Finding the jewel…

“You are beautiful.” “You are love.” “You are light.” “Whatever you can imagine can be yours.” I am fed up of reading these feelgood assertions, offered as a placebo and generously sprinkled with glitter and fairydust. There is nothing wrong with the words themselves, but I grow increasingly frustrated by the way they are often used.

They have become buzzwords that frequently appear in articles designed only to reassure and placate, to stroke the ego. They often come with a promise of enlightenment to the reader while implicitly asserting the spiritual superiority of the writer. They are understandably popular concepts and they are everywhere.

Such articles can be demoralising, having the opposite effect of how they appear to be intended. Reading many of them, you could be forgiven for thinking that you are at fault for not having already realised your full potential. All too often, they seem to portray the goal of the spiritual quest as a treasure you should already be holding in your hand and yet what do they do to help you find your way?

Such articles often suggest that you need only follow the words of a particular leader to reach your own, private Nirvana where all the treasures of the universe are yours…and a good many such leaders have grown rich on the aspirations of their followers. All you need to do is believe…

If it were that simple, we would all have attained…well, everything already.


Map created by Robert Louis Stevenson for Treasure Island

The problem is, I happen to believe that all those assertions are true. That ultimately, it is that simple. But simple and easy are not always the same thing and the idea of hard work and commitment does not make a great selling point.

Imagine that you are given the key and the deeds to a vast building. You are told that whatever you find within its walls is yours to keep forever…and that scattered around inside is the greatest treasure ever known. It is yours, there for the taking. You put the key in the lock and open the door… and find the dark interior of the building to be a bewildering maze of passages, piled floor to ceiling with junk, cobwebs and dark, scary shadows.

Technically, you are already rich beyond your wildest dreams. You now own the building, because you hold the deeds and the key. You also own everything within it, including that fabled jewel. But it won’t do you much good until you sort through the rubbish, banish the shadows and actually find the treasure. The only way to do that is to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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16 Responses to Finding the jewel…

  1. besonian says:

    “You are beautiful.” “You are love.” “You are light.” “Whatever you can imagine can be yours.” … these feelgood assertions…..often come with a promise of enlightenment to the reader while implicitly asserting the spiritual superiority of the writer.

    You’re so right, Sue. In fact, I doubt anyone writing things like that, though they may do it with sincere intent, really have any serious intuited sense of just what it is they’re talking about. And as such, their advice and ‘guidance’ can be seriously misleading at best, and seriously damaging at worst.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      There is nothing wrong with the ideas… it is how they are too often dangled to no purpose and without any practical context. I do think they can be damaging too, when people are made to feel they are excluded or missing the point somehow. Every journey is unique and we move at our own pace… and that is the right pace to travel.


  2. I have developed a personal rage at placebos and cutesy “sayings” that tell everyone they are JUST FINE and a dream is the same as reality. I like your description of the house with all that stuff in it, so you’re rich … but before you can use any of that stuff, there’s a lot of work to be done.

    And I also hate the whole concept that anyone can be anything. It simply isn’t true. There are things you can’t be. I will never be a ballet dancer or an opera singer or a mathematician or a chemist. Or a great business woman. I do not have either the talent of the determination to be any of these things and telling me all I need to do is BELIEVE and it will happen is a type of cruelty that appears deceptively kind.

    I think it’s fair to say that within the limits of our talents and abilities, we can be anything those talents and abilities allow, but some things aren’t going to happen because … I can’t sing. I don’t have the coordination of a toe dancer or a proper understanding of maths. We can be many things, but not ANYthing. And of the many things we CAN” be, all of them require effort, determination, and time.

    GREAT post, in case I haven’t said that. Really. And thank you.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Marilyn. I do think it is true that we can learn how to be anything we choose… if we have the desire, the drive, the determination and commitment. That doesn’t mean we’ll ever be any good at it. I know how to sing…and I sing a lot…but it still sounds like something designed to torture music lovers 😉

      We all have talents and abilities…some of which we may never have to opportunity to discover. It doesn’t mean they aren’t there…we just haven’t unearthed them. Or maybe we have and do not have the passion or circumstances that allows us to pursue them.

      It is also true that the brain reacts in much the same way to an image in the mind as it does to reality… but that is still not the same as living through an experience.

      These placebos are not entirely untrue…which is one reason why they are so attractive… but they never tell the whole story. Or mention the work involved.


  3. Widdershins says:

    And most of those assertions come with a little tagline at the end that says variations of … ‘if you pay me, I’ll show you how. But wait, if you order within the next 30 minutes you receive a free… etc, etc’


  4. What worries me even more are the ones that make it sound like everything is pixie dust, wish on the star and voila! There is a minor difference between singling loudly in the car … and singing at the met … and I hope most people get the difference 😀


  5. Garry like croaking in the shower, but he can’t hear himself. Unfortunately, I CAN hear myself.


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