A father and mother whose son is about to turn eighteen decide to give him the best gift they can think of: the key to life, a key with three teeth. The son will only understand some time later that the key opens the doors to growth, expansion and happiness, but he will also need it to open the doors to loss, withdrawal and pain. This is the key to a full life, the good life. It has three teeth because the three essential resources anyone needs to advance and live a good life are truth, courage and awareness. i.e.: being oneself, having the courage to persevere in the face of setbacks and staying alive to one’s own experience and what is happening around them.
The book offers a guide to living fully in an increasingly complex world based on the discovery of the real meaning of life. It also contains some final instructions on the exercises that can help us to achieve the emotional balance we seek.
The great lesson of these pages is simply that of the example given: it demonstrates the path to the good life. The author culls the simple from the complex and the serious from the superfluous.