The Scratched Diamond

diamond, diamond cutter, Harold Klemp, Jewish folktale, spiritual principle

Sri Harold Klemp sometimes uses folktales, fables, parables, and stories to illustrate spiritual principles. In the excerpt below from one of his talks, he retells “The Scratched Diamond” from The Hungry Clothes and Other Jewish Folktales, by Peninnah Schram.


A student was walking along with his master one day. This master was known for always answering questions with a parable. His student said, “Rabbi, I have so many imperfections. What can I do? How can I work with them so that I can be a better person?” The Rabbi said, “Listen, and I’ll tell you a story.

“There was once a king, and he had a beautiful diamond without a flaw—not a single flaw anywhere. You could turn it in the light, and it just sparkled. The facets all sparkled in an expected way, and when dignitaries came over, the king would show them his priceless diamond. He was so proud of it. Dignitaries would say, ‘We’re going to have to see His Majesty’s diamond again.’ ‘That’s OK, just make believe you enjoy it.’

“They would go in and say, ‘Oh, wow! Yep, sure is good. As pretty as can be. Just the same as last time.’

“But one day the king looked at it, and he noticed there was a scratch on it. Maybe he had been tossing it around with his other jewels, and he shouldn’t have done that. Anyway, it had a flaw now. But he had an ace up his sleeve.

“He called on the best diamond cutters in the kingdom. And he said, ‘All right, you guys. You’re the best there is. What can you do to restore this diamond?’

“Then one by one they took it, looked at it, and said, ‘Your Majesty, there isn’t a blessed thing we can do to restore this diamond to its original condition.’

“But standing by, looking on, was a young diamond cutter. He just finished his apprenticeship with the best diamond cutter in the kingdom, and he asked the king, ‘May I look at that?’ The king said, ‘Sure. Why not?’  The young man looked at it. He studied it very carefully, and he said, ‘If you will allow me to take it with me and to work uninterrupted, never asking for updates or anything, I’m going to try to make it a thing of worth and value.’

“Well, what’s a king to do? He had a lot of other jewelry. This diamond was worth as much as all the rest of his jewelry. When you’ve got a lot, you don’t care a lot. Unless you don’t have a lot anymore, like it’s all gone all of a sudden. But he wasn’t faced with that kind of problem.

“So this young craftsman went to work on it with all his love, because he loved his craft. Because it takes a great deal of skill and dexterity and vision. You’ve got to have vision to create something unusual and something from nothing.

“When he brought the diamond back to the king, the king looked at it, and he was amazed. He was delighted. And he said, ‘You did this to it?’ And what did he do to it?

“Well, when the young man had looked at the diamond, he saw the scratch as the stem of a rose. Very carefully he etched roots onto the stem, and then leaves onto the stem, and then a flower onto the stem. From the scratch he had created a thing of beauty and value. In fact, it was more beautiful and more valuable to the king now than it had ever been.”

When the Rabbi finished the story, he looked at his student and said, “We all have our faults and failings. But, like the diamond with its scratch, it’s up to us to transform them into things of beauty and value.”

And so I say that to you too. It’s also a constant lesson to me. When we see the shreds and ends of our own lives [like the back side of an embroidered carpet], turn the carpet. Look on the other side. See what’s there. See the beauty that speaks to the handiwork of the creator.

Excerpted from The Master’s Talks in The Year of Light and Sound—2013–14.


Something to Think About

Think about what scratches you see on the diamond of your life. How might you turn them into roses?


35 Responses to The Scratched Diamond

  1. Karen says:

    Thank you Mahanta! Lovely story! As always, I enjoyed and appreciated all the comments and advice of my fellow ECKists.

  2. Lovedales , Ghana says:

    This story is a price gem. Thank you. Great spiritual lesson

  3. Noel Neewura Ideemua says:

    I learn that everything in life is good and for good no matter how ugly it may appear, only our minds conceives negativeness and barriers. May the blessings be.

  4. James C. Potter says:

    Many years ago while I was studying an Eckankar discourse, I was pondering if a Master ever needed to seek the wisdom of another Master. Afterall, they are Masters. In the background, my TV was broadcasting a professional golf tournament. One of the greatest players to have mastered the game was being interviewed about what he does to improve his game. The golf master simply answered that he works with his teacher constantly to improve his skill and understanding. Though he loves the game he realizes there is never a ceiling and always room for improvement. The golden tongue wisdom flowed from the TV screen washing its love and newfound understanding over me. Like the blemished gem, there is always another facet of perfection so we can always be more of what we truly are. Love is the key.

  5. Mulowayi Nsenga Héros says:

    Considérer l’Âme en toute circonstance; c’est cela la réalité. Merci Maître du rappel.

  6. Ogoke Rowland says:

    Thanks so much Mahanta, He worked with all his love…. so love is the key to succeed in all, MTBB.

  7. Joyce Millman says:

    Just this morning, on TV reality, brought back memories of my youth & life filled with despair. Realizing my “imperfections” while striving to serve God with a loving heart; mentioned to my husband how I had always held my head up & smiled at others while hurting on the inside. Yes, I have a flaw as did the diamond yet somehow my inner beauty shows in my eyes (Soul) where others cannot see the flaw because God, The Mahanta has worked to create beauty that others can see, so now I am able to look at myself & smile knowing Wah Z, the Eck holy spirit has transformed me from the flawed diamond into the etched Rose. Thank you, May the Blessings Be. / Joy

  8. Ojong Arrey says:

    Very profound message. Thank you for reminding us that we are always special. ‘The wonder of you ‘
    Baraka bashad.

