Beautiful, edgy, elegant – these words not only describe today’s hottest celebrities but also the diamonds draped around their necks. Marilyn Monroe made the phrase diamonds are a girl’s best friend famous. But, perhaps there is more to that association than meets the eye?
Like any epic story, the history of diamonds is one of mystery, intrigue, and great romance. Long before the first known instance of human life, diamonds graced the Earth with their natural beauty and mystical allure.
Polished diamonds are valuable because the rough diamond was precious to begin with and, contrary to popular belief, cutting and polishing a diamond adds only a small fraction to its overall value. Kind of like us….
By now, I imagine every sentient being on the planet has seen the YouTube video of Susan Boyle singing on Britain’s Got Talent. This singularly surprising performance has generated more internet commentary than any television program I can remember. Our fascination with Miss Boyle’s virtuosity, despite her very ordinary appearance, is certainly puzzling
Who would have guessed that dowdy Miss Boyle, who says in the video that she’s never been married, never been kissed and lives with her cat Pebbles, went on stage to skeptical looks from the audience and judges. She then sang ”I Dreamed A Dream” a song from Les Miserables would bring the house down on Simon cowell’s UK hit show Britain’s Got Talent? Her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” brought tears to many eyes.
Like a human’s fingerprint, no two diamonds are ever the same. Since it takes 1-3 billion years and a multitude of factors to create and form a diamond, each contains its own unique traits and characteristics.
The word “diamond” conjures many thoughts and feelings. It symbolizes strength, being the hardest substance in the world, and is thus the perfect representation of a lifelong commitment. The word “diamond” itself is derived from the Greek word “adamas,” which means “indestructible” and “unconquerable.” In history, diamonds also represented power, protection, wealth, and status. But perhaps its most important role is when bestowed upon a loved one to mark the start of a new life together, an engagement, and a lifelong love.
But, before diamonds become beautiful jewels, they must be cut and polished by hand by a rotating wheel coated with an abrasive diamond powder. God’s purpose is to refine and perfect us. He will use whatever means necessary to bring us to the point of being “a perfect man”.
The more we are in touch with ourselves, the more we feel our innate desire to know and to be who we really are. We want the freedom to live as we are supposed to live, to fulfill all our potential. When we don’t, we suffer — but that suffering is simply a hunger for our true selves to live, to be free; it is a signal that we want to return to our true nature….
Have you ever known an individual who on the surface seemed shy, modest, and ordinary, but behind it all was the most loving, gracious person you’ve ever met?
They abound in exceptional talent and good works; yet, they are your typical unsung hero. They rise to the occasion in a time of need and shine best in trial’s darkest hour and seasons of severe tests. Such a person is one whom we would call a diamond in the rough.
Like naturally occurring diamonds, they appear quite ordinary, even rough on the outside, but their beauty and worth comes from the extreme pressure under which they are formed and the harsh process of cutting and polishing that are used to reveal their inner beauty and value.
Diamonds, in their natural state, are rough, not only unpolished, but also not even appearing to most people to be diamonds at all. A diamond is just carbon (essentially the same thing as charcoal) in a very concentrated form. Yet, when mined, cut, and polished, it becomes the most precious gemstone in the world.
The greatest and most vile acts of humankind have been linked symbolically and physically with this precious stone. The flashing diamond in the forehead of a carved deity or at the heart of a sacred altar symbolizes the pure reflective light of soul wisdom, but the stolen diamond eye and the lust for its barter or influence represents man’s betrayal of himself. Like Alexander, man has wanted to steal the light of the diamond without understanding the nature of the serpent-wisdom that guarded it. Many lives have been lost and destinies altered in pursuit of the diamond.
Which reminds me of a story:
“Once upon a time there lived a community of immortal stones, all of them diamonds in the rough” Sam began. “These stones spent their whole lives working to shape and polish their brilliance. They busily cut off their rough outer coats, careful to reveal their precious glimmering cores, the diamonds within. They sanded their facets and sharpened their edges. Day by day, they worked on their brightness, striving to present their best to the world.”
“Do these diamonds have arms and stuff?” Andrew said.
“For the purpose of storytelling, yes, they did. Like a cartoon where inanimate objects dance and carry on. Anyway, as the stones polished themselves, the world became a brighter and lighter place. Every diamond was proud to belong to this community and to be an equal member of it. Every rough diamond knew they all had potential. With work and devotion, the brilliance inside of them would burst forth.
“One day, two stones suddenly started arguing about who had the bigger diamond hidden inside. One said, ‘My diamond is bigger than yours.’
