An example of how an invaluable heritage is bequeathed is best portrayed by an episode in the life of Alexander the great. It must be emphasised, however, that it was not an anting-anting that the younger emperor was trying to bequeath, for he was not reputed to own once, but the throne. Thus, when he was dying, his ministers crowded around him and asked to whom he shall bequeathed the throne. And Alexander replied - "To the ablest."
It must be noted that being human, Alexander may also have had his favourite minister whom he could have easily appointed. And yet, he did not chose to bestow the throne gratuitously to such a minister. For if Alexander were human and at that a servant to human weakness, he was also rational and a slave to rational values. He, therefore, left the throne to be contested. At least, in this way, the mettle of the one who wins is subjected to a rigid test. And surviving such a rigid test presupposes excellence. The point being driven at here is that the granting is not sparing but discriminatory. Not every Juan, Pedro and Jose can be a recipient. Sometimes, if no one deserved if by standard of the possessor, the amulet is not passed at all and itís forever lost once he dies.
Is the anting-anting myth or real?
One word can probably supply the answer - "faith." A good example is an ailing person who submits for treatment both to a faith-healer who administers no drugs but for whom he has complete faith in and the best doctor available but for whom he does not believe in. It is usually the former who effects a cure. This only goes to show that faith plays an important factor in the effectivity of the anting-anting.
But even with the showing that itís not the anting-anting but some mysterious force like faith that makes things happen, this should not relegate the object to a status wherein it must be altogether discarded. For in the final analysis, it serves as the foundation or repository of oneís faith. In this role at least, the anting-anting serves a noble purpose.