Nasruddin and his friend met a dervish in the road.
The dervish said nothing; he silently pointed at the sky.
Nasruddin's friend thought, "This madman could be dangerous!"
Nasruddin pulled a coil of rope from his bag, showing it to the dervish, who then continued on his way.
Nasruddin's friend thought, "I'm glad Nasruddin told the madman we'd tie him up if he became violent!"
But without words the dervish had said, "One truth covers all," and without words Nasruddin had replied, "To seek the truth by ordinary means is like trying to use a rope to climb the sky."
Inspired by: The Little Book of Sufi Parables by Nico Neruda (story 20).
Notes: This story also appears in The Sufis by Idries Shah, free to read online at the Idries Shah Foundation.