“By doing things badly, we make ourselves less real.” Thomas Merton
Less real? Wow. Shoddy half-baked careless work makes you less real? Is that true?
I think we know it is.
In fact, I think it has something to do with beauty.
I once heard Sir John Polkinghorne (yes, that really is his name) say something that I haven’t forgotten (well when someone with such a name says something, you tend to pull up your socks, sit up straight and listen). This is what he said. He said that if an equation is true it is also beautiful.
Truth and Beauty. They go hand in hand. They are ultimate reality.
Ugliness and lies are not ultimate reality. They are shadowy. Not real.
So if we do something excellent, we imitate the creator. We step into the real. Into truth. Into beauty.
God does all things well. If He is ultimate reality, then the more we imitate him the less like shadow-like we become. The more real we become. The more truly ourselves.
I love that.