Parable of the Locksmith

Parable of the Locksmith

I recently stumbled upon the below parable in a journal entry from April 2022.

The Locksmith

He wondered what was behind the door, despite years of work, he still couldn't open it. Every day the locksmith spent spare moments after work on the lock. He wanted more time to work on it but moving his shop could mean bankruptcy. He did it anyway and moved his shop to the space in front of the locked door. The location was loud, cars drove by and pedestrians talked as they walked. However, moving the shop allowed him to spend the moments between customers on the locked door. Still, after months he could not fix it. He wondered what was behind it, he began falling asleep thinking of what lay behind the door. After a week he couldn't take it anymore so he closed his shop and spent all his day working on the door. After two days the door opened but it was an empty, quiet room. That night he laid in bed thinking of what he gave up to open a door that had nothing behind it. He reopened his shop. Once a day for the first week he walked in the room and inspected the walls, he drug a chair in and sat. He found nothing but stillness. The following week he went in twice, the following week none. The shop bustled, he worked long hours and soon forgot about the door. Until one loud and difficult day months later, he wanted a break from the noise. He remembered the door. He walked to it and it would not open. With the lack of his attention the door lock had seized up again.

Be courageous and tedious in your pursuit. You must understand to reserve the chance to be virtuous. Then you must be courageous in your actions towards virtue. Then the door to stillness unlocks. Without persistence, the door to stillness will lock you out again.

What deep messages are in these few words... I’d rather not say what I took from this so I don’t predispose you to see it any other way than you do.

In April 2022, I was reading Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday. I searched for this parable in the book to learn about its author and found nothing. I went to Google next. Despite my best efforts, I didn’t find anything. Then I put it through multiple plagiarism tools hoping to find where it came from, they said it was 100% unique. I remembered then that I wrote it. Can you believe that?

See you in two weeks.

‘til our last breath,

James Kiesewetter


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