The Unknown Bird

“The biggest fool is the one who thinks he knows it all” - Pierre Anthony

One thing I learned so much from being in Bangladesh, especially connected with the Baul philosophy in Kushtia, is the incredible magical line between the known and unknown, the spoken and unspoken. That there are so many things known, but these things cannot ever be described in words. So in a way it stays unknown as well. Eventually it is all about the path within, which might show you the way. How I describe this, is purely based on my primary feeling and experience, without any understanding of Bangla language or doing academic research whatsoever. Even in the Baul community it isn’t always clear who is Baul and who is not (source City of Mirrors, Carol Salomon), and maybe it doesn’t even matter.


It is the Achin Pakhi (the unknown Bird), which can never be captured. And in the famous song “Khachar bhitor ochin” described Lalon this phenomenon (amongst others). When I actually wanted to work it out in a research, I was struggling with this; how on earth to put this in words. And if so, it would only cover a small part of the actual deeper meaning (if it could be understood completely anyway).


That the actual meaning of Baul is ‘mad’ (source Seeking Bauls of Bengal, Jeanne Openshaw), is sometimes used in a way which is not meant positively at all.
But what I notice now, is that in uncertain times of crisis, so many people are looking for answers or seem to know what is true and what not. But what if the biggest fool was the one who thinks he knows it all? What would happen when we only would start to accept that we don’t know everything (yet)?


Even though I didn't understand anything at all in Bangla, the Bauls I got to know were actually 'telling' me so much, and I think it was one of the biggest learning processes of my life so far. How could someone say nothing, searching for the unknown bird, and still in this 'not saying', say so much. That was a revelation for me, coming from a culture in which almost everything is pragmatic and pretended to be as known and very much outspoken.


Today I felt to shout out to everybody who keeps silent and is looking for the truth inside of themselves, because they know that they don’t know it (yet). To people who inspire others as well to search for the unknown bird inside of themselves.


<3 Reina

#momentofjoy #blogging #Baul #throwback #purelove #comingmoresoon

Video recorded 27 April 2019, Kushtia Bangladesh

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