Once an aged philosopher sat on a large log of driftwood, staring out into the sea. He had stayed this way for hours on end when a young man came and put an end to his musings.

“Teacher,” he began “I’m in need of wisdom.” The older man regarded him for a while. He saw the gleam in the youngster’s eyes and knew he would not be sated until he got what he was asking for, so he sighed, got up, dusted his bottoms and signaled for the youth to follow him.

Together they waded well into the ocean. When they had gotten to a considerable distance the old man took hold of the boy and submerged him for thirty seconds. When the boy raised his head, the sage asked him

“What do you want?”
“Wisdom, o great teacher.” the boy replied. The man nodded and submerged him again. This time, he held the boy a little bit longer. The boy came up sputtering but determined. Again the question, again the answer.

The old man dunked him once more.
This time, he held the boy still he began to struggle. Eventually the boy did come up. Desperately, he took several healthy gulps of air before answering the question.
“Air.” He managed to get out. “I want air!” The old man smiled then. Then he spoke…
Until you have as great a need for wisdom as you have for air, you will never truly find it.


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