Thursday, October 18, 2007

Easwaran on Learning How to Fly

He that loveth, flieth, runneth, and rejoiceth. He is free, and cannot be held in. He giveth all for all, and hath all in all, because he resteth in one highest above all things, from whom all that is good flows and proceeds.
– Thomas a Kempis

This spring I watched six baby swallows learn how to fly. They were huddled on the telephone wires observing their mother, who came flying slowly by in front of them, doing the easier turns and showing them the basics of flying. There was no need for these baby swallows to read books or attend lectures on how to fly. They have an inborn instinct for it. Learning to fly may not be easy, but this is what birds are born to do.

The Lord sees us sitting on a perch made of pleasure, profit, power, or prestige, quaking with every variation in our bank account and every critical comment that comes our way; and he asks us if we would not rather forget our failings and learn to fly.

This is what we are born to do: to leave our perch of selfish interests and soar aloft. To soar to union with God means that all the faculties and resources which have been hidden in us can come into our lives, to the great benefit of those around us.

--Eknath Easwaran

1 comment:

Tom said...

I think the following sentiment, from the end of a poem by a Korean Zen Master, mirrors what Thos. Kempis and Eknath Easwaran are saying:

'Itself’ cannot be named or said. The whole method is knowing how to fly.” -- T’IEN T’UNG (Heavenly Unity)

One translation of the whole verse, fourth item down, appears here as "Verses by Tiantongjue." T'ien T'ung speaks of IT as something the master's know, that gives us loft, that they can't easily tell us about.

All the great mystical masters know the same things, I think, and try hardily to get it across to us.