What's In a Tree?
Dec 11, 2006 01:26 PM
In different times and cultures, trees have always been one of the strongest occult symbols and metaphors.
"Every symbol must have a deeper meaning besides the obvious one " -- says a May 2005 article in "The Theosophical Movement" ULT-India magazine.
"In fact, H.P.B. observes that each symbol has at least seven keys to its interpretation—physical, astrological, geometrical, metaphysical, psychological, allegorical, cosmological, etc."
Human friendship with trees is at least as old as mankind. Trees are our older brothers, in one of the views one can have on evolution. Or younger brothers, from another perspective.
The TTM article says:
"What does a tree symbolize to us? Sangharakshita, a Buddhist teacher, narrates that while taking a walk with a Nepalese friend in Kalimpong, they came across a magnificent pine tree with a smooth trunk and the mass of deep green foliage. He could not help exclaiming: "Isn't that a beautiful tree!" The Nepalese friend replied, "Oh yes, it is a beautiful tree. There's enough firewood there for the whole winter." Sangharakshita remarks, "He did not see the tree at all. All he saw was a certain quantity of firewood" (Vision and Transformation, p. 137). This shows that each one of us sees a thing from his/her own perspective, which is, mostly, materialistic, superficial, and utilitarian. We see plants and trees all around us and our day-to-day experience shows that some of these trees provide food, shelter, flowers, medicines, wood, etc. But are we ever aware of any deeper significance? Now and then, some poets intuitively grasp and convey the symbolic aspect of the trees."
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