“Humanity is imperfect.” – Or is it? As beings of finite existence, the ideology is thrown around that only deity figures exhibit innocence, purity and that which is desired above all things, perfection. This is evidenced in numerous photo-shoots, airbrushing and the invention of PhotoShop, so that people might gloss over their appearance, aiming closer and closer to perfection. But where does this leave the entirety of society? What purpose does this constant pursuit of perfection serve? Perhaps it caters to our most desperate desire to be loved, for the person that one has come to be. In this sense religion works against the esteem of society, stating that perfection is holy and something that must be desired. This ideology merely serves as a catalyst for personal degradation – It is amusing how if a person is told by another that they are a “bad,” person, it is merely brushed off, water off a duck’s back. Yet if a faith, or moral ideology states an exact or similar stance, thousands of people enter a personal quest to reclaim their own morality. It as almost as though humanity – at least a particular percentage of it – believes that it is justified to be judged upon their actions, if they are being judged from a religious standing point.
Numerous cultures and religious texts claim that it is only the eternal deity or deities duty/divine right to judge humanity. But what separates humanity from the animal population? Humanity differs in that, they have the capacity to reason, the ability to be creative, free will and indeed the capacity to love.
What is love? Is love a humble emotion? An intricate farce? Illusive? Non-existent? To fully understand what this means, it would be a good idea to analyse what love has the capacity to do to a human:
Confuse, empower, inspire, irrationalise, hurt, destroy, create, seduce, steal. Love has infinite capacities.
But before continuing, one must ask the question: Are these positive or negative capabilities? It could be defined as an almost equal balance of both positive and negative. The interesting thing about the human condition is that it is constantly changing, therefore an opinion I sate today on the matter of love may simply change in an hour. However in our contemporary society, love is portrayed as a deep sentimental feeling of attachment to a person or object. Thus when this object or person is abruptly taken, results in immense feelings of sadness, guilt and may even begin an endless cycle of depression. One thing can be universally stated. Love is a powerful force that has the capacity to transcend nature, race, social status, sex and law.
In our post-modernistic society, a famous psychologist (Erickson) postulates that humanity undergoes eight stages in their, all that have their own unique conflicts that must be resolved. Positive and successful resolution of these conflicts will result in the successful development of self-confidence, and this notion of an ‘ego’.
N.B. This notion of ego is in no manner a negative element of our nature. Ego in this sense refers to this idea of people’s self confidence and willingness to participate in the wider society due to this ego. (Thus keeping society, the economy and the world in constant perpetuality)
According to this psychologist the stage at which the human becomes a young adult, that is, 19-40, the most important event in this stage of development, is love relationships. This period of their lives need to be spent searching for true intimacy and that is not exclusively sexual. Physical intimacy is not indicative of emotional intimacy. The young adult must learn to be truly open and honest with their partner, thereby experiencing these love relationships.
The issue with the topic of love is that it is so ambiguous that the young, often misled by numerous sources mistake love for lust. The exposure of adult material to those that are underage has a direct correlation to this confusion of lust with love. Viewing this same kind of adult material is one of the factors behind this desensitisation from graphic imagery thereby cheapening the concept of an intellectual love, relationship even.
One of the major factors of this detachment or desensitisation to the true power of love is technology. Texts, Instant messaging, e-mail to an extent, whilst having the capacity to connect those half way across the world, cheapens the humble communication that can occur without words, but through touch. Ironic I communicate this through the Internet, but is the best medium to reach people. When was the last time that you were told “I love you?”
Now ponder when was the last time you were told “I love you,” by a person you haven’t even met. I will acknowledge that in my own life this is an annoyance and waste of time. I love you, in the form of a text message from a person that you know nothing about is meaningless, or is it? It was once stated, that is what humanity communicated to sound sweet. This would logically mean that in our contemporary society love has been replaced by the emotional form of ice cream –This could at least be true in a biological context as love is comparative to that of eating huge amount of chocolate.
Culture also has a direct correlation to what a society perceives love to be. Do arranged marriages constitute love? At times this can be the case, but for the bulk of these financial arrangements the notion of love does not exist, finance is of more importance. Then as the couple lives together, a growth, of fondness occurs. Using this logic, love is nothing more than large amounts of chocolate combined with fondness? Well that certainly doesn’t sound right to Western Civilisation.
The second essential aspect to humanity is the ability to rationalise, to reason, to apply logic to almost any given situation. Some may chose to discredit logical reasoning as the more bland aspect of existence, yet it is key to the attribute that allows humanity to defines themselves as indeed human. Yet it must be stated that creativity – another key aspect to the identification as human – is almost a contradiction to logic. In this sense humanity is a complete paradox in itself. Humanity reasons, yet it can ignore reason, to be creative, to have faith, to experience an essence of existence that is evident within each being – Spirituality. One of the fundamental, logical reasonings behind the existence of God are the patterns that appear in nature. The manner through which the world has been organised, the numerous eco-systems, in addition to the delicate creation of bacteria and microbes that keep the higher order of life functioning.
What does this examination of the attributes of humanity mean for this discussion? Consider the notion that humanity was created in the image of the eternal creator. Yet, humanity is imperfect, God is perfect. Let us use one of the attributes that humanity was endowed with, logic. Using this facet of humanity, it is possible to see God in a different, perhaps more imperfect light.
God existed before life. This eternal deity created all manner of existence on this planet and indeed the universe. If this God were indeed intrinsically perfect, then why would there be the desire to create anything in the first place? God being the embodiment of all perfection would mean this deity would not require nor feel any desire to do anything other than exist in his own self righteous glory. Humanity being made in the likeness of God would mean two things, either humanity is perfect in its imperfection or indeed God is not perfect.
But I would postulate the former to creatively viable. Humanity has the capacity to be perfect. But the only action detrimental to this ideology is seeking perfection. As a species we must acknowledge our imperfections, embrace them, thereby changing the minds perception of immaculacy. Yet seeking for it, merely demeans humanity, as it places our own desires and power to be complete within a being, object or image that exists outside ones body, thereby hindering what could be perfect.