The Tree Example
Up until fairly recently the Tree Example was used as an introduction to the concept of the Principle and the Process and Qultura methodology. Various symbols have been used as part of the Qultura logo, such as the yin yang symbol (which caused confusion with Taoism), an atomic symbol and even the astrological symbol for the planet Uranus. But throughout the symbol which has been most commonly used in the logo, and associated with Qultura, is the symbol of a tree.
In the image above you have a tree in a park. It's autumn. The tree is growing out of the ground. It's one of around three trillion trees growing out of the dry surfaces of this planet. Just from this one example of a tree you can figure out a lot about existence, about life, and about relationship.
The Principle and the Process
Existence is a principle. Creativity and interaction is a process. This is all you really need to know and understand about the fundamental nature of existence and life. How? What? The how and what of life. In terms of Qultura consciousness is existence, for consciousness is information. The clue is in the word - 'IN-formation', going into physical form and interacting with energy. The tree has a physical form, does it not? Space, or emptiness is reality, because you do not have existence without space, without non-existence, do you? Consider that it's the space in which the tree exists which makes it real.
Please keep in mind that I'm not trying to sell you a 'theory of everything' here. Consciousness, like space, is infinite, and goes on and on and on and on throughout the universe. This means that neither existence nor reality can ever be fully known, understood, defined or explained. This is just about the fundamentals, the basic mystical principles, or what is known as the ground of being. Unlike consciousness and space energy, the basis of all physicality, and physical form, is finite. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It simply changes relative to consciousness and space.
So let's move on to the next mystical principle.
All existence is change, all existence is relationship
This follows on from the principle and the process. I think we can safely assume that the tree above is a living tree and that the tree is growing. The growth of the tree is its process. Here I have to ask you, is a tree made of wood, or is a tree actually wood? What do you think? Surely, if anything, the tree is wood, because wood is what makes up the substance of the tree, and is what the tree creates from its relationship with its environment.
This brings us to what is known as the mystical transaction. The principle and the process applies to both sides of the relationship between the totality (universe, environment, etc) and the individual (organism). Consider that the tree breathes in carbon dioxide from the environment to create wood from the carbon, breathing out oxygen back into the environment.
But where did the tree come from? It didn't just appear out of thin air, did it? Nor was it created or made. You can make a various things out of wood, such as tables, chairs, furniture and guitars. But you cannot make a tree. So we come to another mystical principle.
The environment creates, the individual grows
This is another mystical principle, particularly when it comes to living existence. Consider that if there was no universe there would be no solar system and no planet, and if there was no planet or natural environment, there would be no life. All life comes from either a seed or an egg and all life involves a relationship of some sort. In fact it's not possible to exist in any form without being in relationship to everything else in existence.It's important to understand here that what is individual and what is environment is completely arbitrary. If we understand that environment is simply many different things together in relationship then environment can apply equally to:
- everything that's not you, i.e. your wider natural and social environment
- everything that is you, i.e. your principle and your process, your physical body, your senses, your brain, and so on
- your mind - which is both everything that is you and everything that's not you
- your perspective or principle - your memories, your perception, your conscious awareness, the focus of your conscious attention
You could spend an entire lifetime just studying the different relationships between different individual things within an environment. Not that I'm suggesting you should, because most of the things which go together to make up your life experience, or the felt sense of immediate experience, involve things and relationships you're probably not even consciously aware of.
The exact same thing is true when we think of trees. A tree's natural environment isn't just things such as the earth, the sky, and so on. Think of all the things you expect to find near a tree, such as grass, plants, animals, birds, squirrels, insects, earthworms, and human beings. It's all connected in some way. It's all environment.
A tree is excellent at being a tree, simply because it cannot be anything other than a tree. Do you think a tree ever doubts that it's a tree? Do you think a tree ever worries about being a tree, or is scared of being a tree or is anxious about being a tree?
This is something I want you to think about.
Can you think back to when you were last around trees? For example, walking through some woods, a forest or even in a local park. Did you ever look at a tree and think to yourself "My God! Look at that tree! That tree is too fat!" Have you ever felt that a tree is too old? Or maybe too ugly? Have you ever insulted a tree? Have you ever swore at a tree, or maybe threatened a tree? Well have you?
I'm assuming that you haven't, and that when you were out walking among trees, you somehow appreciated the trees for what they are, and found the trees acceptable. You probably didn't discriminate against any of the trees, or spent time judging the trees, but you simply accepted that some trees were young saplings, some trees were old, some trees were crooked and bent, some trees were droopy, and all trees were unique and individual in their own way.
So why can't we humans be like that when we're around other human beings? I will leave you to ponder the answer for yourself.