When I was a kid, I remember being strangely fascinated with the idea of treasure. I used to spend hours outside my home in Virginia, walking up and down the creek beds looking for gold. I would even sift the sand searching for gold nuggets, little realizing how slim my chances were of finding it there.
This obsession was fairly intense, as I recall, and led to an interest in leprechauns, pirates, sunken ships, and stories like the lost city of El Dorado. There was some crossover into the world of gems and minerology, and later into coin collecting. But I never did find the treasure I was looking for; not in any sense my childhood mind would have recognized. Now that I think on it, it seems pretty obvious it was my soul expressing its longing, trying desparately to remember something it had only recently forgotten.
When I found the Seven Valleys, it struck me almost immediately as being like a treasure map. Using it, one could traverse the inner jungle of his self, mark the waypoints, check his inner compass, and look for the telltale signs of drawing near.
It took a while to understand that this journey ends in Bahá’u’lláh, the Ancient Beauty, “the goal of every aspiration”; and that the course of this journey is one of recognition, in the Platonic sense: of unveiling the soul until it remember its primal origin. It is the cloak of self – so necessary for learning what is not God in order to appreciate Him – that we gradually shuck, to discover that a ray of His Own light is the truth of our illumination.