About this Web Site

 

I am a bird in a gilded cage.  A parrot who repeats what he hears without understanding its meaning.  Sometimes my prattle is a delight for those who hear me, other times a racket one wants to turn off.  This web site is the result of my caged condition.  It is a desire to make beautiful something that is intrinsically ugly---which is my caged condition.  I was once told a story which I repeat here.

 

A certain merchant had a parrot from India which he kept in a beautiful cage of gold.  This parrot was his delight for he had taught it to recite verses from the Quran. 

 

The time came when the merchant had to go to India on a business trip.  Before leaving, he asked his servants, “What can I bring back for you from India?:”  He also asked his parrot.  The parrot replied saying, “If you meet any of the parrots of India, tell them that you keep me in a beautiful cage of gold and ask them how I can get free.”

 

While in India the merchant came across some parrots in the forest.  He told them about his parrot and repeated the parrot’s question.  At this one of the parrot’s fell over dead.  This made the merchant sad.  When he got back home, the parrot asked him if he had given his message to the parrots of India.  The merchant told him that on doing so, one of the parrots fell off his perch and dropped dead.  On hearing this the caged parrot suddenly fell of his perch and landed on the bottom of the cage.  The merchant was very unhappy to lose his treasured parrot but, alas, there was nothing to be done.   He removed the parrot from the cage and was about to bury it when the parrot suddenly came to life and flew up into a tree. 

 

This story is told to illustrate the fact we are like the parrot in the cage of the body and the mind. and so long as we do not die to the world of the senses, we cannot become free.      The parrot had asked the parrots of India how it could become free, and they responded by one of them dropping dead.   When you are dead to the world, the world has no use for you.

 

This is an allegorical tale found in the Masnavi of Maulana Rum and refers to the spiritual practice taught by the master called dying while living..  Only when the disciple dies to the world of the senses, can the soul be free to leave the cage of the body and fly up into celestial regions.

 

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You may ask why this web site is called The Sovereign Parrot.  It is called thus for it is just like a parrot.  It repeats what it has heard.  You will find nothing new on this site; only something you already know expressed in a different way by somebody else who, like you, is also a parrot. 

 

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity...The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.  There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.  I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.   For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge  increaseth sorrow.  

                                                                ECCLESIASTES: 1-18

 

Thomas of Northridge

 

Mark Twain:  All ideas are second hand.

 

 

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