There was once a child - a toddler to be precise, who was totally content when he was with his parents, as toddlers tend to be. Holding their hands - clinging to his mother’s dress - hiding beneath her legs - sitting on his father’s lap - meal time together as a family, he felt secure and warm - content with his place in the Universe - at one with himself and his environment. Nothing could be better.
Of course, as a toddler, he liked to explore and color and paint and make music. He investigated the world around him making exciting discoveries daily. He expressed himself with the colors of his crayons and his clay sculptures - with the sounds of sticks on drums - rubber bands strung on a box. However no matter how extensive our toddler’s exploration of the outside world (around him), he always wanted to know that one of his parents was nearby. Sometimes he would try to escape - but only in fun. In short everything was perfect as long as his Mind knew where his parents were.
Then one day our toddler wandered a little too far - perhaps in a shopping mall when his mother was distracted with his siblings - perhaps in an amusement park when his father was at a counter buying tickets or food. It doesn’t really matter. Our toddler was lost. At first he was a little rattled but then he became increasingly more disturbed and upset, until finally he began whimpering, crying and then wailing. The world was no longer a friendly place. Things were severely out of balance.
A string of strangers who passed by felt impelled to offer him some good advice. “Little boy, you’ve had a good life. Much better than most of the rest of the world. There’s no reason to be upset if you compare yourself with the multitudes, which are much less fortunate than you. You should be grateful, not disturbed.”
The toddler cried even louder: “I want my Mommy and Daddy.”
Others said: “Have you pondered the meaning of life and what your relationship is to it? After all an unexamined life is not worth living.”
Our toddler wailed even louder than before: “I just want my Mommy and Daddy.”
Someone said, “I think that he just wants to be reunited with his parents.”
Another said: “Nonsense. He would be happier if he just served humanity.” - “Maybe some meditation.” - “Me, I suggest diet and exercise.”
By this time a crowd had gathered around our lost toddler - all offering good advice. “Lose yourself in your Art.” - “Maybe you need more money. Have you tried mutual funds? They’re not as risky.” - “You would be happier if you started thinking about retirement. It’s never too early, you know.” - “I think you need a girlfriend.”
However our toddler, no matter what kind of wise and sagely advice he was given continued to scream: “I want my Mommy and Daddy!!”
“Detach it’s all an illusion.” - “Just believe in Christ. Open you heart and let him in. His love will give you happiness.” - “Serve humanity” - “Submit to Allah.” The wisdom continued.
Then out of nowhere his parents appeared.
“Where did you wander off to, you little rascal? We were so worried.”
Our toddler immediately ceased his laments and wrapped the fingers of his little hands, one around a finger of his mother’s hand and the other around a finger of his father hand. All was right again. Once again he was at one with his place in the Universe.
This story has to do with the notion that wisdom doesn’t compare with alignment with the Universe.