On being a bird

Posted on Facebook.com/anthony.goh:

"Ok, imagine being a bird, but for some reason you don't know about flying. So you and all the other birds you know, live walking around on the ground. Everything is very very difficult. Like, looking for food takes ages, you walk around endlessly on your stupid bird legs for hours a day. And everything is terrifying, cos you can't fly. So you have to run on your silly legs away from people and cats. Life is stressful. Constant struggle and survival. And, in this walking bird world, the sky is grey, overcast, cloudy all the time.

Now one day, you happen to look up, and peeking out from behind the clouds, is a bit of clear bright blue sky. You have never seen this before, and you are mesmerised. It's beautiful, and you feel incredibly moved, but you don't know why, you have no idea of what the significance of it is. I mean, how could you? All you know is the ground. It soon clouds over again. But now, you keep sometimes looking up at the sky, hoping to catch a glimpse of this unexplainable bright peace, which you sometimes do. This is like when people start meditating.

Then one day, you are looking into a bit of blue, feeling awe and mystery and you see a bird. A fucking bird. Just like you. No shit. Beak, legs, tail. A bird, flying through that blue bit of heaven. And at this point, you go, "Oh shit". People think this moment would be all like "yeah I've seen Jesus, Halleluah, I found my purpose!". But it's not. There is relief, but it's very sad, very uncomfortable. Because you go - "I now know what I am supposed to do. I know what I was created for. Not for a life of scrabbling around on the floor..." And it is obvious, even humiliating because you realise that all the things you have invested in, like the weird dark little burrow you built to protect you from cats, are worthless, because you can spread your wings and FLY away.

Looking up at the sky, you realise you had everything backwards. The sky is not something to look at once in a while to make yourself feel better, it is your home, your birthright, your first love, your last freedom, where you belong.

It is a bit like this with creative practice, meditation, or whatever... people have these experiences of stillness, immense love, power, openness, and they use these like a panicking scuba diver uses a dwindling air tank, something they suck on infrequently to stop themselves drowning... this is topsy turvy.

This basic space of experience is an immeasurable open expanse of gentle "Fuck Yeah" which sits just under all the usual shit in our heads - it is the sky, the fresh air which actually keeps us alive in any useful sense of the word...

We are supposed to breathe air with relish and gusto, and just like this, we should inhale and exhale this precious basic space of experience lustily, with no sense of shyness or shame or smallness. It is where we belong. So we live here, and when we deal with the world from here everything works very well."