Harry and Sally. A man and a woman, opposite in every way, on paper resolutely incompatible. To begin with they are unable to even be in the same room without arms folding, eyes rolling, doors slamming.
Yet, as they get to know each other, it is obvious: they are meant to be together.
So it is with perfect and potential.
At first, they seem utterly incompatible.
Perfection. Everything exactly right, right now.
Potential. The end of what is.
Surely the two cannot even exist at the same moment, let alone complete each other.
Well not only do perfect and potential exist together in every moment, seeing the truth of this means a completely new understanding of our nature, of how we are designed to live.
Let’s take a few lines from Harry and Sally’s voice over to have a look at this.
‘The first time we met we hated each other’
If you are like me, you might find yourself using the potential for something different as a reason to reject the current moment
‘I shouldn’t be doing this, I should be doing that.’
‘There’s got to be something better.’
‘I can’t wait until…’
‘I wish I…’
Perfection is an impossibility because we believe we would be happier, more fulfilled, more secure if things were different.
Or we look around us and believe that what we see around us right now creates our happiness and security. Any sort of change is a threat.
‘This is going well. I mustn’t mess it up.’
‘I’m so in love with him. What if he left me?’
‘Right now I have everything I need. Please don’t let it change.’
‘I know how to do this job. Best not to take the promotion in case it doesn’t work out.’
We cling on to what is because it seems that is where our happiness and security lie.
Perfect hates potential. Potential hates perfect.
It makes for a very good start to a film.
‘The third time we met we became friends’
Then, if you are like me, you realise that this set up is creating a fair bit of suffering and you would like the suffering to stop.
It seems that in resisting what is we hang around in it forever.
It seems that in clinging on to what is we choke the life out of it.
We look more closely at this ‘what is’. It seems to change all the time. Anxiety, calm, anger, peacefulness, love, hate, jealousy, pride, fear, ease, confidence, insecurity. All of them can arrive at any moment.
We start to realise that maybe our happiness and security don’t depend on what we see around us. Maybe these emotions are out of our control, appearing and disappearing.
We become open to whatever we are experiencing right now exactly as it is, because whatever we are experiencing is simply our mind doing whatever it does. To resist what is is to resist our humanness, to resist our life.
We become open to change, because our experience changes constantly, a new thought can appear at any moment creating a completely new reality. We see that our security, well-being and peace of mind are constant, always there beneath the changing thoughts.
Perfect and potential start to become friends.
‘And then we fell in love’
We go deeper and deeper into the realisation that our entire reality is ever changing, created by the ebb and flow of thought, that we are a being in constant movement.
We see that past, present and future are only ever an experience of thought in this moment right now. There is only ever this moment. This is all we ever have.
The perfection of this moment is self evident. It is consciousness experiencing itself through human form. There is no greater miracle than right now, whatever is being experienced cannot be improved on. Through the unfathomable mystery of awareness, a split-second creation arises from nothing. The perfection is mind-blowing.
At the same time this perfection does not exist. From macro to micro, every element is in transit. Energy continually shapeshifting from one form to another. Nothing to hold on to, to fix on, transforming itself. There is nothing but pure potential for something else.
We live the perfection by knowing that everything, by the time we experience it, has already become something else, that it was never there in the first place.
We live our potential by knowing that right now, this exact moment is all we have.
We are particle and wave. We are this moment right now, fixed in time and we are the motion that says to be fixed is an impossibility.
This is the player so present in the perfection of the right now, that the next seamless move is already emerging.
This is the writer so absorbed in the timeless now that the future of the book is written into every line.
This is the friend listening so intently and with such simple love to another that time stands still and stretches out for all eternity.
This is the person living in the knowledge that their entire life consists of this moment alone, welcoming with fearless, open heart the destruction and obliteration of this moment.
The freedom, completeness and realism of this way of living is so visible, so powerfully magnetic that the woman in the cafe looks on in awe and says, in those immortal words, ‘I’ll have what she’s having’.
And then the woman takes a moment, puts down her coffee cup and realises.
She has it all already, always did, always will. There is nothing to have, never was, never will be.