Put the thing on the Platonic table up there.

I’ve spent the morning thinking about perfectionism.

It goes back to Plato, I think.  Didn’t Plato believe that everything had a perfect form in theory and its material version imperfect; the ideal version of that object, perfect?

In layman’s talk that means my kitchen table has a perfect form of itself – in theory –  up in the ether, that it strives to be.  The perfect kitchen table, clean, new, functional and especially – beautiful.

Look at the work of Michaelangelo, too.  A Neo-Platonist who believed the perfect form already existed inside the piece of marble, and all he was doing was facilitating its release.

It’s bollocks, the lot of it – but it’s a modern scourge.  Perfectionism.

Things should be better than they are.

Take my kitchen table. When I ask my kids to ‘go and put it on the kitchen table’, they are instantly arrested with confusion.

“What kitchen table, mum”  they ask quietly, concerned,  “for we have never seen such a furnishing?”

For my table is not Platonic.  It is covered in crap, such that no part of the table can be seen.

It’s not House & Garden Kitchen Table, it’s more – got toast crusts and shoes?  PUT THEM ON ME.  Cover my countenance with a lined refill, five phone chargers and a shoe.  Just the one shoe. Underneath that, the paper from April 15th.

Perfectionism doesn’t have to manifest, I have found.  You can be a perfectionist and still have the messiest house on the street.

It’s what goes on in the mind.

My ideal is that one day I will have a beautifully Platonic house.  There will be calm.  There will be serenity.  We will sit at this table; eat off it even.

In the meantime the perfection stays in my head.  This makes it even worse, because the ideal is nowhere near the reality.  Yet.

Perfectionism is a disease.  Move it along, and start enjoying life.

You can’t get time back.

Michelangelo was a spectacularly unhappy human, because of his perfectionism.

You can’t get time back.


  1. I’ll go out on an uniformed limb, most Philosophy is, as Vim Fuego would put it, ‘a load of bollocks’. I happened to catch a Philosophy show on National Radio the other week while driving to band practice, my ears perked up, ‘Ah, this will be interesting!’. But all they did was torture the meaning of words, as if somehow by manipulating the symbols (words), they were somehow divining basic Platonic truths. The missus and I watched this series a while back (, pretty interesting stuff from a historical point of view, however, these guys did spout some weapons grade nonsense. All good harmless fun, until somebody uses it to form a political party.

    • Ha ha “weapons grade”. I’d like to use that in my next post.
      Well I’m a bit Timaru Polytech on the philosophy front and my only grasp of it was what I got learned up good in art history.
      Will have a look at the youtube series there.

      Hey did you ditch Facebook? Sensible.

  2. Yeah, ditched Facebook a couple of years ago. It seemed exciting at first, but once you’ve kind of found out what all those long lost faces from school are doing now, it all gets a little boring, sort of like the party conversation you described in one of your posts. People still say to me, ‘did you see so-and-so on Facebook ?’ and then they realize, shock horror, that I’m not on Facebook, people seem to assume by default that everybody worth knowing is on there.
    I’ve got friends who tried to give it up but just couldn’t stand the isolation, I don’t have a smart phone either. I should probably shut up before I come off as a total Luddite.

  3. I think you should just go and sew your seeds into that fallow field over there, Silas.

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