Dramatic Question: What if perfection comes from self-annihilation?
Premise: Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away
Story Message: Perfection is achieved through martyrdom, for it ends the insatiable quest to satisfy the self and, instead, nurtures the soul.
Those who strive for perfection, generally measure their progress by success: scores, finances, friends and status. Like a series of conquests, this creates a desire to accumulate more and more without end. It is a vicious cycle that ends in despair. In fact, the super-rich already report an ennui that comes with having everything. There just isn't anything more left to buy.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are those that avoid extrinsic rewards and seek spiritual perfection. By removing clutter, temptation, and other sources of distraction, they retreat into themselves, living a life of modest rituals and contemplation. Like monks, they shun the modern world and inhabit a hermetically sealed bubble.
Both extremes, however, have one thing in common: narcism. On the one hand, there is gluttony. On the other, there is spiritual self-indulgence. What if there was a third way? What if the 'self' could be eliminated altogether?
A martyr is prepared to die for their beliefs, despite the persecution that they must endure at the hands of others in consequence. They give their lives, if necessary, as a testament to their principles in the hope that it may help future generations. In other words, they sacrifice themselves without the promise of reward, and they are honoured and admired by most faiths as the highest and most exulted form of selflessness.
Perfection is achieved through martyrdom, for it ends the insatiable quest to satisfy the self and, instead, nurtures the soul.