One day as a gardener was weeding his garden, he was approached by a crowd from a nearby town. “Gardener, we have come to confront you directly. For once and for all, what is this mysterious Truth we have heard you repeatedly hint at?”
“I cannot answer you directly,” replied the gardener.
“Why not?” the crowd demanded. “It sounds as though you are afraid to say.”
“I am indeed cautious,” confirmed the gardener.
“That’s what we expected,” sneered the crowd, “soothsayers speaking falsehoods are always afraid to be presented to the daylight. They prefer their darks corners instead, where they cannot be judged.”
“It is not at all daylight I fear, my brothers. In fact, daylight is my friend, as it is yours,” said the gardener.
“Then why the secrecy?” they demanded, “Is it that you yourself fear our truths and have made this up to make yourself appear wiser than we?”
“Not at all,” assured the gardener, “I myself know nothing.”
“Then why do you allude that you are the keeper of this great secret?” the crowd inquired.
“I do not. There is no secret. The Truth is equally open and visible to all at every moment of every single day.”
“Then tell us,” demanded the crowd.
“You are like buds of beautiful flowers, tightly closed at present. To speak to you directly of the Truth would be as though I brutally forced your petals open by hand. The result is not a beautiful bloom, but a disaster. A wise gardener would never do that, but would rather position you in the light, where forces inherent in your original nature would hear the voice of the sun for themselves and upon their own, open and bloom in their full glory. This is known as The Way.”
The crowd shook their heads and mumbled to themselves, not understanding what he said. All but one left in confusion. “Please, sir,” the one remaining whispered, “I do believe you. I am deeply trouble by the contradictions I see around me, and doubly concerned that I alone seem to notice. Have mercy and tell me where to find this great secret, for I long for it unquenchably with all my heart. I know it is the only thing that will bring me peace.”
The gardener smiled, “ In whatever religion you find yourself in now, read the holiest of their holy books as though you had never read them before, allowing much of what you read may be find it’s highest value metaphorically, rather than historically. Clear you mind and in earnest ask for guidance. Allow no prejudice or fear to arise. This is an exceedingly difficult thing to do – perhaps only one in 10,000 may even come close. And remember, man alone is religious – not God. Fear no appearance of what you may at first regard as blasphemous. Seek the Truth and you shall find it. It is promised.”
“Remember that religions are merely rafts that may or may not aid you in your crossing. Once you have reached the shore you seek, what need have you of a raft? Abandon its confines quickly and permanently, for great multitudes have made their rafts tiny floating prisons from which they can glimpse the shore, but never experience for themselves, unless they leave their raft. The waters are plugged with such rafts full of contentedly deluded people, who imagine they have arrived. Do not follow in their wake.”
“Furthermore, you may seek inspiration in the form of nature, inspired written words, enlightened music, or divine art. They are all suitable rafts as well for the choosing. Chose wisely.”
“But most importantly, all rafts may be avoided if you look deeply inside yourself. There you will find The Way, the Truth, and the Light. Nothing else is ever needed, for you already carry within you unaware all that you so earnestly seek. Follow these guidelines and you can not fail to discover that which you long for.”
And with that, the gardener turned back to his gardening, for he had promised his father a large harvest that year.