The Conference of the Birds


The ‘Conference of the Birds’ it’s a Sufi parable written in the 12th century by the Persian poet Farid al-Din al-’Attar. In the story, birds from across the world gather to choose a sovereign. Each one of them represents a defect that prevents humankind from attaining enlightenment. The hoopoe, the wisest of all the birds, suggests that they should look for the legendary ‘Simorgh’, who lives on a remote mountain. The birds thus depart on a long journey across seven valleys, during which they must face arduous tests. Many of them die or lose hope on the way, and others do not even begin the journey, out of fear. When they arrive, the thirty surviving birds look at their reflection in a lake. It is then that they understand that the leader they are seeking is none other than themselves: ‘Simorgh’, in Persian, means thirty birds.


Updated on 11 july 2019

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