There once was a wise old sage, who for years carried with him a tiny ball of silken thread, given him, when first he started sageing. One morning, upon arising from a restless nights sleep, before going on with his days wanderings, he sat down beneath a tree to ponder the ball of thread. Gaining no realization from this, he stood and tied one end of the string to the tree. The other he would take with him on his day’s travel letting the ball unravel until at last it would be understood as but a single strand of silk. Without further delay or thought on the matter, he started off across the countryside.
At the end of the day, when the sun had at last fallen behind the farthest rise, and the ball of thread had at last dwindled down to but a single strand, the sage sat down to discover what meaning was to be found.
“It began as a ball of silken thread.” he thought. “It has come to an end where I now sit. Now I must either go tomorrow without the gift that was once given me, or waste today’s journey by following the string back to where I began this morning.” This dilemma brought the sage to meditate the rest of the night.
By morning he had arrived at what he hoped a wise solution.
With great determination the sage gave one, mighty yank, and broke the thread from the tree where he had tied it. Through the course of this new day’s journey, he wound the thread into the tiny ball it once was. That night he returned the ball to its pouch, and satisfied at last, lay down and died.