Introduction - The Cage Isn't Real

The cage is not real. At a certain point we feel as if we are trapped in the cage of the mind – the cage of identity, the cage of obsessive and compulsive thinking, the cage of concepts and ideas, and at a certain point we become sick of it. We seek another way of living, of being. Rather than feeling as if you must fight Life at every turn, perhaps you feel an urge to become free of the many conditioned ways of thinking we have been brought up with. You feel as if Life should not be such an ordeal of suffering, it should not be such a strain or a burden to simply exist. Excellent. Welcome to the book. It aims to point you towards the truth of yourself, and show you that the many ways we have been trained to live and think are false, dysfunctional, and not worth any more support.

The cage of your own mind, is at the end of the day, imagined. It is made of imagination. The person that seems to become caged within the mind, is also imagined. The mental idea of “I am a person” – the personality – is a construct of the mind, that we believe to be who we are. With this belief comes the feeling that you can get trapped in thinking, trapped in dysfunction or negative patterns. The “you” who gets trapped, is just another thought, a self-image.

Just being open to a book like this means that you are already aware of the cage of conditioning and identity, and also have the feeling that you wish to get out. So enjoy the book, I hope it serves in helping you realise that the real you, what you really are, is always out and cannot be trapped.

How To Use This Book

The content of this book is split into passages, each separated by a tree:

Each passage within a tree stands as a pointer within itself, so this book can be very helpful for meditative reading. You may not feel as if you need to read much at a time. Allow for space, for pauses after each passage. Let the words take you deeper.

Once you understand what is meant by the cage (simply the conditioned, personal mind that creates suffering) – this book becomes a helpful guide in that as well as being able to read it conventionally from cover to cover, you can pick it up and read any passage at random.

Take your time with the words, be in no hurry. They all point in the same direction.

Please be aware that words can only point. The thinking mind may wish to get caught up in words and keep your attention in concepts. Let words point, but there is no need to cling to the pointers. To cling to the pointers means you miss what they are pointing to.

I hope this book serves you well in realising your inherent freedom, allowing you to be happy, at peace and effective in the world.

Adam Oakley