Why This Bird Didn’t Sing or An Allegory on Beliefs

Allegories are stories, poems, or pictures that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.  They are metaphors.  Metaphors are ideas regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.  They create images and provoke thought, comparison, connection.  Jesus taught in allegory.  His parables were simple and profound, and while the experts disagree, there have been 42 unique tales commonly attributed to this master teacher.

My favourite of Jesus’ parables has always been “The Mustard Seed”.  So simple.  So profound. A perfect image for the ‘Kingdom of God’ being one of the smallest of seeds…(A mustard seed is about this big:  ‘O’ if you are using a Calibri 11 font)…bigger than a poppy or sesame seed …but yields a tree that is 3 metres in height!  In other words, the image for what is inside You, your Divinity, that has been created from the Source (the Kingdom of God), with nurturing, can grow to be a large, beautiful, and functional Being-ness (shelter for the birds, again an image of a much larger Kingdom of freedom and peace) which of course then recreates itself, as trees do.  The intent of the tale and the significance of the images convey the meaning, which is ‘allegory’.

The greatest teachers use story-telling to get their messages across. My favourite of all allegories has to be “Plato’s Cave”.  I invite you to re-familiarize yourself with it on a regular basis, because, as with all great allegories, the meanings change as you grow in awareness.  It means something totally different to me now than it did even four years ago.  Looking back to my first study of The Cave in Grade 12 English Lit.  class, not to mention before that when, as a ten year old, I stumbled upon the concept of Plato’s Cave in an ancient Encyclopedia Britannica (1911) while researching a speech, the transformation in my understanding is quite amazing to me.  The allegory of course hasn’t change, but I sure have.

So it is with the stories of your life.  All of them, every single one that you can recall and re-tell for yourself,  are allegories for You, for who you are.  When appreciated and reviewed from your current point of view, I promise you that they will guide you to making some awesome discoveries.

As promised from my previous blog, I offer below my simple (?) allegory to show how our beliefs, formed so innocently in our childhood, can have major impact on our whole life, .  (And, yes, Beloveds, I was asked to share, otherwise, be your own guru!)

Remember in my last blog post, I had been discussing gender beliefs and suggesting that they could be eliminated if not adjusted, because we are in a different world from our ancestors, and even now in this present moment, in a different space from when the ideas were first placed in our awareness.  This means of course that there has been a transformation and these once useful, and maybe even well-cherished beliefs, no longer serve us.  In fact, they may be getting in the way of You being You.

I said that I would not be giving an analogy related to gender issues because as I said, you’re on your own for questioning those and all beliefs that you might like to put under the Mindful Microscope.  But here’s the example that I hope will help to clarify the insidiousness of some beliefs we hold, and thus, underline the importance of discarding the ideas  once and for all, now that you have awakened to their now ‘useless’ existence !

First, I’ll tell the story:

Once upon a time there was lovely little girl who woke up every morning singing in full voice.  Singing made her feel good, and feeling good inspired her singing.  It was a beautiful thing! When singing, she felt so happy in her heart.

Then one day, Father, who did not sing, though often was heard to whistle happy tunes, said to his songbird daughter when she bounced down the stairs to sit at the breakfast table in the sunny kitchen: “Daughter, it is time for me to tell you this fact of life.  You are old enough to learn this now.”

The little girl felt excited, and her eyes shone with pride.  “I am a big girl now!” she assured her father adoringly, and anticipated the secret she was now old enough to have revealed to her.

The man tilted his head and looked at his daughter across the table. His bowl of porridge steamed in front of him.  Pointing his poised spoon in her direction, the little girl’s father declared: “When you sing before you eat your oatmeal, you will have a reason to cry before you go to sleep tonight.”

The little girl stared at her father in astonishment.  What!  “No!” she cried out in instant horrified rejection of this truth.  Ashamed of her outburst, she focused her gaze upon her cereal bowl, and shoved a spoonful of the cooling potage  between her lips.  Just then, an evil fairy flew into the room, hovered over the table and pointed her twisted wand at the little girl’s throat. The mouthful of oatmeal felt thickly stuck in her throat in a huge sticky lump.  Then, with a tinkly wicked laugh, the fairy dipped over the table, glancing appreciatively at her own tiny reflection in the shiny toaster, and then POOF!, she disappeared in a cloud of black smoke.

Swallowing the oatmeal with great difficulty, the pain causing tears to seep down her cheeks, the little girl jumped up from the table and ran to her room where she stayed till shadows darkened the walls and crept into her heart.   She fell asleep with her daddy’s words repeating in her mind.

The next morning, the sweet child awoke with a happy heart, leapt out of bed and began to sing her appreciation for the new day.  No sooner had the first notes lifted from her heart to her throat than she felt them bump up against a solid wall and stay stuck there.  Try as she might, she could not get the tune out.  Not one note!  Running to the bathroom, the little girl took a drink of water.  Staring in the mirror she watched her mouth form the words, ” Oh what a beautiful morning..” but no sound came out.

Like a flock of blackbirds, the events of the day before came swooping into her memory and the little girl flung her hand to cover her mouth, eyes wide in horror.  “I have a spell on me”, she whispered to her mirror self.  “I cannot sing anymore.”  Sadness overwhelmed her, and fear soon followed:  “I can never sing again.  I might not even be able to speak any more.  How will I break this spell?  Who can help me?” ….

To be continued…  (If you should ask)

caged bird singingLTOYW! I love you!  Cath