“Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall and falling; they are given wings.”
Question: Shilpi has asked, RUMI says “ Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall and falling; they are given wings.” Can you please speak more about this?
Acharya Prashant: Rumi says birds fall and falling they are given wings. Those wings are so perfect and powerful that birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. Birds fall and falling they are given wings. They are given wings; their fall is a Trust fall. We don’t trust that wings will be given to us, we want to earn our wings. We cannot allow ourselves to fall freely because we feel responsible for our welfare. We feel that we live in a hostile world, we have been born in an alien place, and unless we take of ourselves, we will be eliminated.
This universe, we take as a stranger. Existence, we take as inimical to us. Now obviously, then there is a constant tension to take care of ourselves. We will not let ourselves fall. What Rumi is saying must not be taken literally. It’s not as if birds fall and in the process of falling, they are blessed with wings. What he means is that there is no effort on the part of everything existential, be it a river, a mountain, a bird, a fish, an insect, and an animal. They live in a state of constant surrender. Even if they resist, their resistance is just biological. Their resistance is not social; their resistance is not one of knowledge but of instinct.
Man in that sense is way behind words because our resistance towards free fall is both biological and social.
We are born as someone who would be afraid and then we are terrified further by our social conditioning. When the child is born, the child cries. The beginning itself is not very auspicious, and to make matters far worse, the entire life we are taught to cry. Sometimes we are told to laugh, but that is the same thing. Laughing and crying are ends of the same duality.
To live in dissatisfaction is to keep crying.
That is what we are always taught, live as if you are hungry, stay hungry.
Even if you find discontentment in an animal’s eyes, it is just biological. Man’s discontentment is far deeper. An animal would appear frustrated if it cannot get food, or if it is physically confined. Man is frustrated for a billion more reasons, a billion more idiotic reasons.
The primary idiocy being, if I don’t take care of myself what will happen to me. The man extends this idiocy to others. I have to take of myself, I have to take care of him, him, him, him ( Acharya Ji pointing out to few listeners) and this we call as Love. Come all of you, my loved ones, I must save you from existence.