. . . Baba explained to the mandali:
Remember the story about the parrot who was free from the beginning, but did not know what freedom meant? It was put into a cage and inside there learned what the meaning of freedom was. When it was released, it fully realized its freedom and enjoyed it. Its freedom was taken away; it was put into a cage simply to make it conscious and give it the knowledge and experience of what was freedom. In the end, it came to know what freedom really meant and hence know itself.
In the same way, our body is like a cage and our spirit is like the parrot. If I were to tell you that you are Ishwar (1) – God – you would not believe it, because your ridiculous idea of God is of some old man with a white beard, watching you from an armchair in heaven! You say to yourselves, “How can I, a lowly human, be God Himself?” You are afraid of the very idea that you are God! But it is a fact. It is your ignorance of that knowledge – the false impression of the mind that you are men – which prevents you from experiencing that you are God.
For example, you can see things when awake, but in sleep you do not see although you still have eyes. Because you cannot see during sleep, does it mean you do not have eyes? No! The fact that you have eyes remains the same throughout – during wakefulness as well as during sleep – but this difference of seeing during wakefulness and not seeing during sleep is a difference in the state of the mind functioning.
Suppose you have a crore (ten million) rupees. However, you do not carry all of it in your pocket. That does not mean that you do not own the money and are penniless. So I want you to know that every one of you is God, but you just do not know it!
(1) Ishwar is the name of God in the state of Infinite Unconsciousness. Ishwar is the Infinite Unconsciousness of God. Refer to the book The Nothing and the Everything, pages 210–215.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 3, p. 789.