Sufi mystic Shibli was asked, “Who guided you in the Path?”
He said: “A dog. One day I saw him, almost dead with thirst, standing by the water’s edge. Every time he looked at his reflection in the water he was frightened, and withdrew, because he thought it was another dog.
“In this same way my own obstacle vanished, when I knew that it was what I took to be my own self. And my Way was first shown to me by the behavior of a dog.”
The significance of this story is that we should see things clearly and not through our egoism. We must distinguish between real thing and the mere reflection of self.
– Spirituality, Science and Psychology in the Sufi Way by Prof. Mohamed Yahia Haschmi, from the Book Sufi Studies: East and West.
I look into you… and I don’t see any other barrier than yourself. You are standing in your own way. And unless you understand it, nothing is possible towards inner growth. If somebody else was the barrier, you could have dodged him, you could have bypassed him. If somebody else was the barrier, you could have escaped. But you are the barrier. You cannot dodge — who will dodge whom? You cannot bypass — who will bypass whom? You cannot escape, because wherever you will go you will be there. Your barrier is you, and it will follow you like a shadow.