Once upon a time, a nameless warrior had the greatest doubt of his life. He spent many days and
many nights asking himself how could he ever be sure to set Heaven apart from Hell. How could he
tell one from another was a question he desperately needed to answer.
The young warrior tried every oracle, every witch, every gifted eye he knew in the entire province,
and still couldn't answer his question.
One day came when he received word of an old master, a man who might have had all the answers, a
man who they said knew all that was to be known. The young warrior then asked how he could find
such master. They told him he lived up in the mountains alone and gave the young warrior directions.
It took three days for the young warrior to finally reach the place. The old master sat meditative on a
plain rock, lost in himself. The young warrior approached him very carefully, waiting for the old man
to speak first.
"Yes?", said the master, without looking in the warrior's direction.
"You have the respect of many people for being told to possess all answers. I have a question for
Still without moving more than his mouth, the old man replied:
"And what would that be?"
"I want to be sure I can tell Heaven from Hell. What sets them apart?"
The old master then looked at the young warrior and, in clear contempt, condemned:
"What a ridiculous question! Ridiculous, childish and raw, like words from a peasant, not a warrior!"
The young warrior was in anger. How such an old man could dare to speak with him in such abusive
and demeaning tone? It was unacceptable!
The old master looked at the warrior with disgust from top to bottom, and continued:
"Indeed, by the clothes you are wearing, you might as well be a peasant for all I know!"
In a swift move, the young warrior drew his sword, red from anger. Before he could strike a
decapitating blow, however, the old master's hand stopped him for a second in the air and he said
"Do you see? This is Hell".
Embarrassment and shame immediately flooded the young warrior's heart, for he had instantly
understood the master's words. He tossed his sword aside and kneeled, in a gesture of true and humble
submission, while tears streamed in his face.
A shining smile filled the master's lips when he gently said:
"Do you see? This is Heaven".