for some reason this tale resonated with me… how many times do we get sucked into something waiting for an answer, doing all the hard work, the soul-searching… making the change, pursuing something that we must know… only to find out in the end that it is something that we cannot know…. i don’t know about you, but it has happened to me many times…
A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door and says, “My car broke down. Do you think I could stay for the night?”
The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound; a sound like no other he has ever heard. The next morning he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, “We can’t tell you because you are not a monk.”
The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way. Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery. Fate. The monks again accept him, feed him and even fix his car. That night he hears the same strange mesmerizing sound that he had heard years earlier. The next morning, he asks what the sound was, but the monks reply, “We cannot tell you because you are not a monk.” The man says, “All right, all right, I’m dying to know. If the only way I can learn what that sound was is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?”
The monks reply, “You must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk.”
The man sets about his task. Some forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, “I have travelled the earth and devoted my life to the task demanded and have found what you asked for. There are 371,145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth.”
The monks reply, “Congratulations, you are correct, and you are now considered a monk. We shall show you the way to the sound.”
The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monks says, “The sound is behind that door.”
The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He asks, “May I have the key?”
He is given the key, and he opens the door.
Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man requests the key to the stone door.
He is given the key and opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. He requests another key from the monks, who provide it, and behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire… and so it went until the man had gone through doors made of emerald… silver… topaz… and amethyst.
Finally the monks say, “This is the key to the last door.”
The man is relieved to be at the end. He unlocks the door, turns the knob and behind that door he is astonished to find the source of that strange, mesmerizing sound. It is truly an amazing and unbelievable sight. …
But I can’t tell you what it is because you are not a monk.