The Life Coach and the Mighty Tree (#933)

One day, while sitting with my back against the trunk of a massive tree in my garden, I fell asleep and dreamed that I was sitting with my back against the trunk of a massive tree in my garden. Much to my surprise, it asked me for some coaching.

‘I am a mighty tree,’ it began, ‘and I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that a few of my leaves have begun to fall to the ground. The thing is, I can’t afford to lose my leaves. What will people think of me if I go bald? They’ll see me as naked and weak and frail. I’m not sure I can go on if it means going through such a difficult ordeal.’

‘But, tree,’ I replied, ‘surely you must realize that this is just a part of the seasons of life. Each autumn you lose your leaves – that’s why we humans call it “fall.” And come spring you’ll grow new leaves and return more beautiful than ever.’

‘How can you say such things with such certainty?’ said the tree (who obviously hadn’t read my books). ‘Are you some kind of psychic or fortune-teller?’

‘No, tree, I’m not psychic – I’m simply an observer of life. And I’ve noticed the natural cycle that all trees of your kind go through. In fact, everywhere I look in nature I see the same kind of pre-existing intelligence at work behind the scenes.’

‘You’re not talking about God, are you?’ asked the tree. ‘I’m not sure that I want to get into a discussion about God with a human.’

‘Neither do I, tree – neither do I. When I say “pre-existing intelligence,” I mean the implicate order of things. As you know, acorns never grow into pine trees and baby rabbits never grow up to be grizzly bears. Somehow, the fruit is already programmed into the seed. We humans can observe that intelligence at work in our body. The moment we get cut, the intelligence of the body begins to heal itself. Everything the body does is designed to return itself to a state of natural health and equilibrium.

‘There’s an intelligence behind our mind as well. The moment we think a toxic thought, we get a toxic feeling as a warning signal not to proceed too far down that path. Healthy thoughts produce healthy feelings, letting us know that we’re heading in a healthy direction. This inner compass guides us back to a state of natural mental health and equilibrium. In this state, we have access to an otherwise hidden wisdom that will guide us if we let it.’

‘Then why is there so much war, and cruelty, and unrest in your world?’ the tree asked. ‘Surely that’s proof that no such wisdom exists.’

‘Unfortunately, not everyone yet understands the inside-out nature of reality and the simple intelligence behind the system, so there’s still a lot of mental instability in the world. But it seems to me the fact that no matter how long people have suffered they’re never more than one thought away from peace is proof of the kindness of the design.’

The tree stared down at me inscrutably, as if it could hold its pose for a thousand years without wavering. Finally, it spoke.

‘But even if this wisdom and intelligence exists, it is not infallible. Humans die, and so do trees. If there is, as you say, a “kindness to the design,” how do you explain death?’

It was my turn to stare back up at the tree.

‘I can’t explain it,’ I responded honestly. ‘But I can observe it and see the impersonal nature of it. And somehow seeing that it’s a part of the natural cycle for everyone and everything suggests to me that even death, at some level that I can’t yet see, is a part of the implicate order. Perhaps in some way it’s even a part of the kindness of the design.’

We sat quietly together, the tree and I, feeling connected not only by my back against its trunk but by a deeper bond of shared contemplation and mortality.

Our conversation is ongoing. The more I look in this direction, the more I realize how little I see. But somehow, the little I see makes my life better and better…

With all my love,

Michael

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