Intuitively, this phrase just doesn't sit well with me. It sounds meek, like resigning to a life of quiet desperation. So I decided to find out where this came from. I know it resembles a quote from the book - but I CTRL+F'd "progress not perfection" and of course no results. Where this phrase comes from is this familiar passage:
"We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection" means something different than "progress not perfection" to me - I don't know, what do you think?Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
To me he is saying, don't be discouraged about Getting Started and Moving Forward - we assert/have experienced that Growth is all that is necessary to succeed. NOT that setting your sites high to spiritual perfection itself is something to be avoided. In other words, he's down-playing it to be humble. "We're not claiming we're perfect monks or anything, so don't worry you don't HAVE to be either." But to me, that isn't a warning/guideline to AVOID aiming perfection itself.