Everything. Is. Perfect.

Via on Sep 24, 2010

Buddha said: “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”

It is so easy to fall into the trap of looking at the world and finding fault.
When we look, we find what we are looking for—every time. Because we are creators. We create our reality in the form that we choose. We are all-powerful.

If you want to experience peace in the world around you, there must first be peace in your heart.

If you would like to experience abundance, you must first find abundance in your Self.

If you would like to know more joy, seek that place inside yourself where joy comes from.

The world around us is perfect. Do you see it?

Through a telescope: All the galaxies expanding and contracting in the eternal rhythm of life (universe)…the planets dancing round each other in their perfect orbits.

Through a microscope: all the internal systems expanding and contracting in the eternal rhythm of life (breath)…the electrons and neurons and atoms and molecules dancing round each other in their perfect orbits.

(I am not a scientist, forgive any factual errors!)

But the fact remains that on looking up, we see macrocosm; on looking down, we see microcosm. There is a perfect symmetry to the world around us, a perfect order. This is the truth behind the ancient Hermetic law:

“As above, so below; as below, so above. As within, so without; As without, so within.”

When we see chaos, it is because we have created chaos. When we experience suffering, it is because we have attached ourselves to suffering. When we find we are without, then it is time to look within!

Then it is time to learn from our mistakes, to ask ourselves “what am I trying to teach myself?,” and to re-learn to see the world as a child does.

A child sees through eyes that are untainted by expectation. It sees things as they are.

Let us see things as they are. Without fear. Without expectation. Without judgement. Without shame.

Don’t look. Have the courage to see.

It means that we must open ourselves completely.

It means that we must not hold on to what we think we know.

It means letting go of all that is comfortable.

Sound scary? It is, I know.

But the trade-off is this:

We step out of our little bubbles, our little comfort zones; and into a whole new world of beauty and joy.

We realize that we are infinitely connected to all that is, in unimaginable ways—unimaginable because we cannot experience that reality with our imagination, with our thoughts, or with our ideas. Only through being, can we come to know that bliss.

A student asked me:

“What about war? What about rape? What about all the suffering in the world? How can you say that is perfect?”

It’s a good question, and not one that is easy to answer!

But the answer is this:

All human suffering is caused by our belief in duality. When we believe that there is suffering, there is. When we believe that the world is a hard place, it is. When we look for problems, we will certainly find them. And that is what we have been doing for a very, very long time.

Now, in this age, on this day, at this moment, you and I can change all that.
At any moment, any one of us, no matter our circumstances, can change. We can always look inside ourselves and choose a different way. We can always look inside ourselves and let go of the pain, the suffering, the depression, the anger, the lack.

We can always see beauty, joy, and love, within. Because that is where it comes from. And if we all do that, then war, rape, and suffering itself, will disappear. We, mankind, create them with our negativity.

We are perfect as we are. God, whether you think of him/her/it as a being, or an energy, or nature herself, doesn’t make mistakes.

About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston is a therapist, healer, advanced Sivananda Yoga teacher, and writer. His writings have been read by millions of people and can be found on Elephant Journal, Rebelle Society, and various other portals online. He has been teaching Yoga for 16 years in hotels, ashrams, beaches, gyms and rooftops worldwide. And he runs a busy international therapeutic practice from his home in rural Croatia. Offering sessions in person or via Skype, his therapeutic work is based on healing trauma, and the tools he uses for this are varied – mainly RPT, Shamanism, and energy work. He has also developed some of his own methods, particularly in the area of abuse trauma; ‘resource state’ awareness; and boundary reconstruction. He regularly runs retreats combining Yoga and other energetic exercises with his therapy. He would love nothing more than to see you on one of these retreats, since he believes that this approach to personal development is really the only effective way of bringing love and peace to global human society. Connect with Ben on Facebook. Read more of his writing on his new website with integrated blog! Yes, he's excited about that :)

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43 Responses to “Everything. Is. Perfect.”

  1. Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

    Via Ben's facebook page:

    Roger Wolsey: sounds like what wives who are beaten do all the time.

    Ben Ralston: Nope. I'm talking about an inner acceptance. They accept what is happening outside, whilst on the inside there is turmoil.

    Aron Stein Still, it's a slippery slope. You can't just have inner acceptance or you have inaction. At least for most of us. Commented on the article. Still like it!

    Roger Wolsey: Ben, could clarify what you mean. I'm a bit slow it seems. in particular, could you share how a beaten wife "could embrace acceptance" in the way that you do mean?

