On my morning walks I sometimes pass an aviary – a large enclosure that gives the birds a larger living space that allows them to fly and is made to resemble the natural habitat. I often watch those birds – cockatoos and other parrots. They seem happy, well fed and playful. Do they know that they are confined? Do they care? Would they change the security of their sheltered environment with the life of the crows living in the trees nearby?
These birds often make me think of the symbolism of a cage. Here we are in our lives, we do as we have been told, we believe what we have been taught and we identify with what we experience as a truth. We build a reality based on our environment, influence and circumstances. And we are used to it. We know our lives – it is predictable and within our own sphere of influence we are able to regulate and control, so we are able to keep our illusion of “living our story” alive.
Because who would we be without our story.
The degree of subtle manipulation and control that we exercise all day long is staggering. Just observe yourself how we are talking to each other. We know exactly what to say to get to a desired reaction, we know how to push each other’s buttons to enact our script and we manipulate and bend the truth shamelessly, so that we may receive what we think we need – or even have acquired a right to receive,
It is vitally important to strip away those patterns of egoic conditioning, shed it until we are completely translucent and that the light may shine through us. Only then will we be able to move through our lives as effortlessly as a leaf danced by the winds.
The present moment is our best friend, because without past or future we cannot generate the fuel and the substance for our controlling schemes. But it is the starting point for our journey. What follows is a commitment to sincerity and honesty to know ourselves. To actually wanting to see it all.
When I work with people I often see barriers of defence coming up at a certain point. There is only so much we can take in terms of looking at ourselves and that is perfectly fine, as long as we recognise the resistance as the voice of the ego saying “enough of this”. The other vice we may encounter is entitlement. We often believe that we have a right, or even a guarantee, for a certain benefit. We believe if we are only good enough to be present for a certain time of the day, we will be rewarded with love and peace. But to have access to the deeper realms of consciousness does not necessarily make us an enlightened being and another good exercise is to catch any sense of superiority in this direction, which is nothing but spiritual ego. And again, that is perfectly fine, we do not need to beat ourselves over the head for it, as long as we recognise our sense of entitlement as a subtle way of saying: “I am right” and giving the ego what it needs most: a sense of ssecurity and survival.
And so I watch the birds in their aviary and ask myself what would happen if the door of their cage were left open. Would they want to fly away and live in freedom? Would they actually survive? And here we have the analogy again. Also for us, having embarked on a journey of saying goodbye forever to our judgements, preconceived notions and identifications, it is important to recognise that we have to adapt to a new reality of living a life suspended upside down. It is living a live without the imagined security of a limited or confined shelter. It takes time, sincerity and seriousness to become so open and honest about ourselves and the ways of the ego, to fully recognise it and determinedly let go of it, so that we may know ourselves and discover what it is we are born to do.
We are born to live a life in freedom