Goddess of Beauty and Ugliness…
Khalil Gibran has written a very nice story. He says when God created the world He created a Goddess of Beauty and a Goddess of Ugliness. He sent them both to earth. Since the road from heaven to earth is very long, they were both tired before they reached halfway. They looked at their clothes so covered with dust that they could hardly make one another out. So they halted beside a lake and decided to take a bath and wash their clothes. There was no one around so they removed their clothes and stepped into the water without fear.
The Goddess of Beauty loved the feeling of the cold, soothing waters. She swam far out. The Goddess of Ugliness grabbed the opportunity and quickly came ashore, put on her companion’s clothes and disappeared. After some time the Goddess of Beauty, having had her fill and realizing it was getting late, decided to come ashore. To her surprise her companion was missing and so were her clothes. What was she to do? The people from the village were arriving. She was obliged to put on the ugly one’s clothes.
Gibran says, ”Ever since then ugliness masquerades on earth in the clothes of the Goddess of Beauty, while the latter moves about in her clothes.” This is exactly what has happened.
Suffering goes about in the garb of happiness; untruth masquerades as truth, and the mind is deceived by it. It fails to see what is behind the mantle.
Self-restraint requires first that you begin to see the suffering.