First he met a scarecrow and said "Friend scarecrow, I see we have much in common for
we are both in the shape of men."
"You fool," said the scarecrow, "you would be my equal, whilst I am
only an empty shell, be off with you, for 'wisdom' is just a cloak put
on to impress others and yourself."
Next he met a wise old woman and he said to her, "Beloved Mother you
have much wisdom and I am yet young on this the Longest Path. Will you
share some of your great knowing?"
"You really are a fool," said the wise old woman, "every time you open
your mouth, you utter falsity. Truth can not speak. What then will you
have me say?"
Finally he met himself and he said, "Long have I sought you and now you
are here what is there to say?"
"You are a Fool," said his Self. "At no time have we been apart. What
then have you found except that which was always present?"