“The other said, ‘My brilliance is brighter than yours. In time you’ll see!’
“A third stone overheard this and joined in the quarrel. In no time others were drawn into the fray. Each claimed to be the biggest, the best, the brightest. As they argued, they noticed that everyone was different and that each individual was shaping their inner diamond to their own image and taste. Well, how could they tell who was the biggest, brightest, and best of all if everyone was different? Turns out the whole community had suddenly become shaken and disturbed. The peace that had blessed them all abruptly vanished.
“Time went by, and the stones could not reach agreement. Then one of them chanced upon the bright idea to ask the Creator to tell them the truth. Being awesome, powerful, and wise, the Creator said, ‘I’ll gladly answer your question, but the truth will cost you your immortality. Are you willing to risk that?’
“One especially bold diamond said, ‘That’s a pretty steep price. Can we bargain?’
“‘Well, you get what you pay for,’ the Creator said, ‘and after all you’re asking for the ultimate truth. Take it or leave it.”
“The stones conferred. Some grumbled about highway robbery, but other voices won out. One of them spoke for the group and said, ‘You drive a hard bargain, but we’re willing to sacrifice our immortality to learn the truth!’
“The Creator smiled and explained, ‘At the time of your death, each of you will leave behind on earth the brilliance you are now working on.’
“‘What? We can’t take it with us?’ the bold diamond retorted.
“‘That brilliance will be bought and sold in human-run markets. The final price will be your true value as measured in human currency. This price will tell you which of you are most valued and least valued. The truth of your value will exist in human minds only. Those of you who make little effort to reach your full potential will be forgotten. Others will violate the universal laws, staining your diamond with an indelible dye—a very sad future indeed. The good news is that those of you who work hard to create a unique brilliance of beauty will be exceptionally valued, and generations of humans will appreciate your beauty.’
“Having made his speech, the Creator disappeared in a puff of glitter, leaving the puzzled diamonds to wonder if they’d gotten their immortality’s worth. There really were no easy answers. They would have to work hard all their days to establish their future price, while discovering their infinite value within.”
Sam paused to see if the boy showed any signs of interest. Then he said, “Dignity is like a diamond in the rough. Nobody knows how high its potential beauty is, but everybody can see and appreciate it when the work is finished.” –End
We cannot afford to continue following the trends that are stopping our progression, draining our bank accounts and stealing our time, thoughts and energy. We cannot afford to continue allowing our value to be based on the way others view our bodies and faces, or the way we value others’ bodies and faces. We cannot afford to let our daughters, nieces, friends, coworkers and students grow up in environments that offer them power only through their sex appeal, their thinness and their narrowly defined “beauty.”
Every one of us is a potential diamond in the rough. Embedded within each person are diamond-like qualities waiting to be mined bringing joy to our Maker, others, and ourselves. The question is are we willing to endure the pressure, the cutting, and the polishing of the Master Jeweler to bring out the diamond within us?
If we stand before a mirror clothed in rags the mirror holds the reflection of our rags, but it is not itself in misery. If we stand before the mirror covered with pearls and diamonds the reflection of our pearls and diamonds falls upon the mirror, but the mirror does not turn into diamonds or pearls. So is it with the soul: it is neither a sinner nor is it virtuous; it is neither rich nor poor. All life’s joy and sorrow, ups and downs, are reflected for the time being upon the curtain of the soul, and after a time pass away. Therefore both the joy and sorrow of yesterday are nothing to us today.
Our soul has always looked outward, that is why our eyes, nose, ears, all our organs of perception are outward. It is our mind and our body that attract our soul outward. And as the eyes, which see all things, yet need a mirror to see themselves, so the soul cannot see itself without a mirror.
Since ancient times true religions have preached the importance of self-reflection (or repentance in Christian terms). In essence, we all have a divine nature that shines brilliantly like a diamond. And, just as a diamond will collect dirt if it is neglected, so will our Divine nature, or soul, inevitably blackens with soot from the regrettable thoughts and deeds we commit as we live in this earthly world. Self-reflection is a way to clean off the grime and discover the true self – the self that manifests divine nature and is connected to higher dimensions in the Spirit World.
The perfection of God’s manifestation is man. When man reaches perfection, His manifestation is perfect, and without man’s perfection, God’s manifestation would not be perfect. Perfection is reached when man becomes truly human.
So today, let’s find the joy in the journey to discovering our diamond-like potential and even, maybe our diamond-like reality.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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