Wise Or Dead ?

Deep in a Cameroonian forest, there lived a stink ant (let’s call him Uno) in a colony of thousands of fellow-ants. One day, when all its neighbors were busy working on their regular chores of gathering and storing food, building new areas of their colony and other such menial tasks, Uno started climbing a nearby tree.

Its companions thought that weird at first and waited for it return back to the floor where they were supposed to be. However, Uno showed no signs of returning, climbing to newer heights that were never charted by any ant before. Some of the other ants thought Uno was special while some others thought Uno was mad. Unmindful of their feelings Uno kept climbing until it reached a certain point and stopped. It appeared to be meditating on something.

Some of the older ants said that Uno was enlightened and in bliss. They said that once in a few generations, one such ant would be born who would seek higher knowledge. After some days, they noticed an antenna growing out of its head with an orange tip. The older ants explained this to be the last stage of evolution in the ant’s life where it had made contact with a source of higher wisdom, a huge ant in the sky that is passing its wisdom to Uno through the antenna, and soon the essence of Uno would merge in the Wise One going through the antenna.

This is the story of Uno. And Uno was forever (as long as ant-memory is preserved) considered to be an Enlightened One.

Later on, scientists (of human race) studied and analyzed that this behavior was due to a fungus that preyed on the ant. The fungi that grow on the floor enter the ant through its breath and takes control of its brain forcing it to behave in such an absurd manner. Then the fungi feed on the ant and grow out through the ant’s head giving it its aura, waiting for another subject to prey on.

Who is right - the ant elders or the human scientists? What can we say? Often times enlightenment comes cloaked as madness and illness comes cloaked as wisdom. One needs utmost caution when deciding to follow the path prescribed by someone else, for it is very difficult to differentiate the Wise from the Sick.