In the morning, as the man was becoming awake, he heard the parrot shouting, “Freedom! Freedom!” He thought perhaps the parrot must be sitting on a tree, or on a rock. But when he came out, the parrot was sitting in the cage. The door was open.
I have loved the story, because it is very true. You may like to be free, but the cage has certain securities, safeties. In the cage the parrot has no need to worry about food, has no need to worry about enemies, has no need to worry about a thing in the world. It is cozy, it is golden. No other parrot has such a valuable cage.
Your power, your riches, your prestige – all are your cages. Your soul wants to be free, but freedom is dangerous.
Freedom has no insurance.
Freedom has no security, no safety.
Freedom means walking on the edge of a razor – every moment in danger, fighting your way. Every moment is a challenge from the unknown. Sometimes it is too hot, and sometimes it is too cold – and nobody is there to take care of you.
In the cage, the owner was responsible. He used to cover the cage, when it was cold, with a blanket; he used to put an electric fan close by when it was too hot.
Freedom means tremendous responsibility; you are on your own and alone. Rabindranath is right: Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it, I feel ashamed, – because it is not a question of hope; it is a question of taking a risk.
I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art my best friend. But I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room.
I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee…. In the world of freedom, in the experience of freedom, I am certain there is priceless wealth.” But this certainty is also a projection of your desire, of your longing. How can you be certain? You would like to be certain. You know that longing for freedom is there. It cannot be for a futile freedom; it must be for something rich, something priceless. You are creating a certainty to gather courage so that you can take the jump into the unknown.
…and that thou art my best friend. But these are all beautiful dreams, these are hopes; the certainty is your own cage, its security. But I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room. The shroud that covers me is a shroud of dust and death. These are beautiful ideas in the mind.
I hate it, yet hug it in love. You know your body is going to die. In fact, your body is made of dead material; it is already dead. It seems alive because something alive is inside it. It radiates warmth and aliveness, because of a guest inside you. The moment that guest has flown away, the reality of the body will be revealed to you.