Friday, March 5, 2021

container and content



A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples 
from a seemingly inexhaustible store of wisdom. 
He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome 
which was kept in a place of honour in his room. 
The sage would allow nobody to open the volume.
 When he died, those who had surrounded him,
 regarding themselves as his heirs, ran to open the book,
 anxious to possess what it contained. 
They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found
 that there was writing on only one page. They became even more bewildered 
and then annoyed when they tried to penetrate the meaning of the phrase
 which met their eyes. It was:
 "When you realize the difference between the container and the content, 
you will have knowledge."
- Idries Shah
from The Book of the Book
with thanks to whiskey river