Thursday, May 07, 2009

An Exercise In Situating Yourself On the Tree

Here's an exercise. I stated this more poetically in a previous post, but let's be more explicit about this. Go outside, and find a nice, big sized tree. Find a branch with some leaves which is closest to you. Look at the leaf that is closest to where you are. Now imagine that your life, your situation, your perspective is right on the tip of that leaf. That's the center of your concerns, of your personal world, right on the tip of that one leaf that is closest to you.

Now trace the leaf back to its branch, trace the branch back to its bough, trace the bough back to the trunk of the tree. Begin to get some perspective here. That trunk is the center of the multivierse, of all the worlds, and there you are, right out on the very tip. Not insignificant : an important part of the life of that tree, but you begin to grasp your relationship to it all.

All of those things that are of such concern to you, look at where most of life is flowing, and then you can begin to align yourself with where most of life is flowing.

I think this model of the Tree preserves the dignity of human living, but it also allows the decentering that the Copernican Revolution in science effected. At one point in time, this world was seen as the center of all things, and science then said, no, the sun doesn't revolve around the earth, the earth revolves around the sun. We aren't at the center of things, and in fact, the sun is just one star in a whole galaxy full of stars. One of the effects of that has been to make us feel very small and significant, but that image is one of separated, "dead" matter. When you begin to see that everything is alive, that everything has a living connection, as the image of the Tree gives us, then yes, we are decentered from feeling like everything going on with us is central.

When you look at that leaf, you can see it is a nice, fleshy, good leaf on a good branch, but it's not the end-all and be-all of the entire Tree. You have a decentering, but you also feel organically connected with everything else that is going on with the rest of the Tree, and that is one of the beauties of this model of looking at the universe.

It also allows you to put your trials into perspective from a similar standpoint. Think of yourself as being at the top of the Tree, directing all of the operations that happen within the Tree. Now here's one, little leaf, amongst how many countless numbers of leaves, and it's making a plea : "I'm having this trouble, and I'm having that trouble, and I'm having this trouble." Well, on a tree, if a particular branch or a leaf is having trouble, we can imagine that the tree will allocate some resources, send some sap, some nutrients down there, and so forth, in appropriate amounts, but the tree is not going to exhaust itself, with all of the elemental challenges it has to face and balance, on one leaf, on one branch. The tree depends on every one of its cells having a certain amount of integrity, a certain ability to self-regulate, and to heal and take care of itself. So if you were at the top of the Tree regulating everything, you'd probably have a similar sort of attitude.

So when we see our attitude towards the divine, and the things that we are griping about, some of those things it is appropriate for us to engage in self-help about, and help from those closest to us, those who are also on that leaf with us, and we can also ask for some help from those at the top of the Tree, all within good proportion.

But we ourselves should also be thinking about all of the other leaves that make up the Tree, for all of life is our relationship. Through the Tree, our Kinship just keeps branching out and branching outwards, taking more and more beings into its embrace ...

2 Comments:

Blogger Adoka said...

Outstanding,

12:12 PM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Thank you! It is an honor to speak words that communicate.

2:16 PM  

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