The World Famous Diver

by stewart

“Aha!” Finally, the light went on in Turtle’s head. “Now, I know what to do.  I will become a World Famous Diver.  Then everyone will know my name.  Let me see, how should I start? Perhaps, I should get myself a diving instructor, or read some books on the subject. No! That will take too long. I have a better idea.”


So Turtle set about making some posters and placing them on trees in the meadow, along the road and by the Pond.  Each poster read in large green and red letters:  Come One, Come All, See the World Famous Diver, Wednesday 10 am, Brook Pond, No Admission Charge!


When the appointed hour arrived, a large crowd gathered; water bugs, turtles, minnows, grasshoppers, hedge hogs and snakes were all in attendance. None of the Pond creatures had ever seen a World Famous Diver and every one was curious.  Out of shiny cloth, Turtle made himself a red mask and a green cape; wearing his costume proudly, he slowly swam out to the large rock in the middle of the Pond, and everyone cheered in anticipation.  Slowly, when Turtle climbed the rock, fearfully, everyone sighed and took a deep breath.   Shocked, when Turtle leaped head first off the rock, everyone screamed.


Since Turtle had not taken into account the distance of the dive fall in relation to the depth of the water, Turtle smacked his head on the Pond bottom, rendering himself unconscious.  And because no one knew what a World Famous Diver was supposed to do, no one jumped in to see if Turtle was OK.  Everyone assumed disappearing was part of the act and cheered, wildly, when he did not surface.


Fortunately, turtle’s can submerge and stay alive for long periods beneath the water; even when they smack their head. When Turtle awoke and swam out of the Pond, no one was there to congratulate him.


Later when Turtle decided to explain to grasshopper and the others, by showing his costume, he was The World Famous Diver; they all laughed and said he shouldn’t try to take credit for someone else’s effort.  Besides they pointed out, anyone could make himself a costume, but it took years of practice and considerable skill to become a World Famous Diver.


The Lesson


  • Often our human need for personal attention is deeply hidden and pushes us to do all kinds of things. This need is part of our primary need for love. Each traveler requires a balance of personal recognition, love and social interaction; this is necessary for healthy living.


  • Many times our attention need becomes attached to our spiritual journey, and when this occurs it manifests as a desire to be recognized for our spiritual knowledge and accomplishment; we may begin to teach or seek to be the favorite of our teacher; we may even begin to wear exotic garb and colorful costumes to be recognized for our affinity with this ‘more spiritual’ way of life. Also, we may write papers, blogs and books; all this activity under the guise of sharing and helping others.


  • In this story from the World of Pond series, turtle plays the role of fool, seeking fame and fortune (attention); in order to get noticed, he adorns a colorful costume, performs a brave and stupid act. Because he was not adequately prepared, he fell far short of his mark, knocked himself out, and no one believed him.


  • In our quest for higher knowledge, many things must be in place before the inner wisdom will come forward.


  • Part of this preparation for higher knowledge, is knowing when our need for personal attention: masquerades as something else; like in this story of The World Famous Diver.


  • Often our hidden attention need, blocks any real spiritual progress.



Check-out my two books: Sufism for Western Seekers: Path of the Spiritual Traveler in Everyday Life and The Ferryman’s Dream.  Both books are also in Kindle format and available on or local bookstore.

If you are interested in learning more about this subject, universal mysticism and Sufism contact:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alaysia April 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Another learning experience for turtle and for me! Thanks Stewart!


stewart April 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Hi Alaysia: Thanks for your different comments on the 3 pieces; I enjoy the feedback very much. Stewart


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: