illumination inner-soul nature spirituality trees


Building an inner environment of trees

“Intelligence of Trees: Plants communicate, nurture seedlings, and get stressed” Brandon Klein, Nautilus, 2019

Trees communicate to me. For forty-five years I have gone in and out of experiencing my inner reality. Mostly it has been through TM meditation, but lately it seems less and less to come that way. Observing and contemplating trees never seem to fail with beautiful experiences, and with the creation of spiritual visions within. Galen Guengerich tells the story of a farmer who asks a student to sit with a tree for a semester. “Each leaf and branch on her tree was alive, as was each individual bug, and each individual bird, and each individual worm. Her tree was a community of life — alive in its own unique, distinctive, and irreplaceable way.”

The poem below was written in the 1980s, with an attempt to capture the miraculous experience in a drawing.

My First Perception

Outside Looking In

Do You See What I See? 1980

One morning in May

I stood and watched

And absorbed one lonely tree

From a subway platform

First I dissected:

The experience of the visual

Is the play of light

Upon objects

The more we see

The object’s life

The more — the play

Of light

Then I responded:

Fulfillment of life

Could be

From the observation

Of a tree

Suddenly the tree responded:


And in its place

A million dancing sparkles

Of sunlight

The one important thing about Inner Spirituality is that it is unique for every human mind. I recently read an article on Medium by Aurora Eliam, CMP, who emphasizes this point, “Each of us has a unique spiritual journey before us, which constantly challenges and enriches our lives.” Each of the great philosophy masters in history describes it differently, yet each connects with my own feelings. Most of them struggle, as I do between inner and outer. Do we reflect outer on the inner, or do we reflect inner on the outer world?

Goethe, Faust 1, 1112

Two souls, alas, dwell within my breast.

Each wants to separate from the other:

One, in heavy lovelust

Clings to earth with clutching organs;

The other lifts itself mightily from the dust

To high ancestral regions

Rudolph Steiner, “Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path”

“The whole spiritual striving of humankind consists in bridging this opposition [between inner and outer realities.]”

Some trees:

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree”, Emily Dickinson

The first photo is my favorite tree right outside my window that I have contemplated every morning for 30 odd years There are some days I find myself asking the tree about something I want to know, and the tree responds with leaves blowing or with winks of sunlight. Just yesterday I realized that I was really asking my inner spiritual self. Most often I get answers, although seldom when I want them.

The second photo I enjoy occasionally on my walks.

Creating an Inner Environment of Trees

I cannot describe nor even attempt to draw my inner trees, because they are more like feelings than visions. Paul Klee’s paintings have some feelings that connect to mine, especially the first one, “FIGTREE”. The 2-D shapes are feelings of various masses representing the tree abstractly. I see simpler 2-D shapes and more separated. The uniqueness in mine is a thin line of a luminous light around the shapes. His “ILLUMINATED LEAF” is an attempt to show the feeling of luminous light.

Paul Klee is one the great masters in art at the turn of the 20th century, and my favorite artist.

Today, at 87, illuminating and understanding my inner spiritual soul is of far more importance than anything in physical reality. I love those things in nature that help in experiencing my beautiful inner soul.

Thanks for reading and sharing with me.

ILLUMINATING MY INNER SPIRITUALITY was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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