Philip once told me this story about the wet matchstick, which was told to him by a Guru in the past.
It is said that everyone’s receptivity to the Dharma is like a wet matchstick. For some, the matchstick is very wet, no matter how hard we try to strike the match it will never catch fire. In other words, the conditions are not suitable for one to engage in learning and practicing the Dharma.
For some, the matchstick is half wet. Some parts of the head are wet, while there may be a small bit that is dry. If we can strike the match at that small bit, the matchstick will light up. So the person who encounters the right conditions will be sparked to learn and practice the Dharma.
And for some, the matchstick is dry. Naturally the matchstick can be lighted. So the person is very predisposed to learning and practicing the Dharma.
This analogy is very simple and straightforward.