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The Parable of The Old Man & The Demons

There is a story of a traveler that entered a village. He was unfamiliar with the community and he found a guide near the entrance to the town gate. He needed the guide to lead him through the village towards the best route towards where he was going. While walking through the village, at first glance, he noted that the village looked normal enough.

The further he and his guide walked into the village he noticed there was one demon following each person in the town. It startled him at first and he didn’t say anything to his guide until the got to the other side of the town.

Upon reaching the other side of the town he noticed an old man, hunched over, with a cain crossing a bridge. What surprised him even more was that there were several demons surrounding the old man. These demons were bigger, meaner looking, and were saying all kinds of nasty things to the old man. But he did not pay any attention to them as he went about his business.

This time the traveler had to say something. He turned to his guide and asked “Why am I seeing these demons and why does everybody else have only one demon and this old man has many?” The guide replied “The town is full of selfish and greedy people and the more selfish and greedier they are the easier it is for one demon to influence them. That old man is the strongest and kindest person in the village and so, it takes more demons to thwart and influence his journey.” The traveler understood and asked “How do I defeat my demons?” The guide responded “Be like the old man.”

An excerpt from the book “Freedom and the Will to Move Forward”.


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