Rope and the Sky
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.
This spiritual story is from the book The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah.