"Perfection is reached, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Interesting sort of reverse perspective. Perhaps perfection is reached not when there is nothing more to add (as is the suggested common notion) nor when there is nothing more to subtract (as is the antithesis of the common notion which Antoine argues in favor of) but when there is neither anything to take away or to add. It seems that perfection is not easily obtainable.

One night I dreamt of seeing

A throne with no substance

In a sky that fled from it

In changing pink, green, and sapphire,

Glowing orange and purple.

They ran and bled together

Harmony, mixing perfection

With perfection.

Clouds in gold and silver robes

Also flew away.

And in the center without substance,

Every substance combined

And made One: beauty.

Words could not express

Such greatness ever-

Flowing rivers from the throne,

To the throne:

A blended, melting, flowing

Rainbow of precious stones

Sing with one voice

The inexpressible.

And then I woke up, feeling cheated. I tried to get up but threads of trepidation held me to the bed. For after glimpsing perfection how could I face today? Chased by shadows of a dream I lay immobile, unmoving, unmotivated to face another day full of everything I hate. Purity at my fingertips, trembling eargerness I was overcome; but not quite. There must have been some other force that caused the polar tug-of-war, and I lost... To both sides. For victory of the one made me wish for the victory of the other; my mind divided from my heart I was lost.

Which leads us to the present for I am still lost, and wonder if I will ever again see perfection: the visible transparency of wetless flowing substance without substance.

What can the imperfect do to gain perfection? And as I lay here I wonder what the unclean can do to purify themselves: Soap inadequately shifts the rot from one place to the other, and though giving the illusion of having been cleansed, over time one discovers that the infection remains and not only that, it is worse than before.

My skin once smooth now covered in sores, oozing yellow pus and black ink blood. Smells foul even to me, and yet no one seems to notice; not mine, not their own.

One thing comes to mind: I must burn it all away. I strip out of stinking filthy rags, and though the scabs are ripped open I don't notice. Perfect purity ahead, I leap into the flames and relish in the burning pain flicted.

Refined I will be blacker then whiter; tarnished then brighter; first weak then strong. As perfection takes hold and takes over I become beautiful.

"Perfection is Stagnation".

The only way Perfection could remain accurate and faithful to the largely accepted definition of it, is if the criteria for said theoretical plateau were constantly in a state of Flux.

In which case, if Perfection were to be "added to" and "subtracted from" in perfect synch with the ever-changing prerequisites, it stands to reason that only then would said Stagnation refrain from being a fitting descriptor.

Which, in turn, would coin another favorite of phrases ::

"The Only Constant Is Change."

Per*fec"tion (?), n. [F. perfection, L. perfectio.]

1.

The quality or state of being perfect or complete, so that nothing requisite is wanting; entire development; consummate culture, skill, or moral excellence; the highest attainable state or degree of excellence; maturity; as, perfection in an art, in a science, or in a system; perfection in form or degree; fruits in perfection.

2.

A quality, endowment, or acquirement completely excellent; an ideal faultlessness; especially, the divine attribute of complete excellence.

Shak.

What tongue can her perfections tell? Sir P. Sidney.

To perfection, in the highest degree of excellence; perfectly; as, to imitate a model to perfection.

 

© Webster 1913.


Per*fec"tion, v. t.

To perfect.

[Obs.]

Foote.

 

© Webster 1913.

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