What has a trunk that can’t be seen, branches that are no longer green, uncountable leaves of different hues and a lineage that self-renews?
The Tree of Life
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
–Ilan Shamir, Advice From a Tree
The Human Family Tree
The lifecycle of a tree in nature – its origin, growth in size, decline and rejuvenation – offers a good analogy for the lifecycle of the Human Family Tree. All parts of a tree are interconnected. Something that happens to one part of a tree affects the whole tree. To look at the almost fully – grown tree of humanity’s life on earth today is to observe and understand its journey through time.
Seed of Humanity
The seed of humanity, of the human family, is God, the Supreme Being, the essence from which the whole tree of humanity grows. The trunk of the tree symbolises the era of paradise which emerges from that perfect Seed – that golden era before recorded history when there is unity of belief, culture, language and governance; that period of perfected civilization when there is no difference between the theory and practice of righteous living. People in such a time lack nothing, are totally fulfilled, and share a harmonious way of life. The closeness of the trunk to the seed symbolizes how souls at that time embody God’s qualities, living lives based on the principles of truth. Such souls are memorialized in stories and legends as ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’, but few any longer understand that such divine beings actually once walked upon our earth.
The Tree of Life Grows
As a tree grows, its trunk naturally expands in size. Similarly, the human population expands. More ‘leaves’ (individual human souls) appear on the tree. Just as leaves naturally leave their bud-like state and begin to unfold, so the deities open themselves to greater involvement with the physical world and concern with the physical body – the temple of the soul. Completely unaware that they are losing awareness of their true identity – the soul itself – in the process, they also lose touch with their original nature of purity, peace and truth.
This shift in consciousness brings a marked decline in power, purity and the ability to discern right from wrong. Divinity departs. Paradise is lost. Suddenly there is the experience of something other than peace and happiness. Suddenly there are feelings that are strange and uncomfortable. Suddenly there is unpleasantness, unrighteousness, unrest, and untruth. These ‘insects’ gnaw at many of the leaves and human actions become motivated by ever – growing demands for possessions, prosperity, position, and power. No longer the masters of self, souls become slaves to their desires.
As the unity of the trunk loses its integrity, minds begin to search for truth and hearts to long for comfort. The memory of God, the Seed, resurfaces from the depths of the human psyche. This intensifies the search for truth. In response, great prophet souls one by one make their entrances – Abraham, Buddha, Christ and Mohammed – respectively bringing messages of a return to righteousness, of hope and forgiveness, of mindfulness and of single – mindedness. Each prophet soul establishes the mighty branch of a great religion on the Human Family Tree. The ideals of love, law, enlightenment, and surrender now manifest as major differences in approach.
Chaos and Confusion
Many new leaves emerge on the branches as the human family drastically increases in size. Chaos and confusion ensue as the search for self-realization and truth gives rise to divergent beliefs and ways of thinking. Each main branch diversifies into smaller limbs and twigs. Cults, sects and ‘– isms’ emerge. Meanwhile, within the central trunk of humanity, the worship of nature and of human beings as gurus takes hold. The human family is now divided by colour, race, religion and ideology, its increasing dysfunction mirrored by a corresponding increase in natural calamities, mental and physical disease, poverty and untimely death.
The Tree Reaches its Limits of Growth
In this ever increasing peacelessness more and more people turn toward God; but without knowing who He really is or what He does, doubt in His very existence also arises. The search for truth comes to focus exclusively on physical evidence, giving rise to wondrous advances in science and technology. Quickly faith in the veracity and power of science proliferates while religion and philosophy become materialistic and politicized. Meanwhile among the branches, faith becomes fundamentalism as those who tenaciously cling to traditional beliefs feel compelled to violently defend their views. Religion, language, culture have strayed very far indeed from their roots in divinity.
The tree reaches its limits of growth. Its roots are in a state of decay, its trunk barely visible amidst its jumbled tangle of sagging branches. Each soul hangs on helplessly, like a forlorn leaf on a twig of a wintry tree.
God the Seed Regenerates the Tree
But before old life dies, new life is given by the Seed, the Creator of the tree. God, the Seed of the Human Family Tree, reveals how that which was can be again. Awakened by the advent of this Seed, and deriving strength and sustenance by forming a renewed relationship with this One, individual human souls become foundational roots from which a new young sapling can emerge. The regeneration of the Human Family begins.
Meditate deeply, visualizing yourself as a root soul sitting close to God, the Seed of our Human Family. Draw from that Seed the eternal essence of all that can be attained in life. Remain beneath the canopy of the knowledge of our Human Family Tree and all of your pure desires will be fulfilled.