Rope and the Sky

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A Sufi mystic stopped Nasrudin in the street. In order to test whether Nasrudin was sensitive to inner knowledge, he made a sign pointing to the sky. The Sufi meant, “There is only one truth, which covers all.”

Nasrudin’s companion, an ordinary man, thought: “The Sufi is mad. I wonder what precautions Nasrudin will take?” Nasrudin looked in a knapsack and took out a coil of rope. This he handed to his companion. “Excellent,” thought the companion, “we will bind him up if he becomes violent.”

The Sufi saw that Nasrudin meant: “Ordinary humanity tries to find truth by methods as unsuitable as attempting to climb into the sky with a rope.”


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