A grocer had a beautiful parrot, which kept him company, amused his customers, and in his absence took care of the shop.
One day when he stepped out for ablutions and the parrot was watching the shop from a top shelf, the grocer’s cat jumped on a mouse without any warning. The parrot was so frightened that he flew across the shop and knocked down a jar of almond oil.
When the grocer returned, he saw the scene and was seized with anger. He took a stick and hit the parrot on the head repeatedly until the poor bird’s skull was stripped of all its feathers.
The parrot, bald and rejected, sat on a corner shelf. For days he didn’t open his mouth. The grocer, who was now very remorseful of his act, tried every trick on his abused companion. He even sought his customers’ help.
But it was all in vain; the parrot didn’t talk.
One day, as the bird was sitting in his usual silence, a bald dervish came to the shop. Immediately the parrot landed down on the counter and said, “So you too knocked down a jar of almond oil!”
He understands that he has become bald because he knocked down an almond jar. Now there comes a dervish who is also bald, immediately the interpretation… We understand the language that we have lived up to now.
An enlightened person has no ego – has no humbleness either. Humbleness is a very polished ego; when ego disappears, humbleness also disappears.
An enlightened person knows who he is, so there is no need to carry a false identity. It was needed before, otherwise you would have got lost in the crowd, it would have been impossible to live without it. The ego is a need while you are ignorant, but when you become enlightened it simply drops on its own accord. It is as if a blind man gropes with his stick when he walks; he can ask, “When one’s eyes are cured does one carry a stick to grope, or not?” What will we say? We will say, “When the eyes are cured, the stick is dropped. Who carries the stick? Why? And why should one grope when the eyes are there?” The stick and the groping are a substitute – a very poor substitute at that – but it is needed when one is blind.
Now the question has to be understood. “Is it possible to be conscious of enlightenment, and be enlightened? Can the thought of being enlightened create ego in one?” If the ego is there, there is no need to create it; it is already there and the thought of enlightenment is created by it. If the ego has dropped and really the awareness, the consciousness, the self, has arisen out of darkness, the sunrise has happened; then nothing can create the idea of the ego, nothing whatsoever. You can declare you are God; even that will not create the egoistic old pattern – nothing can create it.