    Ben Ralston: Aron – inner acceptance does not equate to inaction. Inner acceptance means that you do not resist what is inside you: your feelings – resisting them *would* cause inaction due to incoherence. By accepting how you feel, you become free from it to change it.

    Roger Wolsey: ah… i see, as long as she'd be free to resist her abuser and to resist that situation by fleeing from it.

    Aron Stein: Ben. Often inner acceptance does equate to inaction. It is a well known phenomena in Buddhism. we call it the Stink of Zen, where you go through a phase in which everything seems perfect to you.

    Roger Wolsey: perhaps something like – "I accept that I feel X when Bob does Y to me. I accept that I do not have to continue to feel X. I accept that if I am no where near Bob, Y won't happen to me and I won't feel like X" ?

    Aron Stein: It's the same phenomena when someone allows them selves or others to be abused by a master because there is no difference, no duality. You can accept the abuse as well as how you feel, but you are still stuck in non-duality. Wheter or not that woman was in a state of non-duality is questionable, but I assure you that does happen.

    Roger Wolsey this is a huge part of why I have not become a Buddhist.

    Ben Ralston Allowing abuse IS THE OPPOSITE of what i'm talking about! Someone who allows themselves to be abused doesn't accept THEMSELF! It's called having poor boundaries. Acceptance BEGINS with the self. When you accept yourself, you love yourself, and cannot tolerate abuse.
    Similarly, one who loves themself, loves the world around them, and will not tolerate cruelty, abuse, or pollution of the world around them. It is the ultimate revolution!

  2. Aron Stein says:

    Agreed. It's a problem with language most likely and concepts. To speculate that everything could be perfect is different than saying it is. Imperfect perception causes and imperfect world. i.e all is not perfect, even to someone with perfect perception;)

  3. Ben Ralston Ben Ralston says:

    Hi Aron,

    I believe that if every human being would embrace their own perfection, and the perfection of the natural world, then the children you speak of would applaud us.

    Everything is perfect that human beings don’t tarnish with their ideas of imperfection.

    Bodhisatvas who have self-realized realize their perfect self, and try to help the world by getting us to realize it too… but we’re usually too busy discussing how imperfect everything is (in our heads, and with our tongues) to listen.

    Buddah said: “Be a light unto thyself”.

    Why? Did he want you to see your imperfection? No, he wanted you to wake up and see that you’re the same as he was!!

    This idea of suffering and imperfection is just that: as man-made idea.

    There is a load of work left, yes. But if each person on the planet did their share today, the world would be squeeky clean tomorrow.

  4. J. Carranza says:

    Great content, great article. Buddha believed that life is suffering. To acknowledge that piece is essential. Suffering in the form of sickness, old age, poverty and death. Those things are real. I believe you are saying that we must change our perspective when these real life changes occur and cause suffering. Reading the article had me thinking that you were insisting by simply changing the paradigm, we can eliminate suffering and chaos altogether. That we create it. Most of the negative energy is reflected, but suffering is static and part of life's reality.

  5. Well written piece. I have to side with Aron on the perfection. I spend my time trying to inspire others to see the world's imperfection (some man-made, preventable, all hopefully fixable) and take action to help improve the world. That is not to say, however, that we present these problems with anger (altho, sometimes I am guilty of this!) or with feelings of helplessness. Perspective.

  6. Padma Kadag says:

    Following what you have said here in your article and carrying out your philosophy…what will be the result of your death? What will become of you the one you identify as Ben Ralston? I am curious.

  7. marilee r torres says:

    yes…….but…..debating with Buddhism gets me loopy-or caught in circularity 😀 which if different than ping-ponging in duality.i hear Roger-i WAS the beaten wife, and i still find it hard to swallow that i accepted or allowed…until i saw the light and refused to be a part of it…there is an innocent ignorant time before there is awareness of boundaries, knowing self -acceptance…there is a time *before* and when still unaware one is a sort of accepting victim-but ignorant of any alternatives.
    how does the un-enlightened world teach the guerrillas in the congo that rape is not magic or patriotic? how does the LIGHT get turned on for those not on the path, how can the path to enlightenment be broadened and shared?

  8. marilee r torres says:

    yes…….but…..debating with Buddhism gets me loopy-or caught in circularity 😀 which if different than ping-ponging in duality.i hear Roger-i WAS the beaten wife, and i still find it hard to swallow that i accepted or allowed…until i saw the light and refused to be a part of it…there is an innocent ignorant time before there is awareness of boundaries, knowing self -acceptance…there is a time *before* and when still unaware one is a sort of accepting victim-but ignorant of any alternatives.

