Are you looking for perfection?
Visiting Athens for two days I learned that this is a place to study wisdom, history and democracy of old. A city where gods, nobles, great poets, sculptures’, painters, and philosophers flocked to, and we still do as tourists -looking for perfection or is it wisdom?
The magnificent archaeological sites and ruins tell us of a history stemming back 1000’s of years ago. It is of course the home of philosophers Socrates, Plato, and the birthplace of democracy, where decisions were made on the basis of popular vote, counted from a hilltop.
When in Athens you climb the Acropolis and so on our recent trip to Athens we did. The Parthenon and Temple of Athena are a perfect place to visit with a guide, and to have an archaeologist as ours was a blessing. I listened fascinated as she tells us of Athena and Zeus…two of the twelve Gods who ruled at the time a team of 6 female and 6 male. Sensible, I think to myself, remembering the most effective board’s I have sat on have had this balance of feminine and masculine. The Parthenon was built and dedicated to Athena the God of Wisdom & Harmony. Poseidon the God of the Sea contested Athena for domination of the City of Athens. Striking his trident into the rock of the Acropolis Poseidon created a well of seawater in the rock. Athena struck her trident into the rock and created the Olive Tree. A vote was taken between the 12 Gods of Olympus and Athena was declared victor and so gave her name to the city of Athens.
I remember the historian on board ship telling us to remember that every Myth has an element of truth to it…just like the stories we hear from our forefathers, oracles, elders and storytellers.
Next our guide makes a sweeping statement that the current Parthenon is not perfect in it’s construction…. How can this be so? It looks it? Architects concerned with the re-build of it took the advice of Pythagoras and his knowledge of perception. I am astounded to see this magnificent example of this guy’s theory of 5/4/9 and even more the understanding that the Parthenon could not be created in perfection as it needed to be imperfect so that when the human eye saw the Parthenon the mind perceived perfection.
Listening intently, my jaw drops and tears well up in my eyes! How fascinating! How wonderful! “Why didn’t someone at school explain this to me,” I express angrily to my husband? This combination of history, architecture and maths was so much more interesting than my text books portrayed. And wow – six gods female, six gods male, the birth place of democracy…no wonder there is a Temple for Athena the God of Harmony and Wisdom, and how wonderful that it is imperfect!
Are you looking for perfection? Could it be you find what you’re looking for from accepting and celebrating the imperfection?