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Ignorance Of Our True Self Is The Cause Of All Our Suffering And Misery

Two beauteous-winged companions, ever mates, perch on the selfsame tree. One of the two devours the luscious fruit, tasting; its mate looks on. Though on the selfsame tree, man sunk in powerlessness is deluded and grieves. But when he sees his mate, adorable, instilled with power, and what His greatness is, his grief departs.

The Soul is the bird perched on the highest branch, witnessing the actions of the lower bird, man eating the sweet and bitter fruits of life. The first man does not see the upper bird the Soul, calm and majestic, ever undisturbed. But when he tastes a very bitter fruit, he stops for a while and looks up to his mate and he thinks it is better not to taste the fruit of life and he approaches the upper bird, the Soul. But soon he forgets. The fruits look so luscious; it is so good to taste them. Once again he bites into a bitter fruit and again he stops and thinks of his mate. And so he rises higher and higher, coming nearer and nearer the upper bird, until at last he touches that beauteous-winged companion. And lo, a sudden transformation takes place. The lower bird vanishes; it is lost in the higher bird. Oh the bliss, the higher bird alone remains and the lower bird was but its shadow, gone forever. Man unites with God; man is transformed into the Spirit. The lower man is gone and the God-man alone remains. What was bound has become free.

He who realizes this vision abandons the bound man and lives entirely in the free man in the Spirit, in God, just as now we live almost entirely in the bound man, not knowing that beauteous-winged companion, the Real man, the Atman. Ignorance of our true Self is the cause of all our suffering and misery. As soon as we wake up from this state of delusion, fear and sorrow and pain disappear. These may exist in the mind and body, but they were never in the Spirit. When we live in the Spirit, pain and misery of our material self does not concern us so much. And there are free souls, whom these do not concern at all.