The animals don’t pay it any mind at all. They come and go as they please. The birds and insects fly in and out, and none of them ever worry about whether they’re trespassing or not. There are places that animals don’t go--usually those infested with humans--but there aren’t really any places that they can’t go if they felt like it. Nothing is forbidden to them.
Animals don’t police themselves. They don’t worry about signs, and they don’t think about property lines either. They don’t even know they exist. They don’t try to sneak or to get away with anything. Their minds are completely free of restrictions.
Just imagine what that would be like. Imagine if your mind were completely free of restrictions. There wouldn’t be anything you couldn’t do if you wanted to do it and if you were capable of doing it. There wouldn’t be any signs. You would never feel a prohibition. You would never feel as if something were being kept from you or as if you didn’t qualify for something. You wouldn’t have to plan your life around any obstacles at all.
What kind of a person would you be? Would you be quiet and unassuming as the animals are, or would you be loud and greedy and selfish? Would you take everything for yourself and impose restrictions on others, or would you move over for others who came into the same space? If you had no restrictions, you would have no fear of consequences. Would that change your disposition?
How strong and noble the animals must be! How generous and full of grace! Creatures who know no limitations imposed by others or by the self, yet still they maintain their innocence and gentility. Creatures who follow no rules and have no spiritual guidance, yet still they remain kind and generous--and with no law that says they must. And we call them “animals.”
Of course, this sign is meant only for humans, exclusively for humans. “Keep out.” You’re not allowed in. You can’t go here. There’s a rule or a law or someone else “owns” it. It’s mine. You can’t have it. Keep out!
I walked right by the sign and kept on going without slowing my step. It’s in my nature to do so. I did know what the sign meant, but I chose to ignore it. That, too, is in my nature. Choice is distinctly human, and I sometimes behave all too human. But the woods are my playground, and I sometimes behave all too animalish as well.