Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

“The Search for Perfection” — a Story

December 29, 2022

A retelling of a traditional story about how perfection is found only after many small steps taken under wise and caring direction.

The great sculptor reluctantly lay down his hammer and chisel and went to see who could be calling at his studio at such a late hour.

Opening the door to find an acquaintance standing in the light of the full moon, the artist greeted him in silence and then turned to walk back to his work. His friend followed close behind. “It has been days since we’ve seen you! Surely you are not still working on that statue?” he asked.

Still saying nothing, the artist led his friend to the masterpiece over which he had labored for months. Seeing it, the man too became silent. At length he said quietly, “Never before have you managed to express the human spirit so sublimely. It is your finest work yet.”

“I think it will be, when it is finished,” replied the sculptor. “But I still have more work to do. The robe is not quite right. And see—this muscle needs emphasis; and that feature needs softening.”

“But these are mere trifles!” his friend remonstrated.

“Ah,” said the maestro, turning to his friend, “but trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

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