Is it always the case that the point from which we observe reality distorts the picture and imposes its own interpretation?
One may think that each such point has a particular task to show, a given part of the secret of life and death at the moment offered to us.
What does this moment depend on?
On the extent of inner turmoil?
On deep longing?
On the quiet knocking coming from the heart?
On insight, desire to know, ability to discern?
Or on all of these at the same time?
For if this moment gives us even a micro insight, even a crumb of understanding, even a gentle breeze of freedom, can we somehow evoke it, provoke it, invite it?
If, for example, our vantage point is a high mountain and our object of observation is a river meandering at its foot, what are we able to observe and what can we say about the river?
“Where are you running to, man?”, acrylic painting by Wiesława Żarnowska
Some say that if you stand up, looking at the river from above you will feel its peace and harmony. But only if you stand on its bank will you recognise its nature, understand it, see the sharp stones protruding from it, which cut and pile up its waters, and perhaps you will discover more than one secret of the river.
Taking our eyes off the river, let’s look at one of the nearby islands.
From our vantage point it is gray, quiet and inconspicuous. But when we go a little lower we see that it is inhabited and teeming with its own peculiar life.
We will be surprised to see its gray residents looking identical.
All the same… heads, arms, legs, the same slow movement and the prevailing gray everywhere.
And suddenly there is that moment that we are given to discover the mystery of the island.
It is this moment of attentiveness and at the same time a deep desire to know the truth, to decipher the code of life, that directs our gaze to the details, secret places and all that is deeply hidden.
And then we notice that there is something puzzling, disturbing, even appalling about the island’s inhabitants. We discover that in the body of each resident, instead of a chest with its internal organs, there is a cage, but a metal one with thick bars.
This sight is terrifying. It testifies to bondage.
And rightly…., because after a moment of heightened attention, we see a white dove imprisoned in each cage.
The island’s gray residents do not notice these dove cages either in themselves or in others. They live their unconscious lives and are only occasionally gripped by a strange state of unease, the cause of which is the increasingly frequent soft, quiet knocking.
They all look as if they were imprinted from a single matrix; the same, identical one. And yet they differ in something, but this difference will be noticed only by a discerning observer, one might say, by a tireless seeker of truth.
And following this path of truth, we discover that the islanders differ only in the condition of each caged dove.
Some doves look as if they were dead, lying motionless with their eyes closed. And no one knows whether they are asleep or dead.
Others move their feathers slightly and open their eyes from time to time, but any movement causes them pain, so after moments of activity they freeze in stillness.
Some cry, and this poignant cry moves the heart the most.
What does the state of the white slave depend on?
What would happen if we risked answering that this condition of the trapped dove depends on us, on our thinking?
Maybe then, out of concern for the white dove, out of deep compassion and with the intention to help, we would finally turn our attention to our thinking. Maybe then we would notice all that enslaves us and all that is an obstacle within ourselves on the path of liberation.
And maybe then, in the search for a way out, we will finally invite a NEW thought, welcoming it to our doorstep:
“Come in, make yourself comfortable, I’ve been waiting for you”.
When you get stuck in old thoughts with their enslaving programmes of the past, it’s like taking oxygen away from a dove. It then lies motionless, plunged in a deathly sleep.
When you compete, because you have to be better at all costs, it is the dove that pays the price, becoming motionless, as each step it takes becomes painful in the confined space of its cage.
And when your thoughts are pervaded by fear, that all-consuming threat within you, then the white dove turns gray and loses its strength. And only its tears show how much you are going astray.
And when this fear is joined by its sister, aggression, then you become the cause of more than one bloody dove tear.
And if you luxuriate in the hammock of notions about your inability, lack of ability, lack of knowledge, and deprivation in general, you put the dove to sleep with the false silence of your comfortable do-nothingness, saying that you are not ready yet.
How about just starting to act before you are ready?
Fear and laziness are certainly obstacles that we can put on the highest qualification podium of everything that hinders our lives, that prevents us from any development, including the most essential one – the development of consciousness. Fear and laziness are like the closed door of a cage enslaving new thought.
Our stage of existence is the constant weaving of the past into our present, the digging up of feelings that arose in us in situations long past. It is a constant evocation in our minds of people who were mere bystanders in our history. They were supposed to have played their part and left, and we are supposed to go one step further because there, there is never a crowd from a past period of our lives.
You can create another gray island, you can be its ordinary inhabitant, or even its king. But always, as an inhabitant of this island, you remain an unwitting slave and, unknowingly, enslave the white dove.
And you can look into that place where the heart should be and be horrified by the sight of a steel cage with its tormented inhabitant.
And this can be the moment of deep understanding, when you stop building cages and start creating blue skies, recognising and opening all the old cages, letting out new thoughts and luminous inspirations, summoning new life.
You can simply start by saying goodbye to the past, because being stuck in the past is the kiss of death for any new thinking.
A new thought is a new insight, a new understanding, and the joy of discovering a newborn power within oneself.
And what matters is not the thoughts flowing there, but the ones we invite into ourselves.
Every thought has its creator. Look at it and recognise its origin.
Then in that attentiveness you will notice that suddenly a NEW thought appears.
Is it mine? No.
Is it someone else’s? No.
Come in, make yourself comfortable. I’ve been waiting for you.
I don’t know where you come from, but I know you are NEW.
I can’t tell others what you are, but I can live according to you.
The dove no longer sleeps, no longer cries, no longer litters in its captivity.
It regains its strength.
This knocking gives birth to anxiety.
This particular anxiety gives rise to longing.
This particular longing has no explanation.
What do you miss so much?
I don’t know. Sometimes this condition appears like a wave under which you can’t breathe. Sometimes it opens a never before opened door of emptiness.
It tires, it hurts, at the same time it gives birth to hope, it doesn’t let you rest.
Thank you for not leaving me alone.
Don’t think like that anymore, don’t think in the old way. Open the cage door to the new thought.
Finally, one of the islanders heard this quiet ‘knock knock’.
He leaned his head in the direction from where the knocking came.
He saw the cage and saw its occupant.
How could I have lived enslaving you?
Thank you for your incessant knocking.
What can I do for you, my imprisoned Friend?
This sincere question, coming from the noblest intention, gives birth to understanding.
Well, yes, all I have to do here and now is one move, this one gesture of swinging the cage door open.
It’s a watershed moment, a decisive moment in life.
The dove flies out of its cage and spreads its wings.
With each lift it grows, becomes more beautiful, and sparkles in rays.
Free and unlimited from a small dove it becomes an extraordinary, powerful bird.
What a breathtaking sight.
Our gray hero stands stunned, gazing at the flight and transformation of the dove.
This is the taste of happiness that has no opposite.
This is the encounter with NEW thought.
He forgets the cage, the gray island, himself.
And only the dove did not forget him. It turned back, cuddled him in its wings, and so blending into each other, they fly away together.
And the islanders who witnessed this event called out:
Where are you flying to?
May everyone find the answer to this question.