to other mothers, work colleagues etc as well (and my house is often a tip which doesn't generally bother me because I am not house proud but can cause issues with my husband who is tidier than I am). I don't have any answers to feeling like this personally but I wonder if you saw Leah's blog on May 14 and have read all the comments as I found this quite helpful. Love TF

Holly Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 10:01am

This is...dare I say it....PERFECT!

I'm always trying to work on and improve myself, and often am scared that I focus too much time on this. I would love to be able to sit in the moment and just embrace everything for the way that it is. Thank you for this blog post! :)

Mary Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 10:51am

Ah Holly - thank you!

Lex Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 3:14pm

Oh Mary, you've opened a door in my mind. This might just explain the mystery of believing... but I need to reflect some more... a lot more. What a great blog. You're perfect! L'x

Mary Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 9:25pm

Redeemed at least I hope, Lex m'dear!

Otir Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 3:43pm

What a perfectly wonderful blog post, Mary!
This is my kind of thinking, that opens doors which in turn open onto even more walking down paths of thinking and discovering new venues.

I loved the way you crafted your thoughts into this post that can lead us into interesting reflexions about time and accomplishments. It felt right and pleasant. Thank you!

Mary Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 9:22pm

Otir - what a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much.

The Gardener Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 3:58pm

Hm, get the message, I think - but my shop is trying to sell all my ex grammar books - latin,french,spanish,german and Russian! I love the music, had to give up learning it when I fractured my skull and could not read all those little insects rushing across the page. Future perfect? Future in melting pot.

The Gardener Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 4:07pm

Social workers here Friday - how to keep any autonomy with Mr G - and how to keep me sane. He won't do a thing for himself if he can help it, it's my 'job' to do everything for him ( he has no physical problems except poor sight - awful, I know, but loads of people accept and cope). Nice day, Brits came into garden, 'mini Chelsea' Make every allowance possible for the malady, but strong thread of manipulation - so, the future? As good as I can make it, perfect? No sir. I just want to be less cross.

Mary Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 9:24pm

I hope that we here can be one vent for that anger - and that by venting its destructive force can be ameliorated. But what pleasure your venting gives us. A mini Chelsea indeed; i am almost there with you.

Still picking figs Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 10:16pm

Hi Mary
I read your interesting blog this morning but couldn't think how to reply. I had porridge for brains as well as for breakfast.
Later today, whilst driving on a rain-lashed dual carriageway, I saw a glazing-firm van in the adjacent lane. It's tagline reminded me of your blog: "Windows all misted up? Keep the framework! You just need new glass." A new way of looking at things perhaps.

Anyway, night night. I'm exhausted and feeling past perfect. Xx

Still picking figs Wed, May 25th 2016 @ 10:19pm

Past my sell by date, lol x

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