One of the great Sufis of Central Asia was receiving people who wanted to become his mureeds (students).
“Anyone” he said, “who wants entertainment, not learning, who wishes to argue, not study, who is impatient, who wants to take rather than to give – should raise their hand right now!”
Nobody moved. “Very good,” said the teacher, “now you will come and see some of my dervishes who have been with me for three years.”
He led them into a meditation hall where a row of people were sitting in silence. Addressing them the master said: “Let those who wish to be entertained, not to learn, who are impatient and want to argue, the takers and not givers – let them stand up.”
The whole row of dervishes got to their feet.
The master addressed the first group. “In your own eyes, you are better people now than you would be in three years’ time if you stayed here with me. Your present vanity helps you even to feel worthy of receiving the Teaching. So reflect well, as you return to your homes, before coming here again at some future time if you wish, whether you want to feel better than you are, or worse than the world thinks you to be.”