Seeker greeted the next morning with great excitement and faith, reassured by the messages of those who had traveled the unmarked path he had discovered and confident that it led to a wondrous destination. Fear and doubt were still present as he traveled, but they were quiet and unobtrusive. Before long, Seeker came upon a village and was overjoyed to see its activity.
In the village, there seemed to be many small gaggles of people, and in most of the clusters, many people stood enraptured by a nuclear figure, a speaker of some kind or a person engaged in some intriguing activity. Some of the people looked as though they had been listening for quite some time, and yet they were captivated by what they heard. Before long, Seeker realized that this place was like many on his map of destinations, and he quickly unfolded and consulted the map. He had been to some similar destinations, and there were many more indicated as possibilities: MBA, Community College, Law School, State University, Medical School, and on and on. Some of those destinations were very specific with regard to quality and location, and some were more general, but they were all sites of learning.
Sites of learning had been a distinct pleasure for Seeker, for he loved to gain new knowledge, and so he began to take in what the village had to offer. One group was listening to a speaker convey the secrets of finding hidden treasures in the nearby mountains. It was an interesting topic, but Seeker had obviously missed some essential information at the beginning of the discussion, so he wandered a bit and observed some of the other goings-on. He saw one individual sitting on the ground, grabbing handfuls of mud and slowly smearing it on his face. An onlooker whispered, “How profound!”
Although it increasingly became a challenge, Seeker tried to keep an open mind and benefit from the wisdom of the enlightened people in this village. One woman claimed to have incontrovertible proof of the existence of extraterrestrial visitors as she held up what was quite obviously an empty pie tin. Several people claimed to have been contacted by spiritual beings bearing messages of truth, but none of them seemed to have received the same messages. Some people were unable to share their complete knowledge adequately to the gathered crowd, but had written their secrets down in volumes which were available for purchase. Little by little, Seeker’s bright, wide-eyed smile began to ebb as he became more and more skeptical of the knowledge to be gained in this site of learning.
A bit disheartened and frustrated, Seeker trudged back to the outskirts of the village. He was comforted when he saw that his uncharted path continued on past the village. This, at least, was not the end of the road. There could be something better ahead, something that had more substance, more truth. Just then, Seeker heard an unexpected voice near the path ask, “Disappointed?”
He looked to see a large, free-standing window overlooking the path and seemingly connected to nothing. As he approached, he responded, “Quite disappointed, actually. I had hoped to learn something.”
“Didn’t you?” queried the reflection in the glass.
Seeker pondered the question, and was about to respond when the reflection asked, “Wasn’t the hammock and the fire a nice surprise?”
“Yes. Yes it was.” Seeker’s face lit up a bit and his shoulders relaxed. The reflection smiled back, and Seeker was filled with a sense of comfort and peace. He decided that he was finished with the village, and he continued down the path. He didn’t consult his map of destinations, but he wondered what such a place as that village might be called.