At a court banquet, everyone was sitting according to their rank, waiting for the king to appear. A simply dressed man came in and took a seat above everyone else.
The prime minister demanded that he identify himself.
Are you the adviser of a great king?
"No, I rank above a royal adviser."
Are you a prime minsiter?
"No, I outrank a prime minister."
Are you a king in disguise?
"No, I am above that rank as well."
Then you must be God, the prime minister said sarcastically.
"No, I am above that."
There is nothing above God! shouted the prime minister.
The stranger replied calmly,
"Now you know me. That nothing is me."
g g g
( collected by James Fadiman & Robert Frager)