“Beastly Little Treasures” of the Heart

“Your defects are the ways that glory gets manifested. Whoever sees clearly what’s diseased in himself begins to gallop on the way.” (Rumi)

It is not fun to acknowledge our limitations, the minor ones and certainly not the major ones. Jesus noted that it is easier to focus on the mote in someone else’s eye than pay attention to the beam in our own. But spiritual teachers throughout the centuries have taught us that staring our demons in the face, “naming them”, is the way to deliverance. But, it hurts like hell! And, if you approach spiritual literature carefully, you have to wonder if one dimension of hell is living in the anguish that lurks beneath the surface when we refuse to “name our demon.” Or to phrase it differently, hell is refusing to acknowledge the anguish of our inner torments. This deliberate ignorance of these torments does not make them go away and probably makes someone near and dear to us pay for them.

I think it was Ranier Rilke who said that the heart has its “beastly little treasures.” In one of his essays…or poems…he said that if one has the courage to confront this “beast” face to face, stare in down, he/she will discover that beneath it lies the Pearl of Great Price.


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