Being Aware Joyfully

Conversation with the Tree of Life

Scene: a guy sees a plump new apple growing on a tree

Human: Hello! What do we have here?!

Apple: Hello there.

Human: What-ho! You can speak?

Apple: Of course, otherwise you would be talking to yourself.

Human: Eh, it's a lovely day.

Apple: Every day is lovely!

Human: That's a cheery disposition you have.

Apple: Thank you.

Human: So, what kind of creature are you?

Apple: I am an apple.

Human: Really, never would have picked you for an apple.

Apple: Ah, you are being glib.

Human: Indeed. Sorry, but it's a bit uncomfortable to be talking to a fruit.

Apple: I would not know about that. I am just enjoying hanging around on my tree.

Human: Ah, now, is it you who is being glib?

Apple: Not at all. What I said is funny, but it is not a joke – dangle is what I do.

Human: On your tree?

Apple: Yes, on my tree.

Human: So, you own the tree, do you?

Apple: That sounds a bit possessive. For me. it is about family, I am the fruit of the tree.

Human: So, you're like a child, who can rightly say the tree is my parent?

Apple: It might be like that, if I were a placental mammal; but I am not – I am a pome fruit.

Human: Hmmm... So, are you more like an unborn child still connected to its mother?

Apple: Yes, in that more apt simile, my stalk would be like an umbilical cord.

Human: Of course, that's where you get the life-force from the tree with which to grow.

Apple: My life, yes; and my mind as well – that also comes from the Tree.

Human: Your mind? Do you mean you are aware as well as alive?

Apple-Tree: Naturally I am aware. To whom do you think you are speaking?

Human: Well, didn't you say you are an apple?

Apple-Tree: Yes, I am an apple. I am fruit of this tree – its off-spring. I am also the tree itself, and you are speaking with my fruit.

Human: So, you are the tree, as well as the apple?

Apple-Tree: I can see you are struggling with this issue of identity. You make it difficult for yourself by assuming that identity is based just on physical appearance. You mistake what I look like on the outside for who I am on the inside. That is a common confusion for humans.

Human: What do you mean, Apple, or Tree or whoever you are?

Apple-Tree: Humans tie themselves into knots by failing to recognise and take into account that they see themselves from the inside but see everything else from the outside.

Human: That's an odd thing to say.

Apple-Tree: Well, actually it is a correct and reasonable thing to say. What is odd is that you think a clear statement of the simple truth is odd – that is odd!

Human: What do you mean?

Apple-Tree: I mean the standard human viewpoint has a twist in its sobriety. Humans see themselves from the inside; they know what is on their own mind and they judge themselves by their inner intentions. But humans see each other from the outside, and judge others based on their perceptions of outward appearances. What is particularly curious is that humans are mostly unconscious of the twist in their sobriety, hence they usually deny it.

Human: What are you even talking about? The human viewpoint isn't twisted!

Apple-Tree: Well, it is but you do not see it, which is exactly what I am saying. Humans have a blind-spot, which they do not see because the blind-spot is in their blind-spot.

Human: OK, how is the human viewpoint twisted or blind?

Apple-Tree: Are you familiar with the lemniscate? It is a figure-eight on its side and often used to symbolise infinity, the numinous, and the mystical unity of spiritual reality?

Human: Sure, I know what you're talking about; but I didn't know it had all those...

Apple-Tree: OK, so that figure-eight can be seen as a flat circle that has been pinched into the middle so it forms two smaller loops, and then one of those small loops has been rotated through a third-dimension, so the circle is twisted into a figure eight. Do you get it?

Human: Well, I see what you're saying, but I don't get what it means.

Apple-Tree: What it means is that, in the Circle of Life itself, All is One; that circle is symbolised by the Ouroboros or snake-eating-its-tail. But in the human perspective, the reality of the One-All has been pinched and rotated to produce two apparently different things. That twisted sobriety acts like a lens to divide the oneness of All into what looks like many things. With its characteristically dualistic perspective, the human viewpoint looks right through the unity of everything to see only a multitude of alternatives, such as me and you, I and other, subject and object, inner and outer, spiritual and physical, reality and appearance, indeed, unity and multiplicity.

Human: What you're saying sounds complicated.

Apple-Tree: What I am taking about is the Oneness, which is as simple as things get. But your human point of view makes it more complicated than it is. You twist the Oneness into two things in order to get a clearer view of everything. But with that twisted perspective on everything, you are unable to see the One thing that everything is.

Human: Yep, that sounds even more complicated!

Apple-Tree: It is actually quite simple, but you are over-thinking it. You are still stuck with the lemniscate and you are getting caught up and lost in following the infinitely looping line between alternatives. But both of the alternatives are incomplete, and so you cannot get to the One by omitting either or adding both together, but only by untwisting the deeper Circle.

Human: What deeper circle?

Apple-Tree: The Circle of All Life.

Human: What does it mean to "untwist the Circle"?

Apple-Tree: It means I am an individual Apple, and I am the whole Tree. We two are one in the undivided Circle of Life. Just untwist your sobriety: you will see you already know.

Human: What do I already know?

Apple-Tree: That you are one with all life, just as I am.

Human: How are you one with all life?

Apple-Tree: As an apple, I am a small seasonal part of the larger enduring life of the whole Tree. As the new fruit I am, we have not met until this summer; but as the older tree I am, I have seen you passing on many occasions over the years. The apple I am and the tree I am appear to be different things to your human point of view, which only looks at the outside. Inside, however, there is only one life, one mind, one soul – and that is who I am.

Human: OK, I'm sure you're right. But I'm still unclear about who you are.

Apple-Tree-Planet: I am the one living awareness that is present in all things and lives and minds. I am the soul of the apple and I am the life of this tree, as I am present in all trees and in all creatures and things. I am the spirit of the planet, the Soul of the World; I fruit in people as much as in produce. All is the One that I am. You stand beneath the timeless tree of the life I am, and you've been philosophising with the passing fruit I am, the apple of my eye.

Human: That's a play on words – another joke: an "eye" for an "I".

Apple-Tree-Planet: Again, it is funny, but it is not a joke. As the one untwisted Circle, I am the apple and I am the tree. I am all creatures, including all people, as I am the planet and the stars. I am the one life in all.

Human: So, you see yourself as being all people and planets and stars?

Apple-Tree-Planet-Cosmos: When next you look up at the stars at night, remember our conversation. Feel how the stars are living lights in the universe they illuminate – feel how, when looking up at them, you are also looking down on yourself. For something in you to be able to do that, what is in you must be in the stars as well. That shared awareness, that common consciousness in all things and people and stars, that is who I am.

Human: OK, so you're saying that one living mind is present in everything, people, planets, the whole cosmos. And that's who you are?

Apple-Tree-Planet-Cosmos: Yes. That is right. You have got it.

Human: But if what you're saying is correct, then I have been talking to myself!

Apple-Tree-Planet-Cosmos: As your individual awareness expresses my universal consciousness, it is more true to say that you have been talking to the Self of all selves!

Human: Yep! As I said: talking to myself!