Tales : The benefit of imperfection

Once upon a time it came to the mind of a certain wealthy businessman that perhaps he should try to learn something about the spiritual path. This man went regularly to the mosque, and listened to the sermon every Friday, but he wondered if there should be more. A friend said, “Well, I hear there is a rag-tag group that sits together in the ruined mosque beyond the cemetery. Go there – perhaps you will learn something from those beggars.” Therefore, one evening the businessman wrapped himself in a cloak and went to see what he could discover.

He found a group sitting in silence while from somewhere in the shadows a voice was speaking on the subject of perfection. He sat and listened while the voice assured the listeners that they should do all they could to attain perfection – that it was their Divine heritage.

When the speaker fell silent, the group began to disperse, and the businessman came forward, wanting to know just who had been giving this advice. To his surprise he found a man who was curled up against a wall, so thin and twisted and crippled that he looked unable even to stand.

“I am astonished,” said the businessman, “that a misshapen creature like you should speak of perfection.”

Looking up sideways at the businessman, the speaker said, “The Divine hand of compassion has given me defects that I cannot ignore. Therefore I have devoted my whole life to the search for perfection. In your case, Destiny has hidden your defects from your own view, and therefore I pity you. Since you are unaware of how twisted you are, for you to ever know perfection will be almost impossible.”

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