In her book «The Brain Revolution» (1973,
Taplinger Publishing Co., New York), Marilyn Ferguson
begins her chapter on meditation with an Indian parable
that we are pleased to share with you:
A high government official fell out of favor with his
king and was imprisoned in a tower, says an Indian
parable. One moonlit night the prisoner saw his wife far
below. She was smearing honey on the antennae of a
beetle. After fastening a silken thread to its body, she
pointed the insect upward toward the tower window.
Tempted by the smell of honey, the beetle kept
crawling up the wall. Finally the prisoner caught it,
removed the silken thread, and set the insect free.
Pulling on the thread he found that it grew heavier and
heavier. Attached to it was a length of sewing cotton and
to that a heavy string, which itself was attached to a
strong rope by which he escaped.
She adds: «The first thing meditation brings in
its train is very small - as insignificant as a silken
thread drawn slowly up a high, black wall at night by a
small weak creature. This is the beginning of meditation.
By repeating it, by persevering in repeating it, the
silken thread becomes a cotton, then a string, then a
cord, and at last a strong rope, which finally is able to
bear the full weight of a man.»
She concludes the chapter by saying: «The virtual
elemination of anxiety seems to be the most conspicuous
result of regular meditation and peace of mind its
Concluding the parable of the prisoner and the beetle,
she comments: «The strong strange wall and its
heights no longer exists for those who have gone out into
the land of liberty. [...] Here is the arcane,
mysterious basis of meditation. Those who go out into the
night can tell no one where they go and can tell no one
what it is like to be free».