  9. Rafiu Ajao says:

    Thanks, Mahanta.
    You have shown once again that there is no imperfection in God’s creation; all that is imperfect is nothing but our illusion.

  10. Holly says:

    I have always loved this story and ones like it.
    I have always enjoyed working and volunteering with “Special Education” children and now adults.
    These precious Souls are the ones that Society more often than not has no use for. When I student taught speech in college what amazed me most was the students looked more at their flaws then at their strengths. I guess most of them had been put down one to many times to focus on their qualities. The class seemed to see themselves without value but I never saw them that way. By the end of the semester all but one got an A. I learned that year that life is all about consciousness and I loved sharing with the class how beautiful they really were. The scratched diamond is an awesome gift of perspective. Thank you Mahanta for giving us another gift for our spiritual tool box.

  11. Peter Akpokodje says:

    Thank you Sri Harold. This story gave me insight on how to better see and handle the imperfections of my lower bodies and its tests.
    A Change in Consciousness does help indeed. It is also the result.

    An insight I just got:
    Diamond => Soul
    diamond cutters => teachers
    Young diamond cutter => the Teacher, Sri Harold
    Best Diamond Cutter in the Kingdom => Sri Harold’s teacher
    All the rest of his jewelry => all other Souls
    etched => purified
    A thing of worth and value => purified Soul rising above its imperfections => scratched but etched diamond

    Thank you for this inspiring message and story.

    Now who might the king really just be?

  12. Rama Badarou Soule says:

    Wah Z: Very inspiring story. Your guidance is indescribable. Thank you so much!

  13. Beatice Carroll says:

    Thank you Mahanta!
    Another great example of what adding love will do. Love opens the door to creativity which always takes any situation up a notch!
    I enjoy watching the glow of love transform our focus and awareness into works of spiritual growth, appreciation and beauty, even in times of hardship!

    Thank you for the ECK flow and the gifts of higher consciousness and wisdom!

  14. Hillary H Onah says:

    It is an uplifting and interesting story that teaches the art of sincerity and focus in Eck for all wisdom.
    Thanks for your love Z.

  15. Sangita says:

    Appreciate all the blessings in our life. Thank You!

  16. Bi V. says:

    So grateful for the message in the story. May the blessings be.

  17. Maricel Garcia Sierra says:

    Inspiring story. Thanks for remember us, that always we need to love ourselves. I’m very grateful. Thanks to the Mahanta for his guide.

  18. Eriyoma Utoro says:

    Seeing the beauty and opportunities that each experience presents. Thank you Z.

  19. Dr. Dee Prescott says:

    So grateful for the Wisdom and Love. Your blessing of the God Consciousness perspective is truly helpful. We are created perfectly by SUGMAD, because God Loves us. Soul has no imperfections but as humans we we forget this.
    Thank you Mahanta.

  20. Sushila Zingde says:

    Very inspiring story. Thanks

  21. AdemolaShote says:

    Very inspiring story, no matter what happens or it happens, I can always turn the situation around for the good of the whole.

  22. Geetha Murthy says:

    What an inspiring story. Actually, it answered some of my questions. I sincerely thank you, Mahanta for this beautiful experience. I shall keep trying to be better each day, with your Blessings.

  23. Susan Haebig says:

    Both my personal scratches and my roses can be shared with others, in their times of need. It sometimes helps. The ECK has shown me this. How I can be of service to others. I am grateful.

  24. Denise says:

    Thank you, dear Mahanta. Once again divine love orchestrating what I needed to hear at the end of this day or close to it. I have been coughing for a few days and having a fever, while feeling a little bit low focusing very easily on the scratches of my diamond, wondering why so often it is others who see how and where I shine…Then I came up to close my inbox and here it is…:)

  25. Maureen Sinisi says:

    When we see things that don’t work in our lives anymore (flaws), let others contribute–take a chance on love–and allow Spirit to make beautiful changes in your life.

  26. Osita nwaolisah says:

    Circle of life is all about ECK, may the blessings be.

  27. Kenniethia says:

    Looking at the “scratches” in my life has helped to be more grateful for what I have. Making due with the scratches has made me even more appreciative of what I have, oppose to what I want!

    Thank you MAHANTA for the spiritual insight!

  28. Amoy Olton says:

    This story shows me the potential to become more and more Godlike through my thoughts, words and deeds. I must strive each day to be the best that I can be. That I am still a diamond in the rough and I must never give up on my self improvement. Thank you Master for this inspiring story.

  29. Zacchaeus Akighir says:

    Very inspiring. The timing is good – the beginning of a calendar year. When many of us are resolving to do things different from last year. It will inspire to use our scratches of life to foster spiritual unfoldment. Thanks to the Mahanta for guiding the selection of this topic at this time. May the blessings be.

  30. Violet Okokor says:

    It is very easy to think of what you wish to have while we forget the precious things around us that are ours. We should remember to count our blessings and give thanks to the master planner for everything.

  31. Anna says:

    nice! We are all perfectly imperfect!

  32. michael best says:

    We are all diamonds in the rough, waiting to be polished and be cleaned of imperfections. And all of life’s experiences etches the unique and individual design that establishes our place in heaven.

  33. Godwin ifeanyi E Peter says:

    Thanks for the teaching very interesting

  34. Dave Everett says:

    This is how I’ll address my faults and flaws in this new calendar year, by using them to learn and grow spiritually. Love in Eck….

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