The more you try to get ‘free’ of someone, a situation or something else, the more you are trapped in it. Trying to get free or freedom from something is the outer action or action of the mind. It is not the action of the soul. Soul is always absolutely Free. It does not need to free itself from anything, it is very important to understand the traps and games played by the mind. The moment your mind tries to free itself of something, it gets trapped.
The soul is always free. It can only be caged by the mind’s perceptions. The perceptions of your fears, impurities, insecurities make the soul get enslaved by your mind.
Just by living the idea that the soul is Free, you start enjoying the inner as well as outer freedom.
It reminds me of a short story of a parrot. A man fighting for freedom was traveling in the mountains. He stayed in a caravanserai for the night. He was amazed that in the caravanserai there was a beautiful parrot in a golden cage, continuously repeating “Freedom! Freedom!” And it was such a place that when the parrot repeated the word “Freedom!” it would go on echoing in the valleys, in the mountains.
The man thought: “I have seen many parrots, and I have thought they must want to be free from those cages… but I have never seen such a parrot whose whole day, from morning to evening when he goes to sleep, is spent in calling out for freedom.” He had an idea. In the middle of the night, when the owner was fast asleep, he got up and opened the door of the cage. He whispered to the parrot, “Now get out.”
But he was very surprised that the parrot was clinging to the bars of the cage. He said to him again and again, “Have you forgotten about freedom? Just get out! The door is open and the owner is fast asleep; nobody will ever know. You just fly into the sky; the whole sky is yours.”
But the parrot was clinging so deeply, so hard, that the man said, “What is the matter? Are you mad?” He tried to take the parrot out with his own hands, but the parrot started pecking at him, and at the same time he was shouting “Freedom! Freedom!” The valleys in the night echoed and re-echoed, but the man was also stubborn; he was a freedom fighter.
He pulled the parrot out and threw him into the sky; and he was very satisfied, although his hand was hurt. The parrot had attacked him as forcefully as he could, but the man was immensely satisfied that he had made a soul free. He went to sleep.
In the morning, as the man was waking up, he heard the parrot shouting, “Freedom! Freedom!” He thought perhaps the parrot must have been sitting on a tree or on a rock. But when he came out, the parrot was sitting in the cage. The door was open.
We all live a life of this poor parrot trying to attain Freedom. Whenever your mind tries to make the other free of you or by try to make your own self-free from the other, remember this poor parrot and the man trying to make the parrot free.
Just dropping the struggle of the mind to get free will make your soul free.
Article by Meni Prem Shunyam