Perfection is only attainable in closed environments. It is absolutely impossible in real life.
Closed environments are frameworks with clear sets of rules. Insofar that the participants of the closed environments accept the rules, and hence also accept the ruler, such environments allow for perfection to be achieved.
A simple example is a test paper in school. The test is prepared by the teacher, and is prepared in a closed fashion, i.e. all questions have unique and nonambigous answers. This test is then given to students who have to show their knowledge within this closed framework. Tests are then checked by the teacher and the number of correct answers affects the final grade. A 100% success rate corresponds with the idea that a students knows the subject matter and can be given the highest mark.
Sadly, but truly, closed environments do not resemble real life. Real life never shows up with predefined answers, even worse, there are no clear questions in real life. The questions are constructs, and so are the answers.
To solve this terrible vagueness we invent frameworks. School is one such framework. Engineering is another. Language is another.
Take engineering. Seems like a nicely closed framework, especially when taught in school. An Otto engine is an Otto engine. A brick is a brick. A force is a force. But no. No. No. No.
An Otto engine, referring to the engine of your automobile, is not a closed environment. Here’s my irrefutable proof. Oil production is required to fill your Otto engine, and poisonous gasses are emitted from your Otto engine. Both of these have created immense problems on our planet.
A closed-environment-engineer might claim that I haven’t really touched the Otto engine itself in my critique. I will. Now.
An Otto engine is a Carnot type heat exchange machine, henceforth it is only as efficient as the difference of its lowest and highest operating temperature, divided by the highest temperature. For an Otto engine this is about 40%, yet even this is just its efficiency ceiling in theory, in practice it is 15%, maybe 20% at its best. See, a perfect Otto ought to (pun intended) be as close as possible to its ideal of 40% ceiling efficiency, to be a perfect Otto, yet even a perfect Otto is not perfect. It’s not perfection, because you didn’t buy the engine, you bought a car, a car is a device for taking you from place A to place B, whereby you also want it to be as efficient as possible. Can a technology with 20% efficiency, a huge poluting effect on the environment, and a factor of millions of casualties really be called perfect? Hell no!
On that last argument about deaths, let me leave aside the two latest wars in Iraq, but remind you that oil played a huge factor in both world wars. The first war was started over the fear that Germany would want to gain control over the hugely important oil fields in the Arabic peninsula. The English just couldn’t stand still in the face of the Otto engine inventors befriending the Otoman empire. The second world war’s most important battle was not the battle for Normandy, but it was the battle for Stalingrad, which Hitler wanted to be taken because he wanted to reach into the oil fields around the Caspian sea. The battle for Stalingrad was the bloodiest of the battles on the Ostfront, wherein the Ostfront took 7 out of 8 Germans that were killed in the whole WWII. And for every German three Russians died.
I mentioned three frameworks, three closed environments within which we pretend to be perfect. I have explained school and engineering, while I will leave the language for another time, although language is one of the most ominous frameworks, and as all frameworks it makes us feel as if perfection is achievable.
As said, I will leave language outside of this post. However, I have not put school and engineering to rest just yet. I argue that both are essentially open environments. Treating them as closed may have been useful in the past, but that’s not the case anymore. This closed-environment treatment of school and engineering has brought both of these fields to the knees. Today, school is broken, and engineering is just as bad. Both are broken because we still want those systems to be perfect. We want them to give final answers. We want the best, yet we don’t know what is best, because we don’t even know what is good. Because things are not good or bad in themselves, it’s only the mind that makes them so.
Yet, taoism teaches that one cannot improve on the perfection of the creation. Nature is perfect. The universe is perfect. God is perfect. Love is perfect. And for the mentioned to be perfect they have to be open, not closed. Because as soon as they’re closed they’re imperfect.
Which in the end is a huge paradox because I just said that only closed systems can be perfect, yet they’re not perfect because they’re closed.
Now that is the ominousness of the framework of language. When observing nature, universe and God, there’s no language needed. Perfection is indescribable.
And I love you.