What's behind the tree in the Qultura logo?

This is one of two articles written as an introduction to Qultura for people new to the community. This article is about physical form and existence. For the past several years the Qultura logo has contained an image of a tree, the Qultura tree. There is also a song 'Rooted in peace' by Admiral Bob and sung by Snowflake which I also wanted to be associated with Qultura to communicate the core values of the Qultura way of approaching mindfulness and the development of consciousness. This webpage is about the symbolism of the Qultura tree and its significance and symbolism when it comes to Qultura and what Qultura is about.

Many people throughout the world believe that there's a karmic bond, or a mystical, spiritual relationship and symbiosis between humans and trees. For millenia trees have been an important symbol in mysticism, culture, religion and spirituality. Here are some examples of that symbolism and beliefs.

  • The banyan or sacred fig tree (also known as the bodhi tree) is considered sacred in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.
  • The Tree of Knowledge between good and evil features in both the Torah and the Bible.
  • The Egyptian Book of the Dead mentions sycamores as part of the environment where the dead find bliss.
  • In many parts of the world trees are often called wishing trees where objects are hung on the tree to establish a relationship between someone and the tree. In this way trees are used for healing, witchcraft, sorcery and wishing.
  • Yggdrasil in Norse mythology is a huge tree at the centre of existence and is the connection between Nine Worlds.
  • In many cultures and religions it is believed that the tree and humans share a karmic bond and a belief that harming a tree is the equivalent of harming a human being.
  • In many other cultures it is believed that gods, spirits, nymphs, dryads and sprites inhabit trees and watch over the planet.
  • There is a very strong mystical and spiritual symbiosis between humans and trees. In many cultures it is believed that the life of a human is dependent on the life of a tree. In the ancient Egyptian 'Tale of Two Brothers' from 3,000 years ago one of the brothers leaves his heart on the top of the flower of an acacia and falls dead when it is cut down.
  • Often it is believed that when a hero or warrior is cut down in battle a tree will show sympathy by weakening or dying. There are numerous examples of such associations across different cultures which suggests a kind of esoteric or mystical connections between the lives of trees and the lives of humans.
  • Quite often trees are associated with oracles. The oak of Dodona is considered to be the oldest Hellenic oracle in Epirus in north western Greece. This dates back to around 2000 BC and the earliest accounts of Homer describe Dodona as an oracle of Zeus.
  • The terebinth, or Turpentine Tree, is mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures (or Old Testament), where the Hebrew word elah (plural elot) is used, although the word is sometimes translated as 'oak'. It is clear that the translators are uncertain which translation is correct but what is clear is that the terebinth is a Jewish oracle.
  • In Greek mythology, oak trees are said to be inhabited by spirits or nymphs called hamadryads, and if they were cut down by mortals, the gods punished them since the beings in the trees were believed to die.
  • In Arab folklore, sacred trees are haunted by jinn; sacrifices are made, and the sick who sleep beneath them receive prescriptions in their dreams.

Different symbols have been associated with the Qultura logo and brand from the start. The first symbol was the astrological symbol for the planet Uranus, symbolizing change, community, revolution and non-conformity. Then the yin yang symbol was used for a while but this resulted in people confusing Qultura with Taoism which while similar are two completely different approaches to mindfulness. Briefly the symbol for an atom was used before settling on an image of a tree several years ago.

But what does the Qultura tree actually stand for? Well actually quite a lot.

Qultura analogy

The Qultura tree is an analogy

The Qultura tree is an important analogy which refers to the relationship between Qultura methodology, the Qultura community and your mind. The analogy is such:

The roots of the tree symbolize Qultura methodology
The roots of a tree are of course hidden but are also what connects the tree to the natural environment and other trees and planets through the earth or ground. Similarly Qultura methodology is the complete methodology of mystical principles, occult symbolism and the magic of Unmind - the fourth practical 'dream weaving' component of Qultura methodology - which connect all of us to the universe, nature, our natural environment and each other. Just like the roots of a tree are hidden and out of sight, Qultura methodology itself is occult, esoteric and unspeakable. This is because the methodology is not an explanation of how existence works, it's just a very simple, basic explanation of the core principles sufficient to give you basic mystical awareness and understanding. You need to figure out for yourself what existence is in reality through your involvement in community and direct experience of life.
For this reason Qultura is not a philosophy, a religion, a belief system or method to be followed.
The branches of the tree symbolize the Qultura community
A tree can have many different branches starting from a few boughs, and the branches grow into twigs, leaves and fruit. Also consider how the different branches, leaves, fruit and seeds are what connect the tree to its environment and to other living. Additionally if you cut branches from the tree, the tree will grow new branches. Many trees shed their leaves every year in the autumn and grow new leaves in the spring. The fruit, flowers and seeds of a tree feed and nourish other living beings.

