Sunday, January 31, 2010

What is freedom

Once there was a rebel sufi sage. He was known for his love for freedom. He used to go around the country singing songs of rebellion. So the Caliph arrested him and put him in the shackles, from his neck downward, but no one could prevent him from singing songs of freedom. After many days, the Caliph thought of meeting the sage in prison. So he visited him and asked whether he had any trouble.
The sage said, “What troubles? I am utterly happy as I am a royal guest, your guest; how can troubles even touch me? I used to live in a hut but now you have put me in a palace. Thank you!” The Caliph was amazed hearing such words. He said, “Are you joking?” The sage said, “I can say so as I have turned life itself into a joke.” The Caliph asked him a straight question, “Are the chains on your hands and feet heavy and painful?” The Sufi glanced at his chains and said, “These chains are far away from me; there is a greater distance between the chains and me. Don’t be under the illusion that you have imprisoned me, it is my body, which you have imprisoned, not my freedom. You cannot turn freedom into prison, because I know how to turn prison into freedom.”

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