We will consider our soul to be like a castle made entirely out of diamond or of a very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in heaven there are many dwelling places.
I don’t find anything comparable to the magnificent beauty of a soul and its marvellous capacity.
It is a shame and unfortunate that through our own fault we don’t understand ourselves or know who we are.
Wouldn’t it show great ignorance, my daughters, if someone when asked who she was didn’t know, and didn’t know her father or mother or from what country she came? Well now, this would be so extremely stupid, we are incomparably more so when we do not strive to know who we are, but limit ourselves to considering only roughly these bodies. We seldom consider the precious things that can be found in this soul, or who dwells within it, or its high value. Consequently, little effort is made to preserve its beauty. All our attention is taken up with the outer wall of the castle; that is, with these bodies of ours.
Well, let us consider that this castle has, as I said, many dwelling places and in the centre is the main dwelling place where the very secret exchanges between God and the soul take place.
We must see how we can enter it… if this castle is the soul, clearly one doesn’t have to enter it since it is within oneself. How foolish it would seem were we to tell someone to enter a room she is already in. But you must understand that there is a great difference in the ways one may be inside the castle.
It should be kept in mind here that the fount, the shining sun that is the centre of the soul, does not lose its beauty and splendour; it is always present in the soul, and nothing can take away its loveliness. But if a black cloth is placed over a crystal that is in the sun, obviously the sun’s brilliance will have no effect on the crystal even though the sun is shining on it.
How is it possible that in realizing these things you don’t strive to remove the pitch from this crystal? How miserable is the state of those poor rooms within the castle! How disturbed the senses are, that is, the people who live in these rooms! And in the faculties, that is, among the custodians, the stewards, and the chief waiters, what blindness, what bad management!
- St Teresa of Jesus.