Parable of the Sage and the Thief


There once was a sage

walking down a strange path,

in a place he had never been before.


With each step and beat of his heart

he could hear the music in his soul

echoed by all the life around him.


With each breath

he drew the beautiful landscape within

and felt it tingle in his marrow.

“A feast of love.” he thought happily.


This sage had suffered greatly in his past

for many transgressions against himself,

but had found forgiveness

in the true heart of his being

from the spirit of us all who dwells there.


And then, the spirit of his true heart spoke,

“Around the next bend,

there is a thief who waits

to rob you.”


“He is one who´s heart is closed.

He cannot partake of the feast you enjoy.

He is in fact, starving

and knows no love.”


The sage then asked his spirit,

“Shouldn´t I then turn away

or choose some different path?”

Shouldn´t I avoid the thief?”


“Don´t be afraid,” the spirit said,

“for you are not alone

and there is no other path

for you.”


“For fear will close your heart

and you will loose

what you have gained anyway.”

And so, they rounded the bend together.


There was the thief, waiting.

The first thing the sage noticed

was that the thief was pinched in pain

and his face was somehow familiar.


“How can I help you?” asked the sage.

The thief answered by pointing his gun,

“Give me all your money,

for I am hungry!”


“Isn´t there some other way I can help you?

I have so little.  It couldn´t make much difference.”

“It´s people like you who have ruined me

and kept from me what should be mine!

Hand it over!” the thief said.


So the sage emptied his pockets.

“Take it then, it´s all I have,

and may you find forgiveness

in your heart.”


“I have no heart,” said the theif.

“Who would forgive someone like me?

My life has been nothing but bitterness and fear,

so now, I take what I want.”


“Poor soul!” cried the sage.

“If only I could give you more,

some fruit that didn´t taste of bile

and would really nourish you!”


The thief paled and stepped back in fear,

“Keep away from me, naïve idiot!” he yelled,

“for surely you would only betray me

like all the others before!”


When the thief had run away,

the sage stood there in the path,

his spirit standing beside him,

a tear for the thief on his cheek.


They walked on, side by side

as the beauty of their surroundings

entered his heart once again.

“Perhaps he is not ready.” the spirit said.


Further down the path he found a bag

containing a few coins,

the very ones that had been stolen,

and all he would need for the day.

“A pity the thief couldn´t use them,”

the spirit said.


That night, as the sage rested,

he invoked the image of the thief in his mind.

He was still starving and full of pain and bitterness

and he cradled the thiefs head in his loving arms,

shocked to notice that the thief

was but another form of his spirit within.


“Can you forgive me?”

the sage asked the thief.

“Can you forgive me?”

the thief asked the sage.

– anonymous



One thought on “Parable of the Sage and the Thief

  1. studiojake11

    At a certain point in your evolution, it doesn’t actually matter what people say to you. It only matters what you say to yourself when things are said. In time, you will come to see how being heartbroken by words or grateful for the gifts that others provide is simply a matter of interpretation. No matter how words are received, when each interaction inspires you to love your own heart in response to any encounter, the highest purpose of communication has been discovered. Conscious communication is not just a way of sharing your truth with others, but learning how to respond to yourself with the kindness, patience, acceptance, and care that certain characters in your play are destined to withhold. In the heart of surrender, it doesn’t matter what others refuse to offer you. It only matters what you share with yourself, and through the heart of your embrace — all things are transformed. ~ Matt Kahn (via Evelyn in Clarkfork)

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