  9. ARCreated says:

    Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
    Perfect :)

  10. Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

    Beautifully said Pauloone – that's exactly it.
    When we truly believe that everything is perfect as it is, we are more loving… as such, whenever we see imbalance, we take action. Its' in our perfect nature to do so… so complacency is impossible in one who feels the inherent perfection of nature.

  11. Natalie Jobling says:

    Thought precedes form.

  12. Val says:

    Love this article and the discussions it provokes! So many thoughtful people. It has given me a lot to think about… Thank you!

  13. Lynn Hasselberger Lynn Hasselberger says:

    Phenom discussion. Thanks, Ben!!!

  14. Blake Wilson Blake says:

    Put down "perfect." It's just another label.

  15. yogadon says:

    you want to be happy,be happy, you want to be sad, be sad, you want to be angry,be angry, you want to be enlightened, be enlightened, just be

  16. Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

    Hi Ramesh,
    Thank you!
    I am aware of these subtle philosophical differences between yoga and tantra, and different branches of vedantic philosophy within each… but the truth is I turned my back on philosophy a little while ago.
    I was in training to become a Swami; met my wife; who introduced me to an enlightened teacher… who keeps things really simple. And now I find myself thinking more and more in his terms.
    I see that everything has reason: there is no real chaos, only cause and effect. As such, everything in the world is perfect as it is.
    I love the quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj… something like:
    Only one who is beyond the need of help, can truly help others.
    That's what I believe – perfect yourself, then worry about the world. If we all did that with all our energy and attention, within one generation we'd have peace on earth. Two at most. It's going to happen but not that fast! Kali Yuga still has some way to go right?
    Love, Ben

  17. Ramesh says:

    Ben, in so many words, perfection is a state of mind! My philosophy is not to turn my back on anything…. philosophy is important, logic is important, rationality is important, science is important, as signposts to live by. But if these just becomes an intellectual game, philosophy is useless. I agree with you in a deep sense that we must firts perfect ourselves, and as part of that perfection, deep yoga philosophy is a useful tool to reveal dogma and new age mumbo jumbo.

    Peace on earth? Peace in the heart, yes! But ultimate peace in the world, not possible! Even in nature there is no perfect peace, there is suffering, there is pain. Not always peace. Peace is a state of mind, and thus perfection is only possible in the spiritual realm. That beautiful insight is also yogic, or Tantric, and I think it is very useful and devoid of illusion.
    I love Nisargadatta. His classic book I am That, is often in my hands and heart. But I love Krishna even more, because he understood this tantric balance of the dual and the nondual. Just look at a bird when being eaten by a wolf, it is not peace, it is brutal pain and fear. That is also part of nature. Only in the spiritual heart of the realized yogi is there ultimate peace and love. Have no illusion and be brave in the heart with infinite love! The world will always have a certain element of turmoil and chaos and pain and violence. That's how the universe works, from imperfection toward perfection….That is God's Divine Dance, and we should see it in the face, have no illusions. Divine perfection is a state of being!

  18. All is perfect, so perfectly perfect!
    Whatever being lives, moves
    And breathes on Earth
    At every level from atom
    To galaxy is absolutely perfect in its place
    Precise and choreographed…

    When you have surrendered your ego
    To "That"
    You will find true happiness….

    (Isa Upanishad)

    Bob Weisenberg
    ElephantJournal

  19. Steve S. says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reminds me of aspects of "Conversations with God". Very powerful series of books.

  20. Barbara says:

    Beautiful piece, wonderful discussion – thank you!

  21. Joe Sparks says:

    Humans, free of distress, would automatically care deeply about the universe around them and seek to work to build a just society, clean up the environment, and pursue all other desirable goals.

  22. Ramesh says:

    Ben, using the wonderful quote Bob gifted us from the Isa Upanishad, I'd summarize my point as follows: Great is the yogi who surrenders his or her ego to THAT, greater still is the yogi who surrenders his or her ego to THAT while also serving the world to make it a better place for all of us. That is sacred activism!

  23. […] Really disappointed in how our culture relies so heavily on a binary system; if there is something in-between physical and mental we avoid it or institutionalize it. I’ve never found comfort in church like settings and thus in […]

  24. […] and even new experiences can teach you different versions of the same old lessons. If the past was perfect, why wouldn’t the future be perfect, too? Yeah, you’re going to make more mistakes because […]

  25. Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

    God help me stop looking. Give me the courage to see.

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