Therefore what connects you to your environment in reality is not just your awareness and understanding of Qultura methodology, it's also your involvement and participation in the Qultura community and dream weaving activities. This is where you create and develop your own unique Qultura methods relevant only to you through dream weaving activities and interaction with others in the Qultura community. Once you have an understanding of the complete methodology (which isn't difficult) you can create your own Qultura methods on the basis of your understanding of existence and mystical principles.

Through the Qultura community you also learn a lot about yourself and can transcend your Ego and your personal beliefs and learn about who you really are. Furthermore each time your life changes, or you experience trauma, you can create another Qultura method relevant to your circumstances, environment, feelings and life experiences. You can create an infinite number of Qultura methods, each one unique and individual to you. You no longer have to follow someone else's belief system, religion or ideology but can create your own - freeing your mind and liberating yourself emotionally and psychologically from the invisible prison of Ego. All you need to do is be involved in the Qultura community and participate in dream weaving activities. It's simple, straightforward and requires minimal effort or thinking.
The trunk of the tree symbolizes you - the individual human being
When it comes to Qultura you are the central figure in your relationship with Qultura just as the trunk is central and fundamental to the whole tree. Indeed the trunk is what connects the roots to the branches and supports everything. Similarly you are what connects Qultura methodology to the Qultura community and you are also the connection between these two mutually necessary aspects of Qultura and your mind, your life and your being. Dream weaving is the magical path to mindfulness and the development of consciousness. Magic is no different from yoga, because magic is all about seeking out and finding connection and unity between you and your environment, between you and others, and between you and the universe. Where there is no connection between you and your environment no magic is possible. Similarly when there is no connection between you and both the methodology and the community, no Qultura is possible and no Qultura exists.

Please always keep this in mind. Qultura is never a belief system or ideology. Calling yourself a Qulturist is ridiculous and meaningless. Who you are outside the community is not our concern. Who you are when you're in the community is an equal community member and a valuable human being who is a manifestation of energy and consciousness of the universe. So whenever you come into the Qultura community leave your Ego, your personal beliefs and your societal baggage at home and come and be yourself completely in an empathy focussed, non-judgmental open-minded community.

So what else does the Qultura tree symbolize? There's more, so please keep reading.


The importance of presence of being

Trees do not walk, and this is because they grow roots down through the earth through which they connect to both the natural environment and other trees. Just as we communicate through language and space trees communicate through language and soil and the earth. Given the fact that trees live for centuries and can live as long as 5,000 years, this process of growth takes much longer than most humans live. Given the fact that a typical beech tree has a life expectancy of 350 years or so, connecting with the environment and other trees is a long process. However on the basis of The Tree Example, we get a very important mystical principle...

The environment creates, the individual (organism) grows.

This is one of two very basic and fundamental premises when it comes to 'Qultura thinking', which is not actually thinking at all (this is explained later). The other other fundamental and basic premise is...

All existence is change. All existence is relationship.

If you learn nothing else from being on this website or anything to do with Qultura, take these two principles, write them down and stick them on your bathroom mirror. Learn these principles by heart. Understanding these two principles and knowing them will simplify your life and make everything going on in your life much, much easier.

Just as the tree is always central to its relationship with this planet and the universe, you are always central to your relationship with the universe and this planet, central also in your position to society and other people. Embrace the fact that you cannot change the world, society or yourself and accept it. This is because you're always where you need to be in life. You do not have to work on yourself, improve yourself, change yourself, or wish that you were better, because the real reason why you aren't better is because you are meant to be you, and nobody else. Understand that in terms of physical form and energy - incarnation - there is nobody else like you anywhere in existence on this planet. You are that unique. If you don't believe this to be so then come join our community and you will learn that it's always okay to be you. If other people cannot accept you for you, in your beautiful incarnation, then that's their problem, their issue and their karma.

But it's also got to be said that to actually evolve and grow from your life experience you have to actually be connected to your natural environment, to community and society and actively participating in what's going on. You have to connect the meta-physical with the physical because you are just as much spirit and consciousness as you are physical body and energy vibration. If you're locked away in your shell and separate then you must be a nut.

There's a big difference between actually living and just role playing and going through the motions. If your only social interaction is your job and the artificial economy then you're only playing at being a human being and hiding away within the comfort zone of your Ego.


The necessity of non-attachment

This one is fairly simple and straightforward. I'm sure you've spent some time around trees, whether it's in the park or in a forest, meadow, or woods. I'm sure you've spent time looking at trees. You might have noticed how trees are all unique and individual, despite the fact that there's more than 3 trillion trees on the planet. I'm also fairly confident that you're open-minded and non-judgmental around trees. Or have you been around trees with a friend and pointed out trees which were ugly, too fat, too stupid, or the wrong colour? Have you ever argued and claimed that oak trees are better than sycamore trees? I'm fairly sure that you've simply accepted the trees for what they are and appreciated them.

