Krishnamurti had something to say about this.
“Permit me now to tell you a story about the getting of wisdom. May I do that, children?
Fine, then. The getting of wisdom is like the climbing of the sacred Mount Arunachala. You know this mountain? Good. Then you know that climbing to the top is for most people hard and perilous. Very few have made the ascent. But the way is easier for some than others. On the west side of the mountain, where the grade is shallower, years of labor have produced a magical path that renders the climb easier, though it is still difficult and dangerous.
Those who labored so long to fashion the path had hoped that they would be able to use it to make the ascent and to gain wisdom. Even if they died making the path—and many, many did—they hoped that perhaps it could be used by their sons and daughters in the years to come.
Alas once the path was completed it was sealed off at its start at the base of the mountain. Only a very few persons were allowed access to climb the mountain using the magical path.
And so it came to pass that one day five powerful people were vying to get to the top of the path, and to get there before the others. Children I need not tell you how blind these climbers were. Wisdom is available to all who reach the summit, but only to the climbers with an open heart. But that did not matter to the climbers on that day.
The first climber was determined to be the first because she felt humiliated by an earlier failure to reach the summit. She claimed that she was destined to reach the summit first because she was named after the first person to climb the greatest mountain, Sagarmāthā. But about this she was not truthful. She also was far to weak to make the climb and needed more support to make the journey than she had supporters. So she paid for a large retinue to carry her to the top.
Another climber had been to the summit before but for reasons unknown had failed to gain wisdom. Thus he was determined to make the climb again. Knowing that wisdom would almost surely be unavailable to him on a second attempt he told his followers that he could show them the way and that some might be blessed with wisdom if they carried him to the top.
The other climbers all had their own private reasons for wanting to reach the summit, and none had compunctions about having private access to the magical path. My children, one of them even claimed to be an Indian when this was not at all the case!
On the appointed day at the appointed hour the five travelers started their ascent, each carried aloft by others laboring on their behalf but burdened down by possessions and objects.
Now on the east side of the mountain stood a young woman, the woman named after the holy basil plant. She was not one of the few who had been permitted to climb the magical path. For her, the only way to the top was by climbing the steep and treacherous east side of the mountain. Few had attempted the climb from this aspect of the mountain and fewer still had reached the summit, the last being the man thought to have special powers owing to his orange hair and peculiar ways.
But who was this young woman? She had no special powers to speak of. She could not jump over chasms or fly in the air. But she had the courage of a soldier, the strength of a lion and the modest character of a seeker of truth. Would these things be sufficient to carry her to the top? My children I wonder . . . “
*Jiddu’s younger brother