A young man came to a sage one day and asked, “Sire, what must I do to become wise?” The sage vouchsafed no answer. The youth after repeating his question a number of times, with a like result, at last left him, to return the next day with the same question. Again no answer was given and the youth returned on the third day, still repeating his question, “Sire what must I do to become wise?” Finally the sage turned and went down to a near-by river. He entered the water, bidding the youth follow him.
Upon arriving at a sufficient depth the sage took the young man by the shoulders and held him under the water, despite his struggles to free himself. At last, however, he released him and when the youth had regained his breath the sage questioned him: “Son, when you were under the water what did you most desire?” The youth answered without hesitation, “Air, air! I wanted air!” “Would you not rather have had riches, pleasure, power or love, my son? Did you not think of any of these?” queried the sage. “No, sire! I wanted air and thought only of air,” came the instant response. “Then,” said the sage, “To become wise you must desire wisdom with as great intensity as you just now desired air. You must struggle for it, to the exclusion of every other aim in life. It must be your one and only aspiration, by day and by night. If you seek wisdom with that fervor, my son, you will surely become wise.”
~ Taken from the book The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindel