Hazrat Inayat Khan told this story about meeting a ‘philosopher’ in the city of Hyderabad, in India.
Once I met a learned man, a doctor of philosophy with a great many degrees. We spoke about the deeper side of life. And he became very interested in what I said and told me that he thought very highly of me. So I thought how much more interesting it would be for him if I were to tell him about my teacher.
I told him, “There is a wonderful man in this city; he has no comparison in the whole world.”
“Are there such people?” he asked. “I would very much like to see him. Where does he live?” And I told him, in such and such part of the city.
He said, “I live there also. Where is his house? I know all the people there. What is his name?”
So I told him. He said, “For twenty years I have known this man, and now you are telling me about him!”
I thought to myself, “In a hundred years you would not have been able to know him.”
He was not ready to know him. If people are not evolved enough they cannot appreciate, they cannot understand others. They cannot even understand the greatest souls. They may sit with them, talk with them; they may be in contact with them all their life, but they do not see. While another, if he is ready to understand, needs only one moment.
This philosopher had known my teacher for twenty years, and yet he did not know him. I saw him once and became his pupil forever. The man was learned, he was very intellectual, but he saw him with his brain. I saw my teacher with my heart.