A very wise man told me this tale which has such a rich lesson that one may use for guidance from the dark hallways we so often find ourselves walking through.
Long ago, there lived a couple on the outskirts of the city. They lived in an old broken down house and their sole possession was a cow. This cow gave them milk to both drink and to make cheese. The extra milk from the cow would be traded for other needs they had.
One day, a well known "man of cloth" and his disciples were passing by this house. The great spiritual leader stopped by the house, walked up to the door and knocked. When the poor man opened the door he could not believe who was standing before him! The Spiritual leader explained that he was en route to a Holy tribunal in a another city and would it be possible if he and his disciples could be fed a meal and be put up for the night.
The poor man still overwhelmed by the presence of this wise and holy leader responded with "yes, of course, absolutely, with pleasure I shall feed you and provide you with a bed to sleep in for the night!" He opened the door and allowed the entourage to enter. The poor mans wife hearing this, pulled him to the side, "have you lost your mind?" she whispered with puzzlement. "What do you think we have to offer them aside from some old cheese and milk?" He smiled at her and said, we will give them a fine dinner and they will shower us with their blessings. Now I must go, I have some work to do." The old man excused himself and said he would soon return.
After some time elapsed the old man appeared at the door of house, carrying in his arms two large sacks, filled with the finest meats, wines and breads that the city had to offer! "Here!" he boasted to his wife, we have some cooking to do, our guests will be treated to one the finest meals ever!" Completely puzzled she asked, "how in the world did you pay for all of this?"..He smiled, "I sold the cow."
The meal was glorious, yes , one would say it was fit for a king. The spiritual leader had a huge appetite. he ate, and ate, and drank the wine. He ate some more and drank the last drop of wine. All the food was gone! The Spiritual Leader got up from his chair and exclaimed that it was the best meal he has had in a long time. He expressed his appreciation and then said that he decided he did not want to lose any time, so he would continue to travel on through the night. He packed up with his disciples and left.
The old man dared not show any sign of disappointment, as they were hoping to receive some Spiritual lessons from their guests. The old house was now quiet. The wife looked at the empty plates and bottles. "Everything is gone" she cried. "What are we going to eat tomorrow?" she asked her husband. Realizing he made a terrible mistake, he became very angry and upset with himself.."what was I thinking? I have sold our cow, we have nothing and it's all my fault!" He began to cry and ran outside into the forest and continued with his shameful crying. The old man stumbled through the woods and his weeping was interrupted by the sounds of another cry. It was a very well dressed man, who was laying on the ground sobbing. "Sir, are you alright?" said the old man. Continuing he asked," tell me where you live, I will go there and get help for you." The well dressed man on the ground was gasping for air, and with shallow breaths, he explained that he did not want his family to know where he was. He told the old man that he was extremely wealthy, but his family only loved him for his wealth. "If I didn't have a penny, they wouldn't care if I was dead or alive". He vowed that as retribution for their false behavior, they would not see one penny from his estate."But you" he continued gasping, "a complete stranger and you are willing to help me for nothing in return". He pulled the old man close to him and whispered in his ear the location of a buried fortune..."take it" he moaned.."you deserve more than they", and with that the wealthy man died.
The old man buried the wealthy man and said a prayer. Then he went on to retrieve the buried treasure.
Two years passed and the Spiritual Leader and his disciples were passing down that same road of where the old broken down house was. The House was no longer there. In its place was huge mansion, beautifully landscaped. As the Leader and disciples watched, the doors of the mansion opened and out walked the poor old man with his wife. They were dressed like royalty and they were stepping into beautiful horse drawn carriage!
The disciples were puzzled..."is this the same couple we visited two years ago, who had not a penny to their name?" they asked the Leader. "Yes" smiled the wise one. "How did this happen?" they asked. The leader continuing with his smile replied "I made them sell the cow!"
......You can never know who you are, till you let go of who you were.
...............The best of who you are, is what you are always becoming.......