Osho Quotes on Perfection – I don’t teach perfection, I teach wholeness, not perfection

Osho Quotes on Perfection

  1. In life, only mad people ask for perfection. The perfectionist is another name for someone who is getting ready to become mad.
  2. Change your basic philosophy of that of an achiever. Relax into your being. Don’t have any ideals, don’t try to make something out of yourself, don’t try to improve upon God. You are perfect as you are. With all your imperfections you are perfect. If you are imperfect, you are perfectly imperfect — but perfection is there. Once this is understood, where is the hurry? Where is the worry? You have already slowed down. And then it is a morning walk with no destination, going nowhere. You can enjoy each tree and each sunray and each bird and each person that passes by.
  3. Perfectionism is a neurosis. It is an illness. And the more you try to become perfect, the more frustrated you will become. The goal of perfection has led the whole of humanity towards madness; the earth has almost become a madhouse. I don’t teach perfection. What do I teach? I teach wholeness, not perfection. Be whole; be total; but don’t think about perfection.
  4. A person remains incomplete unless he becomes enlightened. You cannot expect perfection from a person before enlightenment, but you can expect perfection in a skill. You cannot expect perfection in the being, but in the doing it can be expected, there is no problem about it. An archer can hit the target without ever missing it — and may not be in it. He has learned the technique, he has become a mechanism, a robot. It is simply done by the head and the hand.
  5. Meditation has nothing to do with perfectionism, but perfection comes as a by-product. As you become silent it follows you, wherever you go it is there — and it is not something dead, hanging around you. It is growing. That is the most miraculous thing about it, because we always think of perfection as the dead end.
  6. Why this obsession with perfection? Then you will be tense, anxious, nervous, always uneasy, troubled, in conflict. The English word ‘agony’ comes from a root which means: to be in conflict. To be constantly wrestling with oneself — that is the meaning of agony. You will be in agony if you are not at ease with yourself. Don’t demand the impossible, be natural, at ease, loving yourself, loving others. And remember, a person who cannot love himself because he goes on condemning, cannot love anybody else either. A perfectionist is not only a perfectionist about himself, he is about others also. A man who is hard on himself is bound to be hard on others. His demands are impossible.
  7. If you love the woman, you love the woman with all her limitations, with all her imperfections; she loves you with all your imperfections and limitations. But this is what — particularly to the Indian mind — is very significant: perfection. And to demand perfection is a kind of neurosis. It will drive the other neurotic, and as far as you are concerned, you are already neurotic. If you ask perfection in any human being you will create trouble for yourself and for the other, and your life will be nothing but misery. The real man of understanding and intelligence accepts the imperfections of the other and still loves. Love is great enough; it can even love people who have no character, people who are not pure according to your ideas, people who sometimes go astray, people who sometimes commit small sins. Love is big enough to accept all this and to transform it too.
  8. A perfectionist is neurotic. And not only is he neurotic, he creates neurotic trends around him. So don’t be a perfectionist, and if somebody is a perfectionist around you escape away from him as fast as you can before he pollutes your mind. All perfectionism is a sort of deep ego trip. Just to think of yourself in terms of ideals and perfection is nothing but to decorate your ego to its uttermost. A humble person accepts that life is not perfect. A humble person, a really religious person, accepts that we are limited, that there are limitations.
  9. Ego wants to be the first, ego wants to put everybody below itself; hence it takes itself seriously. Hence it is perfectionist: it demands perfection, which is impossible. Nobody is perfect; nobody can exist for a single moment if he is perfect. Imperfection is the way of life, because it is possible to grow only if you are imperfect. If you are perfect there is no more growth, no more evolution. If you are perfect you are stuck. Perfection means death; imperfection means flow, growth, movement, dynamism. The ego demands perfection of oneself and of others too. It asks for the impossible, and because the impossible cannot be achieved it can go on living. It is not happy with the ordinary; it wants the extraordinary, and life consists only of the ordinary. But the ordinary is beautiful, the ordinary is exquisite. There is no need of anything extraordinary. The ordinary life is sacred, but the ego condemns it as mundane. It demands extraordinary life. Hence all the religions go on inventing stories about their founders which are all untrue: Moses separating the sea, Jesus walking on the water… all these stories are inventions, lies, created by the followers just to prove that their master is extraordinary; he is not an ordinary human being.
  10. Buddha says: Meditation is enough to solve your problems, but something is missing in it — compassion. If compassion is also there, then you can help others solve their problems. He says: Meditation is pure gold; it has a perfection of its own. But if there is compassion then the gold has a fragrance too — then a higher perfection, then a new kind of perfection, gold with fragrance. Gold is enough unto itself — very valuable — but with compassion, meditation has a fragrance.