But have you noticed how human beings become judgmental and confrontational whenever they're around other human beings? How many times have you see people comparing different human beings, or comparing themselves with other human beings? This comes from school when we were given marks, grades, tests, exams, and constantly being graded, evaluated and assessed. This is where we learned to label ourselves and others. You might think your social position and status comes from your job and how much money you are earning. Not quite. In many cases this is determined by many factors which went into play even before you got out of primary school. It's all tied to Ego and feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.

Nobody in the Qultura community has any time for that nonsense. Any in person dream weaving workshop or activity requires you to participate in social interaction with people who may come from from all walks of life and backgrounds. We get access to community space on condition of being freely accessible to everyone in the wider community. If you can't get past your Ego and prejudices of certain types of people then you can't be a member of the Qultura community. Go to church or do yoga and stay within your comfort zone. Or go join a political party.

apple tree

The imperative of feeding and nourishing others

So now we come to the symbolism and wisdom of the tree when it comes to the Qultura community.

Trees are one of the primary sources of food on this planet, providing nectar, fruit, seeds, leaves and flowers to many different species from bees and insects to humans and large animals such as elephants. If you understand empathy to be sweetness, trees are also a major source of empathy in the form of fruit and nectar.

Feeding and nourishing ourselves and each other is a long standing Qultura tradition and is baked into our rituals and practices. This is not just with regard to actual food, refreshments and drinks such as tea and coffee, but also through consciousness in the form of friendship, love, consciousness, empathy, humanity and insight.

This is connected with giving plenty of space in relationship and is considered standard dreamweaving practice.


The necessity of asylum and shelter

Trees are also in themselves a natural habitat and play a vitally important role in both the environment and nature, providing shade, cooling, shelter and homes not only to a wide variety of different species but also to Mankind. This is even before we stop to consider the role of wood and paper in our lives and the role of both in the development of human evolution, human culture, and human conscious awareness.

It is for these reasons that meditation is not taught nor recommended in the beginning or at the start of anyone's path or journey of spiritual awakening through Qultura. Meditation is archaic, and difficult for those who are new to mindfulness and developing consciousness because it requires a sufficient degree of presence of mind. The practice of meditation is based on 'dhyana' and arose out of the strict monastic orders of Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism and similar practices of yoga and it is felt that it is somewhat disingenuous to advocate meditation to those at the start of their journey to spiritual awakening.

Instead Qultura advocates, and advocates strong, the reading of text for reading builds and develops empathy, developing powers of conception and imagination - fundamental to dream weaving activity - and we also cooperate with the local council to develop and maintain a community library to promote the practice of book reading.

However what is also strongly recommended is community volunteering especially with regard to community support projects and community involvement because this is quite simply one of the most effective and most direct methods of developing consciousness and mindfulness while also developing on and building one's awareness of trauma and traumatic life experience through a practice known as 'first witnessing'. In this way I have always envisaged as a major plank in the development of the Qultura community the establishment of the community as 'first contact community support' to provide an initial alternative environment to those in the wider community who are traumatized, suffering, struggling, or feeling lonely, isolated, marginalized, or dis-empowered.

All too often what is advocated through various methods of developing consciousness and mindfulness are techniques and methods which never seem to emphasize or point out the sheer importance of community involvement and community participation. This is also disingenuous, because we are all connected meta-physically and spiritually, we are all one, of the same consciousness and reality that is the universe and planet. There is no separateness whatsoever in reality, because our individuality only extends as far as our physical manifestation and incarnations, and the karmic processes of our life experiences and individual perspectives. All too often it is never even stated, much less made explicit, that those who are more traumatized among us, the destitute, the sick, the weak, the vulnerable, the marginalized and the poor have the greatest insights and empathy to offer the rest of us on the path of spiritual awakening, but to access such insight these people need and deserve our empathy, our warmth, our humanity and our kindness and friendship.

Therefore solidarity and community with the sick, the weak, the poor, the destitute, the marginalized, the dis-empowered, the stigmatized, the isolated, rejected and abandoned is explicitly a very important part of the Qultura journey, experience and community and a core Qultura value. Never mistake this for charity, because nobody is ever marginalized and the Qultura community is explicitly an egalitarian, empathy-focussed community with no time for the bullshit of hierarchy, Ego, ideology or divisionism.

Further reading

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The necessity of space for mindfulness and well being About Qultura

About Qultura

Qultura is a developing alternative dreamweaving community centred in Nine Elms, London, so 'Qultura' may refer to the Qultura community itself, Qultura methodology or Qultura Core, the core of the the community. Our community is freely accessible to all interested, completely free of charge to participate in and make use of, and welcomes everyone to our meetings, workshops and on our Community Message Board.