A hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him.
“Master, I wish to become your disciple,” said the man.
“Why?” replied the hermit.
The young man thought for a moment the uttered, “Because I want to find God.”
The master jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, dragged him into the river, and plunged his head under water. After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the Master finally pulled him up out of the river. The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath.
When he eventually quieted down, the master spoke. “Tell me, what did you want, most of all, when you were under water.”
“Air!” answered the man.
“Very well,” said the master. “Go home and come back to me when you want God as much as you just wanted air.”
Just like the novice in the story above, many people search for God with the same mind that has caused them delusion and confusion. How can the ego possibly find the egoless? This is the paradox in all human societies. Even though a person may go to a church, mosque or temple, it is the ego that is doing all that. Enlightenment is something more than all we are accustomed to. It is that which is attained when one has a peculiar totality in their search. God-knowledge is attained when every blemish (ego) and delusion is extinguished. There are no shortcuts to Thatness – this explains why in these modern days the “false prophets” have really flourished, just because the ordinary man is enticed by mere shortcuts and superficialities, not to mention the corporate confusion that is the new world order.