If life were a maze full of trips and traps and all of humanity were as the mice that run through the constricted corridors than what part would we each play? Some mice would be leaders, searching high and low for the biggest cheese and helping others to get there. Others might be rats betraying as they go seeking rewards only for themselves. Some may be parents, finding the cheese only to carry it home to a hungry brood. Each mouse runs through the maze with his nose to the ground never seeing around the next turn until he has reached it.
Nearby the maze is a large tree. Within the tree a mouse is perched fascinated by the world running and moving beneath him. With his nose to the ground from so high in the air he can see the missed turns and lost cheese of the mice beneath. When the rat steals the last of a store of cheddar he calls out a warning to those on the ground. One or two give him a passing glance but his voice is too faint and he too far away to be of any use to them. He must be content only to watch the comings and goings of so many in their individually important lives.
He watches the constant race for cheese, the battle for territory and forever push for the right to survive. He rejoices when life is renewed and weeps when the mice meet the trap of deceptive cheese. He yearns to join in the frolics of families but fears the large teeth of the rat. He watches with confusion the interactions and superstitions of hundreds of relatives fighting for what none of them want at the cost of want all of them desire.
With time the mouse gains wisdom. He learns to predict the movements of the rodents beneath. With his far-reaching sight he can easily find the cheese that is bitterly fought over and sought. Yet he cannot go down. If he were to descend into the maze this power would wane and his wisdom would be lacking and he would be just another white-spotted mouse, striving for substance in the enclosed little world. How it tears at his soul to see the pain of life inflicted upon his friends and family, even though they be strangers perhaps. Still the kinship with his fellow mice is an overpowering urge. How dearly he wants to reach down and right the wrongs of the maze, to knock down the poorly constructed walls and lead all to see the abundant cheese that is just out of sight so many times. Surely with the knowledge and wisdom he has gain hanging the branches above the world he could be a force of light unbridled in the communities of ignorance below.
So he starts for the ground crawling hastily through the branches and twigs. As he reaches the trunk a glance at the ground reveals two mice being chased by a much larger rat. He pauses to watch as the rat takes the cheese and wavers in his resolve. For will all the knowledge that living in a tree brings to the mind of a mouse, he remains a mouse; small, cold, and with a nose that ever follows the ground.
The mouse in the tree can see great wisdom and feel the undercurrent of life beneath him. But he cannot share his wisdom nor descend from the tree for the mouse in the tree is only a sage while he is in the tree. On the ground his eyes cannot see beyond the walls that would blind him just like any mouse.