“Imagine a man goes into a royal palace, and to see the portraits and works of art there, treasures kept in one place, other things in another. Imagine him to sit down to table with the king, and to have delicious meats and drinks set before him, and to be in every way refreshed with the contemplation of such beautiful things; and after that, to be hurried off, and found carried away to noisome places. …
“This is what God has done to poor wretched man. He has shown him glories and royal beauties unspeakable and heavenly; and so the man, comparing those spiritual things with the things of this world, casts all away, and … turns his gaze to the heavenly treasure.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian
Palaces and Kings
I have actually visited a royal palace, the Palace of Versailles in France. There are no kings there anymore, but it is maintained as a tourist attraction. I have also visited
some castles in Germany and a palace in Japan. Of course, most such places are now in ruins and those that are not have mostly been turned into museums, hotels, or tourist sites. This should be an indication of the fate of the treasures of materialism.
An old saying goes, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” That is only true if the birds are the same. If the bird in the hand is a pigeon and the two in the bush are fat turkeys, drop the pigeon and grab a turkey! For our purposes, the bird in the hand is material wealth while the fat turkeys in the bushes are the spiritual treasures.
St. Macarius is telling us that when God grants us a glimpse into heaven, it is as if we have been invited to a party at the greatest palace of all with more treasures in it than all the earthly palaces and castles. Of course, these treasures are different. They are spiritual treasures.
The materialist will say that spiritual treasures are worthless, so he will stick with his material baubles and bling. The smart person knows better. No matter how much imaginary value you place on silver and gold, diamonds and rubies, those things are all temporary. Not only because your time on Earth is limited, but even the physical planet is temporary. The process of changing it slowly back into spirit has, in fact, already began. It doesn’t really take a spiritual awakening to realize that the permanent is more valuable than the temporary. Spiritual treasure is permanent.
Become a Resident
Of course, after seeing those great treasures that await us in the spiritual realms, we don’t want to leave and return to the worlds of matter. A land of death, disease, and greed no longer attracts us. But what to do about it?
What we do is work to become worthy of a permanent place in Heaven. We start by awakening our dormant spiritual faculties, which we probably already did when we had that brief glimpse beyond. Then we continue to develop our spirit and soul. We raise our consciousness one level at a time until we reach the level of angels and Light Beings. Then we help others learn how to do the same. We do what we can do to help God’s Great Plan of Redemption to happen as soon as possible. We help rid the world of evil, not by killing anyone, but by helping them awaken and transform.
Then when we die physically, our spirit and soul can start climbing that spiritual ladder to higher and higher dimensions until we are knocking on Heaven’s Door. Then we can be allowed in to share in that spiritual treasure forever.