Treasure Chest

Starting with the items in the "Treasures" exercise (page 171),

  1. Make a longer and more complete list of things that are good and true and beautiful; whatever would inspire you to impartial good-will, love, joy, inner peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  2. Uke test.

Meditating on the good and true and beautiful is not escapist denial of

"reality," whatever that may be1. It is a means of saving up the treasures of your heart and mind. These are powerful tools in your toolbox; the real magic rings and charms. They have power over demons, those without and within.

This is not to say that all is Truth and Beauty. Denying or ignoring the fact that unpleasant realities exist only makes them stronger by forcing them into the subconscious where they are less easily reached or dealt with. Or, these things remain in consciousness but as lies — to self or to others.

This illusion is taken a step down by the cynic who declares the worst of two possibilities (and its consequences) to be "reality." To the true professional cynic, only the back end of the horse is real. But consider a cut diamond or other faceted gemstone. Which facet ("face") or point of view is the "real" one? Consider a puppy or a baby. Which end is "real?" The one which occasionally causes inconvenience? — or the one remarkable for expressing affection and delight?

The question is an absurdity. The most cuddly of babies or puppies must be fed and trained. But there is far more to a baby than the annoyance of diapers; more responsibility than chortles and hugs.

We do not get to create all reality; reality is what is. However, we can choose our focus, and this ability to change our point of view is our greatest power.

Acknowledge the reality and act in spite of it.

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