29. The Stream in the Desert

A mountain stream flowed down into the desert.
There, the stream saw the wind crossing the desert. "I too want to cross over!" shouted the stream.
"Let the wind absorb you," advised the sand. "The wind will take you to the ocean."
"But I'm a stream! I don't want to be absorbed by the wind, and I've never heard of this ocean you speak of."
"Trust me," said the sand. "I know. I myself stretch to the ocean."
So the stream released itself into the arms of the wind, and later, the stream fell into the ocean, drop by drop.

Inspired byTales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah, free to read online at the Idries Shah Foundation.
Notes: This is on p. 24 in the book. Shah notes that the parable is widespread; this particular version he adapted from Awad Afifi of Tunisia. Compare this remark in the appendix to Under the Sufi's Cloak: Stories of Abu Said and His Mystical Teaching by Mohammad Ali Jamnia and Mojdeh Bayat: "If the seeker is considered to be a drop and the Absolute an ocean, then the drop cannot comprehend the ocean. However, if the drop merges with the ocean, it can, then, comprehend itself."

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