Volume II  Page 18  §  The Stages of the Path
DISCOURSES by Meher Baba

The Stages of the Path

ALL persons have to pass through the state of bondage but this period of bondage is not to be looked upon as a meaningless episode in the evolution of life. One has to experience being caged if one is to appreciate freedom. If in the entire span of its life the fish has not come out of the water even once, it has no chance of appreciating the value of water. Bondage adds to value of freedom From its birth till its death it has lived only in water, and it is not in a position to understand what water really means to its being. But if it is taken out of water even for a moment, it longs for water and becomes qualified by that experience to appreciate the importance of water. In the same way, if life had been constantly free and manifested no bondage man would have missed the real significance of freedom. To experience spiritual bondage and know intense desire to be free from it are both a preparation for the full enjoyment of the freedom which is to come.
        Path begins with longing for deeper realityAs the fish which is taken out of water longs to go back in the water, the aspirant who has perceived the goal longs to be united with God. In fact, the longing to go back to the source is present in each being from the very time it is separated