Glass Into Diamonds
By "Dr" Tony Quinn
Each of us has our dreams about how we would like life to be, yet, for most, these dreams are never fulfilled.
Indeed for many, life could be classed more as a nightmare. Is this because we don't get the breaks, the wherewithal, so to speak? I, for one, don't feel this is true. In the type of work that I do and having met thousands of people I would put it this way: It is like a recipe for the perfect cake - most people have all the ingredients but just can't enjoy the results. That is, when they make up the recipe they just can't stomach the cake.
Of course, we may like to bemoan our lack of opportunities and disadvantages, always complaining about our lot in life. It is hard to accept that we have all the ingredients but can't make it work. We prefer to take refuge in excuses. If we were being truly honest we might have to admit to the following: We may have a nice house / apartment, spouse / boyfriend / girlfriend, children, a good job, a reasonable standard of living, we don't have a terminal illness etc., yet we are still not happy.
We thought life would amount to more or maybe even we would amount to more. Yet, even people who we may see as having made it to the top often don't like the view. Maybe in those words 'don't like the view' lies the root of the problem and possibly the answer.
Let us view our dream. You often find in a dream that all sorts of things are taking place and you seem to have no control over them. You even know that they are going to happen but somehow can't prevent them. Of course, in this way, it takes on a nightmarish quality.
For instance, you may have heard a very loud noise in your dream - so loud that it actually wakes you up. Yet immediately on waking there is no noise whatsoever. When we are asleep it's as if our thoughts go mad and we don't have control over them and they mislead us in many ways, forming all sorts of undesirable patterns. But, could this be true in so-called 'real life' as well?
In Yoga philosophy they describe the average person as living in a state of 'maya' - illusion - and they describe them as 'sleeping'. Could it be that the same thing is happening while you are awake, that is, that you have lost control of your thoughts? Maybe if you could view your whole life in a different way it could bring about beneficial and gratifying changes.
HIS DUCKS WERE SWANS
Actually this whole concept struck me very forcibly as a child. I remember that my father, Paddy, had a great habit of bringing home pieces of jewellry that he would find in the street or pieces that he would buy at an auction. He would try and insist to my mother, quite sincerely, that these were valuable or even, at times, that they were diamonds. He used to keep them all in a little tin box. My mother would laugh at all this. He would come home with a piece and say: ‘Look, I found this, Kathleen. Do you think it's valuable?’ My mother would say: ‘Don't be silly, Paddy, it's only a piece of glass.’ He wouldn't be convinced and it would go into his little tin box.
Of course, as a child, I was fascinated by it all. I was totally convinced he was right - they were indeed diamonds and would look at our collection with awe. Afterwards my mother would laugh and explain to me: ‘With your father all his ducks are swans.’ This always stuck in my mind - 'All his ducks are swans'. Again, as a child, when my mother would go out - it might be to the shop across the road - my father would talk to me and he would always say the same thing: ‘That's the best woman in Ireland. There is nobody like your mother. Everyone thinks the world of her. You and I just don't appreciate how good that woman is.’ He was always singing her praises.
Then I remember on one particular day when my mother said to me: ‘Ah, you know your father - all his ducks are swans.’ I stopped and looked at her and I said: ‘Maybe it is well for us that they are.’ It had dawned on me that if a man could see diamonds in glass maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all. Indeed, maybe there was a power of sense in it. I noticed that my mother had tears in her eyes as she said: ‘It's true.’
The same man who was convinced that he had the best woman in Ireland for a wife was equally convinced that he had a genius for a son. I remember a time when a lot of my relatives were present and one of my younger cousins announced to us all that he was a genius. My father promptly piped up: ‘Well Tony was always a genius, not just now, but even when he was a child. Did you ever see the great paintings that he did?’ I was very taken aback that he even remembered because I had forgotten all about the very same
paintings. Just lately, someone asked my father if I was good to him and his reply was: ‘Good to me! Tony is the best son in Ireland. I don't know where I'd be without him.’ So who wouldn't love a man like that?
SOMETHING INTO NOTHING
As I went on in life I met so many people who seemed capable of doing the opposite - that is, they had this very common capacity to turn diamonds into glass. I saw people who I thought had everything turn it into nothing. Situations that were almost too good to be true they made sure that they were. They had diamonds but by the way they saw them they became as worthless as glass.
Then people with this capacity wonder why they are sad, sick, lonely, disillusioned, depressed, unhappy. You can even see it with whole nations where the country would seem to have an abundance of natural resources and it is reduced to nothing. The great and the powerful try to bring about a solution but could it be that the solution is just too simple and therefore eluded their minds also? Are you one of those magicians that can make things disappear, that can turn something into nothing?
You know I have sat in halls full of people and wished that I could just impart to them that magic vital capacity - to see their dream as a fact that has already happened which would enable them to turn glass into diamonds. This is the vital principle. It must become so first in your mind and life will follow. I often told them our little story but mostly they were looking for something far more complicated as an answer. They just pushed it aside.
I believe that my father turned out to be right after all. My mother was indeed the best woman in Ireland and, as for me, well - modesty forbids me from saying. Sad to think that if people don't practise this simple philosophy their lives will come to be as nothing no matter how smart they think they are. I would like to leave you with this final thought:
Do you think God might share my father's philosophy? For all our sakes, I hope so.