In the night, he could not resist. He woke up, opened the door of the parrot’s cage, and told the parrot, “Now the doors are open and the whole sky is yours. Get out!”
And the parrot was clinging to the cage, and still shouting loudly, “Freedom, freedom!”
Finally the man said, “This is strange – the door is open! Why are you clinging to the cage?”
He forced his hand inside, took the parrot out – it was very unwilling, gave a good fight, scratched his hand – but the man took the parrot out, and threw it into the sky. Then, feeling a deep relief, he went to sleep. In the morning, the first thing he heard was, “Freedom!”
He looked out and the parrot was inside the cage; the door was still open….
Outside the cage it is such a vast life, one becomes afraid. There are enemies; there will be days that are too cold, there will be nights that are too hot, there will be times you will have to go hungry. There will be nobody continuously protecting you.
Once you have become accustomed to living in a cage, freedom becomes a very dangerous idea.
Twenty-one countries have decided about me, that I am a dangerous man. I have not killed a single ant in my whole life; I have never used even a paper knife, and the parliaments of twenty-one countries decide that I’m a dangerous man. And nobody asks, “What is the definition of danger? Why is this man dangerous?”
I am not a terrorist, I am not teaching people how to make bombs, I am not an anarchist. But the danger is that I spread the fire of freedom. I wake people up, saying that unless you demand your freedom – from all kinds of chains, handcuffs, from all kinds of cages – you can never be a Gautam Buddha. You will never know the joys and the blessings and the ecstasies of freedom. You will never know your own eternity. You will always be afraid of death, not knowing that death is a fiction – it is very superficial, it occurs only on the surface. Inside, life continues forever and forever.
But to know all this you need freedom. And this freedom is not social or political or economic; this freedom is spiritual. You need to go inside yourself and find that space which has not yet been chained. Finding that space from where your life arises, you will attain enlightenment and freedom together; they are two different names for the same, single experience.
He is like a dragon supported by deep waters or like a tiger that commands its mountain retreat. The man who is not enlightened drifts about in the affairs of the world.