Heart and soul
By Hans Brockhuis
It is gorgeous weather. Not too hot, not too cold and practically no wind. I am sitting on a bench in the park. This is not just a bench. It is located on my favourite spot, under a beautiful aged oak tree. A lark shrills his joy about the summer. The trees around me radiate and tell me they are healthy and are being taken care of very well by the rain, which is falling regularly, and by the plentiful sunshine. Sun and rain are indispensable for all of us, and indeed especially for these apparently motionless beings.
But these beings are not that motionless it seems, because I can see that this large branch, that grows directly above me, moves itself, or so it seems, independently from the other branches, a few meters downward and suddenly I realize that the tree is greeting me! This makes me really silent for awhile and when I move my field of consciousness outward and adapt it to that of the tree, I discover that this giant, that exists already upon this earth so much longer than I do, has to tell me something. I set myself because this is the first time that I in reality am talking to a tree.
"G-o-o-d-m-o-r-n-i-n-g", the tree seems to say to me with a very low rumble. The pace in which this creature communicates indeed is so much the slower than what I am used to. But then, also more intense. "I understand that you would want to learn something about what people ought to develop towards each other with their heart and soul?"
"All right…, eh, okay, I am ready. Cast off from the shore, if you would.” An impossible task for a tree, I realize. "But this is not meant literally, of course."
"Hah, hah," the tree roars. It looks like his trunk is indeed shaking a little. "You should know how many of my species have been cast away from the shore as a mast or a trunk or a rudder of one of the great sailing vessels of late. But enough of this. This is to be about other things. Nada told me that you are searching for the true thoughts that underlie the concept of ‘heart and soul.’”
"At first sight it is not so difficult. Isn't ‘with heart and soul’ that which you strive for to make your life a happy and rewarding one? The living together in harmony with your fellow man/woman, with other cultures, with animals, causes a righteous feeling of oneness. That at least is the goal at which you are aiming. But unfortunately, this is not to be all the time and the striving often becomes something that looks like oneness with yourself. With that you allocate to yourself as much prerogatives, favors and possessions as possible. And that is not what it is meant to be.”
“Do we not judge everybody else? Always and everywhere? Oh yes, I can hear you think, not me. But look into your heart. Probably you are trying - from time to time - but the question is, do you live it? That open-mindedness? Can you really say that? I do not think so, do you?"
I can only confirm this. Theory is always easier than practice. I have to admit that I catch myself regularly going into the wrong again. "But," I grumble, "In the books of Neale Donald Walsh, about his conversations with God, once and again it is emphasized that one cannot go wrong. In every instance it is possible to think of a reason why it is that you acted like you did. Thus you have been able to learn a lesson once again."
"Of course," the tree replies. "It is true, but do not try to fool yourself. Certainly, you have to strive for and aim towards uplifting your own vibration. That is to say, you always have to stay honest towards yourself and have to try to learn what it is that is best for you in close association with every-body else. Again and again. Then it will be time to realize that you and all those you do not very much like, carry within themselves the same Divine sparkle just like you, and all of you are trying - each in their own way - to re-member themselves where they are and how to return to the road, the path. If you are standing there however, being cross at someone, you are not only standing in the way of the other, but of yourself as well. Do I make myself clear?"
"Fine, if you do want to put it that way. But then it looks like it is everyone for themselves and God for us all, but that none of us will be able to draw from the grace of others, who want to teach us how it would be to become one. That we are all alone and there’d be no ‘heart and soul’ feeling at all, as much as we try to reach it.” I have to say, all this is rather confusing."
The tree seems to have spoken, because I do not hear anything anymore. Apparently I have to work this out for myself. I do see however that the large branch moves itself a few meters downward again. As if to say good-bye. Slowly I adjust to my surroundings. Far away I hear the sounds of the motorway. A train glides by and I know that all those cars and that train, carrying their occupants, all those people, are on their way to their own goals. They are, just like myself, on a journey, all of them in their own precious way.... I now understand that I will be able to learn more about the subject by reading my own newsletter, that is written with heart and soul for those who want to take note of it.