  11. Meditation makes one perfect — not a perfectionist, remember. A perfectionist is a neurotic. Meditation makes you perfect, but not a perfectionist. Perfection comes just like a shadow to meditation: you need not bother about it, you need not care about it. it is simply there, it will follow you. The perfectionist has an idea of a goal ahead of him and the meditator has no idea of perfection; perfection follows him from the beyond like a shadow. That is the difference between a perfectionist and a perfect man. Perfection is behind the perfect man and ahead of the perfectionist. Because it is ahead it drives him nuts. he is trying to become it, he is sacrificing his present for the future and once you become accustomed of sacrificing your present for the future your whole life will be rained; not only this but your future lives will be ruined.
  12. Meditation is not a static thing. It is a balance. You will have to attain it again and again and again. You will become more and more capable of attaining it, but it is not going to remain forever, like a possession in your hands. It has to be claimed each moment — only then is it yours. You cannot rest, you cannot say, ‘I have meditated and I have realised that now there is no need for me to do anything more. I can rest.’ Life does not believe in rest; it is a constant movement from perfection to more perfection. Listen to me: from perfection to more perfection. It is never imperfect, it is always perfect, but always more perfection is possible.
  13. Perfection is a goal somewhere in the future, totality is an experience herenow. Totality is not a goal, it is a style of life. If you can get into any act with your whole heart, you are total. Totality brings wholeness and totality brings health and totality brings sanity. The perfectionist completely forgets about totality. He has some idea how he should be, and obviously time will be needed to reach that idea. It can’t happen now — tomorrow, day after tomorrow, this life, maybe next life… so life has to be postponed.
  14. The ego remains imperfect and goes on demanding perfection. My whole message is to see the truth, to see the hell that ego creates in the name: of perfection, uniqueness — and to let it drop. Then there is a tremendous beauty — no ego, no self, just a deep emptiness. And out of deep emptiness is creativity, out of that nothingness arises bliss, SATCHITANANDA, truth. Being, bliss, all arise out of that absolute purity. When the ego is not, you are a virgin. Christ was born out of a virgin; your nothingness is that Mother Virgin, Mother Mary.
  15. The moment you desire something you are saying that “I am wiser than the whole.” You are saying that “You don’t know what has to be done and I have come to advise you.” You are telling the whole that “The way things are is not right: they should be according to me.” Prayer is just the opposite of desire. Prayer means, “The way things are is absolutely perfect, they are as they should be. Hence, I have nothing except a deep gratitude.” Real prayer is bowing to existence in tremendous thankfulness because whatsoever is, the way it is, is the most perfect way it can ever be. A prayerful heart knows that the universe is perfect each moment; it is moving from perfection to more perfection. The world is not moving from imperfection to perfection, remember: it is moving from perfection to more perfection. That’s the understanding of the prayerful heart. But we are full of desires.
  16. You are human, in a certain time, in a certain space, with certain limitations. Accept those limitations. Perfectionists are always on the brink of madness. They are obsessed people — whatsoever they do is not good enough. And there is no way to do something perfectly — perfection is not humanly possible. In fact, imperfect is the only way to be. So what do I teach you here? I don’t teach you perfection, I teach you wholeness. That is a totally different thing. Be whole. Don’t bother about perfection. When I say be whole, I mean be real, be here; whatsoever you do, do it totally. You will be imperfect but your imperfection will be full of beauty, it will be full of your totality. Never try to be perfect otherwise you will create much anxiety. So many troubles are there already; don’t create more troubles for yourself.
  17. I don’t teach perfection. Perfection simply creates neurosis in people. Perfectionists are neurotics; they drive themselves crazy in trying to be perfect, because they are trying to do the impossible. I teach totality; I teach wholeness, not perfection. Be total in whatsoever you are doing. Be total. If you are angry, then be totally angry. If you are in love, then be totally in love. If you are sad, then be totally sad. Don’t be halfhearted in anything. That is a totally different approach towards life.
  18. The path of Buddha is of total surrender: total surrender to the dhamma, to tao, to the universal law, to God. These are different names for the same phenomenon. We are living in a cosmos, not in a chaos. Everything is as perfect as it can be; nothing can be improved upon. The very idea of trying to improve upon things is sheer stupidity. Those who have known, they have known the absolute perfection of existence. Then what is left? To dissolve in the whole and celebrate!