The Sufis have a story of a bird that was kept in a cage. The bird was looked after well by her owner. He fed her and kept her warm and her cage was close by a large window so the bird had plenty of light during the long days while the owner went to work.
But still she was trapped and every day, the bird could see other birds flying free across the sky. And the bird longed to join them.
And then one day, the owner went to work leaving both the cage door and the window open. And very soon the bird gingerly hopped out of the cage and onto the window ledge. And from this vantage point, she could see so much more. She could see distant mountains and valleys and when the bird looked down she could see more of the hustle and bustle of what lay before her and all around her. There were so many other birds and people and all kinds of things.
And the bird just stayed on the ledge – stupefied and amazed and dazed and stayed and stayed and stayed.
And the bird was still there when her owner arrived home.
So he locked the bird up back in her cage where she was again fed and looked after.