The old man thought or a moment. “Close your eyes”, he said.
The boy did as he was bid. He sat on his rock in the clearing of the forest, with his eyes firmly shut.
“What do you see?” asked the old man.
The boy laughed. “I can see nothing”, he replied. “My eyes are closed!”
“What can you hear?”
The boy sat quietly and let the noises of the forest come to his ears. “I hear the wind blowing through the trees and rustling the leaves, I hear the calls and songs of the birds, and I hear the chirping of the insects.”
“Keep your eyes closed and tell me what you can feel?” asked the old man.
Again the boy sat for a few moments. “I can feel the hard rock beneath me, I can feel the coolness of the breeze against my skin, I can feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on my face, and I can feel the weight of my clothes upon my back.”
“Now tell me, what can you smell?”
The boy raised his nose to the air and inhaled. “I can smell the scent of the pine trees in the forest, I can smell the freshness of the spring air, I smell the fragrance of the flowers in the clearing, and I can smell the scent of my own skin.”
“Good. Now open your eyes." The old man waited whilst the boy's eyes became accustomed once more to the light, before he went on. "You use your other senses to tell you what it is that you cannot see. So it is with the true path. You may not be able to see the path but you will know the path by the way that you feel inside here!” The old man banged his left breast with his clenched fist. “It is here, in the heart that you will know the true path.”
The boy looked perplexed. The other boys of the village laughed at his lessons with the old man who everyone said was crazy. Perhaps they were right. “How can I sense something with my heart? That is not one of my five senses.”
“Your heart is a sixth sense. Scientists will not speak of it because they cannot quantify it and so to them, it cannot exist. But inside of your heart, that is where you find your true self. That is the person who you were born to become. Inside your heart is written the fundamental truth of your life. It is within the heart that the soul of each of us can be found. When you walk the true path, you become your true self, you live a life that is authentic and in harmony with the rhythm of your soul.”
This was hard for the boy to understand. “How can I read what is written inside of my heart when I cannot see it?”
The old man looked up to the sky and smiled, then he looked kindly at the boy. “What did we just learn about things that we cannot see?”
The boy was hesitant, a little unsure. “We can know them in other ways?”