A tree spoke to me as we drove past it the other day.
Her girth and mighty embrace was tangible despite my fleeting glance.
"That tree must be 600 years old!" I remarked out loud.
She reached out to me and I heard her voice. I felt her limbs.
Her ancestry and her connection... to the past.. to everything... to me..
And you know what she said?
"Go do work.
Find a way.
Make them understand with your words and your deeds.
I see you woman of human kind, I sense that you feel and I command you to be... as you should be... as everyone should ... and incite the others the mutable ones... to move with the right winds."
This is a true story from last year.
I researched the plane tree that spoke to me and found that she is indeed very old and one of the ancient trees of Bursa. (Turkey)
It may explain, if you were wondering, why I assert that I speak for the trees; I was instructed to!
My Tree Talk language might not resonate with you and for that I apologise, for the language is entirely mine. Our words and culture limit us, but are also the only way we have to communicate the infinity of sharing that the trees partake in just by their very existence.
Let me explain.
And I know this because I sense it therefore it is as utterly scientific as it ever need get.*
The tree has an energy and a knowledge that she exudes. This knowledge is not limited to any of the confines of our ideas of perception or time.
She knows from before and ahead and she knows now from around the world and beyond with the breath of wind that has been everywhere and from her own atoms which originated with the beginning of everything.
(Trees are not fond of punctuation; everything flows.)
Our idea of 'conscious' has stood staunchly in the realm of analytical, linear and reductionist understanding. It's like having maths without the sciences and the arts. Daniel Christian Wahl explains it clearly here.
We can't refute the fundamental aspect of this simplicity, but we are mighty limited if that is as far as we see. The tree however has been on a different level of consciousness and has been immersed in the truly ecstatic fractals of instinctive being. Something indeed we can aspire to, or at least add to our repertoire if we intend to survive a few more centuries.
While we would indeed better our future by becoming more instinctive, sadly the switch has to be accompanied by some deep and effective healing from the toxic addictions that we have succumbed to. The instincts of our culture (worldwide more or less) have been so distorted that we are not even recognisable as a friendly creature to this planet. We are foe to the Earth that we stand upon and to each other.
Yet we do not have time for a slow cleansing and healing from this that some call Wetiko; our exploitative and detrimental way of being. So I advocate listening to the trees for it is exposure to pure instinct that will set us into alignment with a truly regenerative, nourishing and nurturing way of being... just like the tree.
Tree Talk Facts.
At first you will not hear a thing... you will be sure that I am insane and you may feel inclined to give up.
The tree won't speak in words, trees don't have language, but their message is there for you or anyone, anytime, there may be times when a tree specifically senses an individual, that is for the tree to know and for us to merely ponder....
Though the tree can't use language you will hear her 'no-word-speak' if you open your heart. You may simply sense something, like the embrace of a mother, or the enormity of her grief, or the spread of her boughs to infinity, and you may find that your mind translates these sensings, this instinct, this connection into words... your words.
Should this transpire the tree will speak to you in your native tongue, she won't use the same language she uses with me. The language that I repeat from the tree are my interpretation of her message into my particular usage of English. My cognition makes sense of what is primal and sensed at a cellular level. It need not be spoken, but I am driven to translate to words so that I can share her message, as instructed.
Until now I'd experience it privately... now I talk and write it out loud.
Maybe you will also feel inspired to share what the trees or other parts of our world are saying to you too. For these messages are ones we all need to hear loud and clear and we need to act upon them without further ado.
And don't limit yourselves to the trees (though indeed they are an infinite resource). You will find that such conversations are to be had with the sea, oh how eloquent the seas are... and with just about any other living or non living natural entity on our planet (rocks and mountains have been known to also be forth coming)
Tips For Developing Effective Tree Talk
1. First just listen. Spend time, hang out and observe the tree.
2. Clean up around the tree or the trees.
3. Sense how the tree might feel about the rubbish around it or the wind in its leaves.
4. Really put yourself in the place of the tree. Touch the bark or sit at the base with your back against the trunk. Lean your head back and breath... try and sense the rhythm of the tree.
5. Notice how the tree exists within the surroundings and in unity, try see or guess how far the roots go.
6. Notice any other creatures that are co existing in the tree, like a bird, or a beetle, maybe there are worms in the earth around the roots or there are some bees flying around.
7. Do you know what kind of tree it is? Study the leaves and the bark, is it in flower or are there seed pods upon it. (Take a photo and download a tree identification app later to figure out facts such as: is it a deciduous tree or an evergreen. Learn how humans benefit from the tree: do we use the wood or are the fruits edible, or do bees collect pollen and make us honey... etc)
8. If while you have done all these things your mind is too busy and curious to hear any specific messages yet that means you are in the learning stage, the tree is assisting you to connect through curiosity. Enjoy this process.
Go away and learn about trees and their types and try to become informed about these, one of the most important living things on our planet without which we would not exist.
Come back another day
If you find your mind is still too active and controlling to allow nature to connect with you yet: Repeat the steps of Stage 1.
1. Use any meditation technique your prefer, deep breathing and relaxing are a great start and simply sit, or stand and ponder the tree (touching the tree or looking from afar... all are fine)
2. As you breath in imagine the process that the tree goes through, imagine the life force and sense the oxygen that you are breathing is has just been created by the tree, feel that same tree absorb the carbon dioxide that you exhale... can you feel yourself gradually becoming a part of the tree?
3. You are one with the tree so you need not actively listen or try to hear anymore as you will simply know what the message of the tree is through what I call the "no-word-speak". You may want to translate this understanding into words and to share them like I do sometimes or you may prefer to live them deep inside of you. This bond is more sensuous than the most fabulous of love stories, the heart - body - mind connection is deeply erotic** and utterly nourishing. And while these may seem of the ultra feminine the masculine side of cognition and intellectual stimulation is fully satiated with a level and depth of enquiry that pushes you to expand while enlightening and empowering. This is the gift of the tree.
Being everything and nothing in the shadow of the tree is a relief from our self induced trauma; this relief, nurturance and empowerment is essential for us to be able to face and possibly halt the adversity coming our way.
I bid you farewell (for indeed we must endeavour to better fare in these times) and good luck
With love from me and The Tree.
* though I state we don't need science to qualify this I would love to be see any credible links and findings so please send.
** "erotic" is a word that I have decided to use for the purpose of describing an intense connection that we can best understand as flow and bond and freedom in one. It can be considered enrapturing yet it doesn't have any addictive connotations and no party is subservient or lesser as it exists in the liminal, (the space between us) and is a cocktail of the energy between us and everything at even a cellular or atomic level. Within it, extremes such as pain and pleasure along with grief and joy may co exist without negating the others as this sensation embraces every paradox of humanity and the natural world in one.
I will be sharing more about the subject of erotic connection soon.
"The world is made up of a series of highly conscious nested self-organized systems within other nested self-organized systems within other self-organized systems. They, together, make up the much larger system we know as Earth, the living, self-organized biological organism that James Lovelock named Gaia. And all of them are intelligent."
From the article Plant Consciousness: The Fascinating Evidence Showing Plants Have Human Level Intelligence, Feelings, Pain and More By Stephen Harrod Buhner
Are Trees Sentient?
Can a Tree Consciously experience the World by Robert Lanza - Scientist, Theoretician and Author
Viewing for the curious:
Watch this fabulous short video from Peter Russell about The Conscious Cosmos.
"Our continued failure to explain just how consciousness arises from unconscious matter
suggests that we may need to sit back and question some of our fundamental assumptions"
Photo credit to Google Maps and Serdar who found it for me.