Smiling like Sunshine: Ancient trees,ancient knowledge

Friday, 21 January 2011

Ancient trees,ancient knowledge

Image via a breed of life

Trees have long been associated with knowledge; the Buddha meditated under a tree, and sought wisdom from it. In the early years of Buddhism it was thought that certain spirits of the trees lived in tree trunks and spoke from there. In India, Saddhus have always retreated to the forests for wisdom; the pipal tree signifies universal wisdom and in traditional Indian thought, trees, in their previous lives, were great philosophers. The English language recognizes an association between wisdom and trees: an idea ‘takes root’; a book has ‘leaves’; a small book is a ‘leaflet’; an avid reader is a ‘bookworm’; you ‘branch out’ into a new area of study – even corporate language doffs its cap in the form of

writes Jay Griffiths in her beautiful article Ancient Trees, Ancient Knowledge.
I have just discovered it in the (new to me) literary magazine Five Dials. Read the rest here.