Here Washington was recognizing the contrast between the practical human-level complications and built-in tensions and the lofty expectations of divine principles expressed as absolutes, as in The Ten Commandments, as a subset of the many tests of character and divine alignment life can bring about to challenge a person. One of the more difficult concepts to gain a full understanding of and appreciation for developing a practical approach to life, so one can navigate successfully and avoid the major landmines, is figuring out where one needs to be to satisfy oneself as well as others whose approval is being sought with respect to whether or not one is meeting the community standard for being a good person, a good citizen, an equal among one’s peers. It is human nature to apply a standard of perfection to others more so than to the self, and that leads to many misunderstandings and hurt feelings because it is easy to find fault, and if someone criticizes others for a lack of perfection, it can be quite hurtful and can also cause a backlash to harm the critic who, in most cases, will be gloating over their perceived superiority in being able to find fault with others so readily and not thinking at all about their own shortcomings.
What we see as being needed is that it is all well and good to have an awareness of divine perfection as a kind of absolute standard. This will help to see where one might be and where there is room for improvement, and what the consequences might be for a state of non-alignment. It is worth pondering because the Law of Karma will demand a correction for faulty behavior. The divine does not expect perfection of human beings, but it will serve you well to know something about it and to reflect on the difference between who and what you are, and a state of perfection, as that can be a useful exercise to give you an incentive as well as a way to measure your progress in the degree of “enlightenment” you currently enjoy, which is a term truly connoting how near or far you are from a state of divine alignment—an ability to think and act like Creator in all settings and situations no matter what might develop. That is a tall order, to be sure, but it is worth contemplating and thinking about one’s own circumstances and level of attainment, not to find fault or judge the self in order to inflict a punishment of some kind, but to spur oneself on to make advances and to do better in service to the soul and to the cause of the divine.
So we do not judge you or anyone and recognize human life has many challenges and many opportunities for things to get in the way that will take you out of divine alignment for a time, inevitably. So the key is whether you can see that eventually and take a corrective action of some kind to bring things back into better balance, to right the ship, so to speak; that is a demonstration of the attainment of wisdom, maturity, and excellence—all are products of enlightenment in the return to a divine path. The human level will often find you struggling in a state of being incomplete, hampered by a lack of needed skills, or even a self-image that is supportive and capable of facing adversity and succeeding. Some people fail again and again in everything they try. This can reach tragic proportions resulting in a tremendous backlog of transgressions with the negative karmic consequences that will ensue in the attempt to force them to take corrective action.
As a practical matter, the typical oaths one is asked to take, even in the most demanding of human settings and activities, still ask less of a person than a true test of divine alignment would require of them, and this was a recognition by Washington, that people are flawed and human life is filled with contradictions, sources of conflict, competing interests, and overwhelming obstacles, at least for the moment. So it is always a challenge, and the degree of challenge is a measure of the degree of non-alignment with the divine. This can be seen as inherently a kind of failure, but we see it as the opposite, it is a measure of the growth potential remaining and the potential prize a person will gain when they have worked through the obstacles and reached the goal of its attainment. Perfection is rarely possible for the human being to attain, but getting closer will have rewards, even though you fall short in some way or another.