There was a man I knew who had recently joined a new-age religion. He was striving to have mystical experiences and I would have to call him a most intense seeker of God.
One fine day he was out walking along a nature trail when he happened upon an old man standing on the side of the path. The old fellow struck up a conversation and soon had the seeker flying high with what seemed like profound knowledge and wisdom.
As they talked the old fellow happened to notice that the seeker was standing very near a healthy growth of poison ivy. When he pointed it out the seeker jumped away saying he was extremely allergic to poison ivy. The old fellow mentioned that he had heard that the best way to cure that kind of allergy to poison ivy was to eat some of it.
The seeker had the sudden thought that maybe this was some kind of test. The old fellow was obviously very wise and knowledgeable. Maybe he was some kind of ascended master who had come to see if he was ready for an initiation…or maybe this was the initiation.
Without hesitation the seeker stepped over the the poison ivy, grabbed a handful of leaves, stuffed them in his mouth, and started chewing.
With a startled look, the old fellow told the seeker he had to go and meet his wife at the Nature Center. He wished the seeker well on his poison ivy experiment, then he turned and walked away.
The seeker never saw the old fellow again nor did he find out if he was a master. He did find out, however, that eating poison ivy was certainly an unwise thing to do. It almost terminated his life.
And he also discovered at a later time that he was still allergic to it.