Chapter 5: Let Go and Fly
So the parrot stays hanging. He tries in all possible ways to straighten himself up so he can fly away, but he is unable to manage to do that because the rope is very light compared to the weight of the parrot - so no matter how much he tries, he always swings back to his upside-down position. Thus, the more he tries, the more convinced he becomes that there simply is no way of release.
If the parrot could understand, it could undo its grip and fly away the same moment. But it tries first to sit upright. Even if it leaves the grip in its upside-down position it can fly away because the rope has not caught it. But the parrot has never flown in an upside-down position; whenever it has flown it has been standing upright. It knows only one way of flying. It thinks that perhaps flying has some unavoidable connection with standing right side up on two feet.
How is the parrot hanging upside down to understand that it can also fly here and now, and that it is not caught at all? But because it is hanging upside down it fears that if it leaves the rope it will fall on the ground and die. So it clutches the rope tightly. And howsoever late its catcher may come, he will find the parrot hanging there.
Man’s consciousness is more or less in the same situation. Nobody has caught you. Who is interested in catching you? This world has no interest in holding you. What could be the purpose, what would the world achieve through holding you? No, nobody is interested in catching hold of you. You have caught yourself. But there are some illusions which give you the idea that you are caught by others.
The greatest illusion is that you think yourself to be so valuable that the whole world is interested in catching you. This is egoistic to feel that all the miseries are rushing towards you only; that so many miseries pay so much attention to you; that all the hells are created just for you - they are all just for you, and you are sitting in the center! As if this whole cosmic arrangement goes on running just for you - and you are nothing but a parrot hanging upside down on a rope! But the reasons for the creation of this illusion are more or less the same as those for the parrot.
As soon as a human child is born, many tragic events take place side by side. They are a must, that is why they take place. A human child is born the most helpless of all animals in this world. The child of no other animal is born so helpless. Children of other animals can walk and run and can set out in search of their food soon after they are born, but a human child will require twenty-five years after its birth to be ready to set out in search of its own food. Twenty-five years!
A human child is the weakest of all animals at birth. Biologists say that something has gone wrong somewhere. They say that for a mature birth, the human child should remain in the womb for twenty-one months. But the human female is weak, she cannot keep the child so long in her womb. Thus, according to some biologists, the whole human race is an abortion. No human child is born fully developed, all are born partially developed. By contrast, children of all animals are born fully developed.