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The Aviary

A large aviary had many different species of birds. The owner created a hole at the bottom of the aviary to allow the birds to go free. Ultimately some birds found the opening and ventured out to discover enlightenment and go Free.

Some birds could not fly because their wings were not strong enough due to captivity. Other birds flew to treetops and experienced greater heights. Others soared towards the sky and experienced indescribable bliss. The birds that got free went back to the aviary to guide the other birds to escape. Each guide explained the way out of captivity. The various teachers described their experience of the ground, treetop, or the limitless sky.

There seemed to be a contradiction, but it was only a matter of perception. The guides named the opening in the aviary as the gateway. The teachers urged the other birds to lower themselves to the bottom, to gain lofty heights and be free. An argument ensued among the birds in the aviary. Some could not understand how you can become lofty by lowering yourself. Others asked why the contradiction among the guides. There ensued a war of words and differences of opinion.

The birds started forming groups according to their arguments, and each group felt they were right. Nothing is wrong or right only thinking makes it so. Those birds that followed the guides without question also became divided. Some got engrossed in the gateway and did not go beyond to attain freedom and bliss. They argued about the gateway. Some said the hole is whole others said it’s not a hole but a flaw in the aviary.

Some went beyond the gateway and became free. Others still were impaled on the jutting pieces due to negligence. Others managed to get through with minor injuries. Those who followed the instruction of the guides got through safely. Alas, it was only a minority. The majority are still engaged in their war of words and real wars.

By Zakariya Cassim Sema


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