Wishing to be Wise

People often mistake dervishes, who are treading the Sufi path, for Sufis, who have already trodden it.

There is a tale, told by a dervish, which helps to fix this distinction in the mind.

There was once a young man, he related, who sought out a dervish, and asked him: ‘I wish to be wise – how can I achieve my wish?’

The Dervish heaved a great sigh and answered:
‘There was once a young man, just like you.
‘He wished to be wise, and this wish had great strength.
‘Suddenly he found himself sitting, as I am, with a youth, like you, seated before him, asking, “How can I be wise?”’

Seeker After Truth

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