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[center][center][size=5]A Tree Like Me[/size][/center][/center]
[center][center][size=4]Joseph Mattioli[/size]

As I sat upon my back deck the other day, I looked at a tree that was somewhat distant but clear enough to make out its branches and leaves and I sat in wonder as it moved ever so gently in harmony with the wind. The thought then occurred to me; what is it that which I see? To some it might appear a thing of beauty, to some a resource to supply a need, to others an obstruction in the way and to yet others an ugly and unbalanced tree with a crooked trunk and form lacking in desire to ones specific taste. What do I really see? For perceptions differ and the tree has as many appearances as from the point of view it is observed in the Universe. So, what is it that I really see?
And I looked once again with my eyes and mind determined not to allow any adjectives to arise to obscure my perception and with thought and feeling at bay, I looked real hard without so much as a thought and even the noun of ‘tree’ disappeared. All I could see was a form consisting of shades of light and darkness and color. I realized that it was only linguistics and it was but my programming that had defined it to me as a ‘tree’.
The reality that it was indeed there was confirmed by the verification of all others who sat on my deck and saw it in times past. Though we each saw it from a different point of view, when nevertheless stripped of its adjectives, we saw the same tree. So the tree was verifiably a reality. Even if one lacked the sight of ones eyes, we could both use other senses we possessed such as feeling by touching the tree and though the adjectives would be again different, we all would confirm the reality of its presence. In all cases the tree would differ in perception limited by linguistics and past programming of likes and dislikes which was the observers’ point of view.
As I realized all this, I contemplated how this existence that I referred to as a ‘tree’ could come through so many different eyes and arrive in the mind as the same tree but with a reality of its own discriminating description of appearance by each being. There was some part of the mind that was coloring what we all saw differently. I reasoned from this that it was the same with all Nouns and Pronouns. All appeared differently depending on the adjectives and adverbs applied by the mind yet it was the same Noun or Pronoun to all those of common language. Reasoning further, I could only conclude that an understanding that was closest to the truth could only fit by relinquishing all adjectives and adverbs and nouns.
The thought then entered my mind that if all beings applied the same rule then there would be much more agreement of what is real and what is perceived. I then went through the question and reasoning; is it the tree that sees? Is it my eyes that see or the mind that sees? It could of course not be the tree or only the outside of me would be seen. It is obviously not the eyes that see or they would have existence of their own. No the eyes were just an opening or door for light to enter. The seeing must therefore be in the mind and not the eyes. When a blind man who has not the capacity of eyes is asked what he sees. He will answer he sees darkness. He is still aware of seeing but all he sees is darkness. It is the same darkness that we who have eyes see when we are placed in a room devoid of all light.
So then seeing must be in the mind and in the mind exists what I perceive as reality. Yet again there must be a seer that is watching the mind because I am aware of seeing and thoughts even while I am seeing the tree. This awareness of consciousness seems unaffected by what it sees. It witnesses emotion yet it is without emotion.
From all this reasoning, it appeared that only when I relinquished the discriminating mind, did I see the tree as it really is. When I let go of my beliefs the space was created to see things in more of a light in which they are. In the stillness of my mind it was better described as an ’it’ than a tree. Upon focusing, its existence in that case appears as being not apart from me. If the same reasoning were applied to all the other nouns including human beings than it suddenly makes sense why we all see the same thing when the mind is observing and still. The same source is creating it in all minds.
At this point there is an appearance or observation that there is not any separation between us and what we are seeing. It seems to be an appearance of a creation that is the same creation that is not separate or in parts but one with all that is (existence itself). The whole concept of separateness then becomes clear that it is nothing more than an illusion of the discriminating mind distorting the truth creating positions, opinions, and opposites that in turn fortifies separateness. Each one of us by a distortion of reality by mind has been creating a separate reality of our own that is founded in fallacy and ignorance. Distorted by an infinitesimal amount of thoughts, experiences, choices and societal programming applied to reality ‘it’ has created a reality that exists only in the mind of the creature who views it as such. Such reality has no basis outside of the mind.
All of a sudden it becomes clear to me that the appearance of the tree and its growth through the years is not really even a sequence of events but more a sequence of appearances in my mind from an arbitrary point of view of time. All of a sudden it becomes apparent to me that things are not caused by external events as previously thought. All of a sudden it appears to me that all causes in this world of form are not caused by conditions that are external but rather the appearance of conditions are merely an effect of the unfolding of creation from the un-manifest. All of a sudden the perfect justice of the world is seen as the thoughts or actions of the discriminating mind creating its own reality that at that moment creates not only its thought or action but also its effect simultaneously so that they are one and the same.
Suddenly, sowing and reaping make sense. As you measure others it shall be measured unto you is no longer an abstract. As you judge, you shall be judged becomes the ultimate justice as your judgments of others is not to the other but in actually to yourself with its corresponding un-folding in the concept men call time. All acts of love become not an act to others but to self. All acts of kindness become not an act to others but to self. All of a sudden the commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself is no longer a belief to be followed as a commandment but is the dawning of truth that in reality whatever you do to another, you really do it to yourself.
There are then no victims or perpetrators. They are one and the same in endless cycles of self inflicted pain and suffering in a universe of perfect harmony and justice where the concept of time makes it to appear as a separate unrelated event. Man’s justice system fails miserably even with the best of intentions but the inescapable truth becomes known that the killing of another goes not unpunished. There is no Judge that sits behind a desk to judge nor God that awaiting your appearance at his throne for all judgments is at the hand of ones true Self as chosen by ones actions simultaneously and not as a result of the action itself.
I suppose in the end, no one is hurt because it now appears as an illusion and melodrama of life in which all characters are fictitious as one begins to awake as if in a dream. In the words of my Dad as he approached death he said “Son, life is a joke”. Perhaps he had a glimpse of life’s illusion and saw it as a great Cosmic Joke. Whether one chooses to believes in God or not makes no difference to God. One finds there is indeed no existence in reality outside of God. He is present both in the un-manifest and equally in the manifest in all that exists. He is even it that which I now see as illusion. That is because even illusion itself could not exist without the essence of All That Is. Some know him as God, some as Allah, some as Christ Consciousness, some as Buddhahood, some as Krishna Consciousness, some as All That IS and some as Divine Consciousness or other linguistic terms. I have seen him as a tree while sitting on my back deck and find the words of this writing lacking much in both grammar and revelation. Yet I find in me that which is in you and which is lacking in nothing.

Small bit of poetry written by my hand about 1967 while in the Air Force and sent to
Linda in a letter and titled ‘A Tree Like Me’. Didn’t know what is was at the time, just words in my head that sounded neat.
A tree that grows beside the waters;
A tree whose branches sweep majestically inside;
Is sadly led asunder;
But time has come;
It grips the Earth;
No longer filled with hunger;
But only strength to reach the sky;
And shade the earth below.

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