Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Vision of Reality

In the Christian scripture The Gospel of John (chapter 15, verse 5), Jesus is remembered as saying, "I am the vine; you are the branches."

What if the universe were like this?  There's one central trunk from which emerge various branches.  These separate into even smaller twigs, upon which leaves grow.  And fruit, of course, or other kinds of seeds.  And then there are the roots -- a mirror, of sorts, below the ground of what is going on in the air.

Each of these limbs is, in its own way, independent and, yet, completely dependent or, perhaps better, inter-dependent.  They grow in their own directions, following their own unique paths, and yet all are growing essentially sunward, and they all are nurtured by the same source.  Each leaf might think of itself as an individual, yet who can say where "tree" ceases and "leaf" begins?  And even when, at the end of autumn, the leaves fall, don't they become the very nutrients that nurture the tree's ongoing growth and it's next crop of leaves?

Is it so very different?

We may think that we're seperate, autonomous.  We may believe ourselves to be individuals, yet we are part of an interconnected whole.  Quantum physics tells us that at the subatomic level the boundaries between the energies that makes up "us" and the energies that makes up "not us" are blurry indeed.  The dividing line between us and the rest of the universe is not as sharp as we think.  And biology tells us that we are directly related to the other life on this planet.  Humans are not something extraordinarily unique -- we share 50% of our DNA with bananas for goodness sake!  And astrophysics tells us that we are made up -- we, the big we that includes all life on this planet, we and all of our kin -- of the same elements as the stars, are made, in fact, from star dust.

Some say that, perhaps, we should call the trunk of the "tree of life," by the ancient name "God" and recognize ourselves and limbs branching off, or leaves, or fruit.  Sit with that image for a while.

In Gassho,

RevWik Print this post


Anonymous said...

The first time Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell, he asked Campbell about life eternal. Campbell said in essence: What we think of as our own personal lives are merely bubbles on the surface of life.

RevWik said...

Beautiful. Thanks for that.