QA211 QUESTION: I find myself controlling every situation I’m in and when you talked about nature, I just focused on what I feel about my plants – and that is that I can control them. I can give them water and they can live, or I can withhold the water and they can die. I feel that very strongly, and I don’t know in what way, but there’s a connection point in that in some way.
ANSWER: But you see the illusion, my child, that you do not really control the plant, for you do not make it grow. You help it grow. That is a big difference. That is exactly what I said before. Lesser-developed consciousness needs assistance and aid of the more-developed organism. But it is, at the same time, a fully autonomous process – the life process. And it is exactly that which is lacking in you, that you do not trust in your autonomous life process.
QA211 QUESTION: We have decided to treat the Center like a sanctuary, and I would ask you to give us some guidelines about how to establish a harmonious and balanced environment with our goal in relation to our actions and feelings and emotions towards the trees, the animals, the plants, and the buildings of the Center.
ANSWER: Yes. In the first place, I would say the most important thing is to consciously and deliberately cultivate love. Open your heart and your mind and your vision for the beauties that surround you. This is not so easily done, as it is said, for you all know on this Path, when you become more self-observant, how difficult it is to stand intense pleasure and the pleasures of nature.
The beauties of the universe as it surrounds you, the life of which you are a part, is intensely joyous and blissful. And since the inner man and outer nature are only two facets of the same life, you can be quite certain that if you deny your inner flow and movement, you will be dead to the outer beauties of life.
However, you all grow in the right direction. I would say that as you take this in, as every new area of growth must always start with making room for a new awareness, so it is here. Make yourself deliberately aware: To what extent can you take in the beauty of nature? To what extent do you coddle yourself up and close yourself up against it? To what extent is this deadening yourself toward the outer beauties a reflection of deadening your inner nature?
If you can answer these questions honestly, you will already create a greater appreciation and love toward the universe, for God, for nature, for Creation. And only when you have this love, this understanding, will you gain wisdom – how to treat nature – and not get stuck in any extreme. For extreme is rigidity, and rigidity is the very sign of being dead to nature, even if you try to overcome it with an exaggerated rigid, one-sidedness that negates a balance.
You can no more blindly keep the balance of nature alive as you can blindly kill. For there are aspects of nature that interfere with other aspects of nature. When this is the case and when this is not the case is very difficult to make rules about, because rules are dead. Only when you are truly in wisdom will you know in what way to go about it.
Perhaps you can occasionally, each by yourselves and also all of you together, meditate that you may become more capable of this wisdom, of this love, of this appreciation to be instrumental in keeping a balance. In the natural order of things that are alive – and everything is alive – it always requires the more mature consciousness to assume responsibility for the less-mature consciousness. And this goes down the whole way, from one to the other.
For example, an adult human being must assume the responsibility for a child. A child, on the other hand, is capable of learning to take responsibility for animals and plant life. The consciousness, to the degree of its evolvement, is capable of responsibility and protectiveness. And this must be cultivated in all beings. It is true that nature is self-regulating, and it is equally true that nature in all its stages requires aid, assistance, protection, guidance, and help from its older siblings.
Just as a child requires the aid of the parent, the parent will require the aid of higher-developed beings – be it in the form of teachers, in the body or out of the body. You all need help, and you all need to learn to give help. If this help is not forthcoming, the balance cannot be protected. You need to have this balance, the sense of necessity of balance, that there is a time to protect life and there is a time to take life, if it is in the service of a higher order.
If you have this awareness, if you cultivate this awareness, together with a cultivation of appreciation and love, you will increasingly respect, value and love nature around you. And you will know that to some extent, in order to protect the life, you have to take life. In other areas, this is not so. When this is so and when this is not so, this awareness will grow within you.
All you have to do is take in these ideas. Meditate about these ideas; feel these ideas, for they are truth; and open your inner self to the truth of this idea, and become conscious of the life that surrounds you. For it is beautiful when you detect this life, when you detect the marvelous order.
But in this marvelous order must also exist manifest disturbance. For outer nature, as you know it in this sphere of consciousness, in this dimension of reality, is a reflection of your inner nature. And since there is disturbance in your inner nature, there must also be disturbance in outer nature. So you have harmful animal and plant life, and to preserve harmful animal and plant life would be folly, for this harmful animal and plant life would kill the benign animal and plant life.
To what extent, however, this must be done by the protective, wise, human brothers and sisters is something you – your consciousness – has to become aware of. Again, it is very difficult to give rules, but as you grope in this direction, you will indeed create a center of the living force on all levels. Does this answer your question?
QUESTION: Mainly, yes. Can you comment upon our perceiving the spirit entities that inhabit plant life and trees, and give us some kind of a relationship?
ANSWER: It is extremely difficult to generalize this, just as you cannot generalize the spirit entity that inhabits man. Consciousness is incredibly varied. Trees and flowers are also within their own type, if you would choose this word, but within this margin, there is variation. On the whole, plant life is consciousness in a state of being. The state of becoming is still dormant and manifests to a much lesser degree.
It manifests on the physical level only to the degree of the change of seasons, of the growing and dying process, apparently on the surface. And to that degree the state of becoming is manifest in the plant life. But the state of being without consciousness – or with little consciousness, with dormant consciousness – is very strong.
The self-consciousness that does exist is very small. It is consciousness in the sense of aliveness, in the sense of blissful being, in the sense of expressing Creation in its unutterable beauty. But it is not actively moving and self-aware to the degree an animal is. And yet an animal is much less self-aware, of course, than human consciousness.
Aspects of consciousness float around, if I may say this word, in Creation and incorporate themselves into various forms. And the development goes in cycles. The plant consciousness, as I said, is the state of being with very little self-awareness. Human consciousness is the state of becoming, and the state of being is still very dormant at this level.
The human consciousness strives toward the state in which the state of being is attained with the highest degree of self-awareness. This is about the best I can explain plant life. If you perceive it, you will get the sense of it, and that perception grows as your self-awareness grows. As your capacity for happiness and bliss grows, to that extent you will perceive the aliveness that surrounds you in every particle of air you breathe, in everything you see and touch – there’s intense vitality, consciousness, life and individuality.
A pine tree is a manifestation of a different type of life, of individuality – a tree-individuality – than, for example, a maple tree. A rose incorporates a different kind of flower consciousness than, for example, lilacs. These are individualized lives in the plant state. And the purity in the state of being is very great. The impurity can come out only as self-awareness increases – and therefore the capacity to deal with the impurity, to transcend the impurity and the ego part of the self that harbors it.
QA257 QUESTION: Several times you have said that animals and plants are less evolved spiritually than humans. I am on the grounds committee at Sevenoaks and have recently been reawakening my connection to nature. I have often felt a deep spiritual connection with the land and with trees. I have learned a lot from them on my Path. I am confused as to how they can teach me so much spiritually if they are less evolved. Could you please clarify the energy dynamics between the world of nature and man?
ANSWER: When you say more or less evolved, you humans attach a value judgement on this term. Animals and plants are perfect in their state of being, and as such, can teach humans a great deal. Where the development is less, if you will, is the aspect of consciousness, awareness, self-awareness. In that regard, which is the state of becoming, human beings are more evolved.