From the 10th century onwards, following the Golden Age of the four righteous caliphates, Persian poets turned their minds to the search for truth. Their poetry was influenced by Sufi thought and Eastern philosophy. They looked to the ancient stories for inspiration. Jalal-Al-Din Rumi, well known to modern readers, was greatly moved by such tales. He had not been alone. Such tales did not contain the dogmas of a monotheistic religion or simply speak of the love of a single god but they proposed philosophies for a better, kinder way of living with and as human beings. Above all they contained the desire for truth and for seeking the pathways to it. Many of them provoked questioning and further enquiry. They were a means to test the minds and reactions of the listener.
I see within these tales the cultural D.N.A. of mankind.
I have imagined a meeting of Sufism and Buddhism. Two Philosophies that came together and, despite lacking in a common tongue, found a way of talking to each other and engaging in debate through poetry and stories in a spirit of understanding.
As a professional storyteller I often recognise, and I do not use this word off-handedly, enlightenment come to the listener as the stories of those poets unfold before them. Often, the only way to understand these tales is to think deeply about them. The listener is, by travelling down the path of his own understanding, empowered.
There is only one pathway, ones own, but there is more than one truth.