A Short Parable About Wisdom

There’s a parable about a mysticism expo. On a dusty alley, just off the expo’s centre, were three booths.

“Come,” said the psychic in the first booth, “see into your past. I will read your soul and tell you its many earlier lives.” People queued and paid good money to be cold read and told what they wanted to hear.

“Come,” said the fortune-teller in the third booth, “witness your future. I will pierce the veil of time and gaze upon your destiny.” People queued and paid good money to be cold read and told what they wanted to hear.

“Come,” said the monk in the middle booth, “experience the present. I will teach you how to quiet your mind and focus.” People gathered and made voluntary donations to learn to strengthen their minds and bodies.

One month passed. A customer of the psychic was pleased to know their soul once lived as Cleopatra. They set their phone wallpaper to an Egyptian theme. A customer of the fortune-teller waited for their promised love to land into their lap. A student of the monk focused on their breathing, amazed by how much stronger their attention felt. They recognised this amazement as a distraction, let it fade and went back to the exercise.

The moral?

If I told you what the moral is, then I wouldn’t be living it. But I will say this: if you think you know what it is, you’re probably right… and you’ve probably overlooked something.

There are chances to grow in this world and there are traps. It’s hard to separate them. But if you are going to, a little extra wisdom helps.

And where does wisdom come from?

It comes from knowing yourself better than how authors know their books. The best way to do that is to open the cover, turn a page and let you surprise yourself.

Don’t stop until you stop surprising yourself.

That’s the destination.

You may start at any time.