"It seems there was a young spiritual student who became impatient with the teachings he was receiving from the master in his own village. He wanted to know everything, and he wanted that information immediately. He went to his village master and demanded to be told the final truth about God.

"The teacher responded by saying that the truth that he was seeking was simply that he, the student, was God. God, truth, and meaning were to be found within.

"At this the young man became outraged and indignant. He felt that the master's answer was preposterous. But the master was unwavering in what he had to say, and so the student left the village in search of a different teaching. The student sought out gurus and masters far and wide, but no matter how renowned or wise these teachers were said to be, all of them in the end gave the student the same answer about life-that he was God. This wasn't what he wanted to hear; in fact, he saw this answer as an indication of the teachers' incompetence.

"Finally, he came upon a new teacher to whom he vehemently complained about his previous gurus and related his concerns. This wise teacher was very understanding and reassuring. He told the student that the truth about God would be revealed to him, but not immediately. He said that it would take some years, under the teacher's guidance, for the student's realization to come forth. Because the student was too poor to remain with the teacher for instruction, he arranged a work-study exchange. The only job available was shoveling manure all day in the field. The student gladly accepted this job and persisted steadily for seven years in this endeavor. Finally, at the end of the seventh year, the student came to the teacher and demanded some satisfaction.

" 'All right,' the teacher said. 'You have toiled long and hard and you deserve to hear the truth. Know then that the truth you seek is just this: You are God.'

"The student became enraged and said, 'How could this be? How could it be that you are just the same as all the other fools who told me this. And if this is the case, why have I toiled in your fields for these many years?'

" Because, my diligent student,' the master said, 'although you are indeed God, you are simply not very bright.' "