A man paid a princely sum to buy two falcons. These were special falcons, that could fly higher and faster than any other. When he took them back to his mansion and let them loose, one flew high and fast. The other just went and perched itself onto a nearby tree.
The man tried shooing the sitting bird, shouting at it and prancing around but to no avail. The falcon just wouldn’t fly. He called the seller angrily and asked for half his money back, as only one falcon had taken to the air. The seller calmly said “Tomorrow, I will fix the problem.”
The next day, when the man woke up and came out of his house, he saw both falcons flying high and fast. He was ecstatic, but also puzzled. He immediately called the seller, and asked “How did you make the falcon fly?”. The seller replied, “It was easy, I just cut off the branch on which the bird was sitting.”
A look back at each of our lives would suggest the same thing. Maximum growth has always happened when our backs were to the wall, when the chips were down, and when the branch underneath us was ripped away.
Applied differently, Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad Gita (the best and most practical version here for free!) likens the whole world around us to be an inverted tree. We are at the fringes of the branches, having forgotten the roots where we came from. The tree (creation) is impossible to understand, even though we spend a lot of time trying to. The only way out of this tumultuous inexplicable experience of life is to cut the branches (our attachments, desires, ego) and return to the Source.