When pursuing any spiritual path, to better oneself, to evolve. To turn ones vices into noble virtues, there is a certain effort required. An inner effort to be aware of ones actions and how you are conducting yourself. Meditation helps the process. Of course it does! Anyone who has tried or is actively practicing Askesis will know how helpful this practice is towards perfecting oneself.
A Beautiful analogy can be found between ones evolution and journey along the spiritual path with that of sculpting a statue.
To begin we have our current state, or, a big massive boulder with which to begin sculpting. For the first years we start by attempting to hack of big lumps of rock to get it into a suitable state for later on.
Depending on our efforts this may take between 5 and 10 years before our boulder starts to look anything like a beautiful statue. Next comes the potentially even longer process of the fine tuning. Shaping and smoothing our sculpture until its finished. If we are blessed and work hard enough to get to that stage!
I have found a quote which paints this picture far better than I have. It comes from Plotinus’ Enneads, the tractate on Beauty, he says:
“But how are you to see into a virtuous Soul and know its loveliness?
Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smooths there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. So do you also: cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make all one glow of beauty and never cease chiseling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it like the godlike splendour of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine.”