The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Home Sweet Home

As the saying goes, 'Home is where the heart is'. What we must ask ourselves, especially in relation to this all-too familiar & much-used phrase is, 'where is our heart?' ( understand that when I say 'heart', I mean our emotional attachment, in that sense, our 'love' ) Sometimes, we tend to 'love' a certain place more than certain people: I'm as guilty of this as anyone & sometimes its hard to blame some people when they choose the former over the latter. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in a beautiful place find it hard to leave, but when the choice is between a certain beautiful place & certain beautiful people, the choice should be clear; beautiful people are much harder to find & of much greater value, than any beautiful place one can name!

Who can find a virtuous wife?For her worth [ is ] far above rubies.
Proverbs 31:10

I made the choice, a little over 7 years ago, to leave a place which had its own beauty & certain people who had lost their beauty ( as far as I was concerned, anyway ) & re-locate to a place that has undeniably greater aesthetic appeal. Once re-located, I found what I felt to be more beautiful people than those I had left behind. I still experience those 'what if?' moments once in a great while, but over all, I do not regret my decision. In some sense, one might say I found myself here, which is the greatest beauty, for if we do not recognize beauty in ourselves, how can we hope to find it in another?!

'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder', they say! As far as it goes, this is certainly true, especially in the aesthetic sense in which it is most often used.  In the greater, true sense, though, one could say that true beauty, which is inner beauty, cannot be beheld except with the inner, or spiritual eye. Aesthetic beauty, especially in this day & age, is a huge factor in many relationships. Thanks to the internet & Mainstream Media, among other things, we have been force-fed the notion of the 'Barbie-doll figure' for so long, that we tend to look at the aesthetics of a fellow human being as their beauty or else ugliness ( again, 'mea culpa' ). Thankfully, this is not always the case, as most learn fairly quickly that, just as inner beauty manifests outwardly ( aesthetically speaking ), so inner ugliness also manifests in the same way, making one who is beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside less attractive. So too is one who may not be that aesthetically pleasing on the outside but is beautiful on the inside; that inner beauty manifests on the outside, attracting the true seeker of beauty!

Truly blessed are those who find a help-meet with both aesthetic & Inner Beauty, for as the Scripture above says, 'her worth [ is ] far above rubies'! 'Heaven' is not a place, per se, but if we're with the one we love; wherever we are can certainly be transformed into such a place. Much as Inner Beauty transforms outer plainness, or even what some would call ugliness, when we find 'heaven' in our heart, 'Heaven' is manifest in whatever place we are, even though it may seem the lowest 'hell'. Transversely, if we don't find beauty in our hearts, even the most aesthetically beautiful place may seem to us the very opposite of 'heaven'.

It is said of some that beauty is 'only skin deep': aesthetically speaking, this is true enough, but true beauty, as we've seen, is so much more! There are many out there that most if not all people would call 'beautiful' & while they might have their own 'beauty', in a relative sense ( not everyone is everyone's cup of tea ), some people are just downright ugly. However, even that ugliness can be turned into the most beautiful flower, if given the chance to blossom. Even an ugly duckling can be revealed as a swan!

Our choices being what they are, they cannot be unmade, although, as I once advised a friend in a similar situation, 'all we can do is do better'. Once a choice is made & the action carried out, we cannot erase it, but we can return to the 'place' we call 'heaven', where we truly felt it in our hearts & thus experience 'Paradise Restored'. Where our hearts are, there is 'Heaven'. One can be in the most beautiful place on earth, but if our heart, or more precisely, what our heart is set on, is not there, we cannot truly call it 'heaven'!

Charles Haddon Shank

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