I discovered a new term the other day called “Wabi Sabi.” It is a Japanese concept about the beauty of things that are imperfect and impermanent and incomplete. This sounded a lot like my life and I immediately loved this idea. Anyone who is living in that in-between world that I call “The Void” can identify with learning to accept (if not love) the incomplete and the impermanent.
I did a talk once called The Spirituality of Imperfection, so this idea was not new to me. We are evolving souls and we are never complete or finished so it would behoove us to learn to appreciate our imperfection, because it isn’t going to go away.
I have, from an early age, loved the idea of evolution. I did a paper on evolution in grammar school and the teacher threw the paper across the room in anger. To be fair, she was a Catholic nun and I hadn’t realized at the time that Catholics didn’t believe in evolution. I understand they’ve since changed their position on that thought. Later in ministerial school I wrote a paper on the evolution of consciousness. My instructor, although he didn’t throw my paper across the room, argued with me a bit as well. I got a good grade on the paper, but I don’t think I fully convinced him of my point.
Others have been spouting the idea of the evolution of consciousness for decades, i.e. Teilhard de Chardin, Barbara Marx Hubbard and a host of others. Recently I saw a video by Ian Xel Lungold on the Mayan Calendar and apparently the Mayan’s have known this for centuries. According to them all of creation is evolving, and it makes perfect sense to me.
If we are constantly evolving, it stands to reason that we would never be complete, perfect or permanent. So why is it that we forget that fact and are often so hard on ourselves or our life circumstances?
The two terms Wabi and Sabi have separate meanings. Wabi refers to a rustic simplicity and can be applied to natural or hand-made items. One article I read described it as “asymmetry in a ceramic bowl which reflects the handmade craftsmanship, as opposed to another bowl which is perfect, but soul-less and machine-made.” Sabi is the beauty and serenity that comes with age, such as the patina on an old bronze statue or bowl. I’d like to think it also refers to those wrinkles around my eyes and mouth….they give me character, don’t they? It also reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit that was ragged and torn and yet immensely loved and full of life.
Wabi Sabi…nothing is perfect and yet it is in our imperfection that we find our beauty and uniqueness. I like that! So, I am hanging out in the void and my life feels incomplete. So what? All of life is a simply one void leading to the next void, so what’s my hurry? I might as well enjoy the beauty of this moment!