The tree – a metaphor
The idea of using a tree as a metaphor for our human race can be done with some special adaptations and considerations for our social systems and cultures as they are set today. Even the traditional uses and custom of our tree species allows us to compare them on a very large scale rather than just selecting one or two species. They are all, basic in design and functionality. They are all, resemblances of our life.
A tree’s roots run deep as do our social systems globally and genetically. We all belong to the same species and we are all related like a family of trees but for reasons best explained as a natural process, we all look different but function basically the same. With the exception of being a gender free species, the tree resembles our heritage in many similar ways.
As a social system, we are a deep rooted society with rules and morals. Like the tree, there are traditional patterns of behaviors common to the human race that includes families and how those families live and adapt with their individual surroundings. Like a human, the tree ages and weathers away with the erosion of life. However, before it vanishes off the face of the earth, it transforms life much like our own body does and should be considered an example of the metaphor of man.
There are three primary parts of a tree: the roots, giving the tree the means to anchor itself firmly to the ground using water and nutrients to grow; the trunk, branches and leaves that comprise its body; and the fruit, which is harvested and enjoyed by us or animals and also contains the seeds through which the tree reproduces itself.
Like the tree, the human race also has these same components: roots, a body and fruit. In comparing the human aspect of these components, it represents our psychological, chronological and spiritual being. Perhaps the tree is more simplistic to identify than humans, making them the primary inhabitants of our world, yet we still share components with Mother Nature, our creator and our existence.
The roots of the tree usually run deep but that is not always the case. Buried underground and invisible to the human eye, they represent the subconscious layers of the human mind: our brain and nervous systems. One has to imagine the brain functions as an invisible matter because to us, it is the most important part that allows us to function and behave the way we do.
Here we develop the abilities to determine or develop our individual growth, composition, breadth and depths of our human traits. Our roots, like the roots of a tree, are the foundations for our manifestations. This is a critical part of our existence and should never be taken for granted. The roots manifestations is commonly compared to our body, our limbs or branches, leaves, trunk or other bodily designed or physical composition of our tree – it symbolizes who we are, what we look like and how we do things consciously and adaptively.
One can see the importance of this component as it is exposed and vulnerable to the weather and other elements around us. How the tree lives and survives is based on the individual fruit of the tree. If the tree survives time and space, the fruit allows it to harvest and consumed by others thus it represents the impact we have on the lives of others around us as well as the ability to plant a seed for birth, growth and bearing more fruit.
How well the fruit develops is based on the nutrients and minerals provided by the earth. The tree can survive many things but is subject to wear and tear by Mother Nature and the growth of other trees as some rely on the sun, the air, water and space to grow maturely and fully with the designed purpose.
On a chronological perspective, the roots do age and the manifestations of those roots are impacted by time. The growth of the tree is manufactured by its ability to survive to an old age. During such time changes, it grows from infancy to an elder evidenced state of condition that has endured critical endeavors and risks. A one point, the tree becomes self-sufficient as a full grown adult tree and looks fully nurtured and solid in shape and its self-standing condition.
The tree’s trunk, branches and limbs endure nature and perseverance on a physical level while man endures it on a physical and spiritual stage. Although, in reality, a tree has to be healthy in spirit and growth in order to produce fruit and seeds thus we might be more alike than we originally thought we were. Since seeds are influences of the ability to spread out and to bear the birth of others, it could be spiritual and represent the power of planting our seeds in their souls.
Our belief in the essential spirituality and meaning of life is the foundation of our entire "tree." From its roots stems the trunk of our understanding, from which branch out our feelings, motivations and deeds.
Looking at the weathered tree trunk that once stood strong and tall amongst the other trees, we have to realize how we are integrated into our environment and how our environment determines our life. One can only hope the tree of life is like the human race and endure the elements of love, hate, racism and biases with the fruits of labor that seeds men to become better and stronger than they were before this erosion began.