Philosophy in the Middle of the Desert

The Peculiar Tree September 21, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — milesprowers @ 1:00 am

[Written on 91922]

In the forest were many trees, constantly in the process of evolution: growing, procreating, mutating, adapting, diversifying with small, gradual changes over time in a way that the forest could healthily feed and grow and cultivate. 

But one day in the midst of the young trees, there was a tree that was extremely different than the others, a mutant that was far beyond normal mutation and evolution. As the tree entered its adolescence its mutation became more pronounced so that it became an oddity that started attracted curiosity and attention from the rest of the forest. As creatures and plants were attracted to the adolescent tree it benefited from the extra nutrients that came with the other life that was attracted to it, getting extra water, nutrients, warmth, care, help and love. With the extra life that was absorbed from life being attracted to this spectacle in the forest, the adolescent tree had an abnormal growth spurt and within only 2 years it became one of the biggest trees in the forest. Now it was even more of a spectacle, an oddity, and an attraction. The rest of the forest was mesmerized by it and its life was attracted to the young, huge tree giving it even more life and growth.

But the problem is that the tree, while growing higher and higher so that it resembled a mature, adult tree above ground, was actually still just an adolescent tree on the inside, and didn’t have a firm, solid core inside that only comes from years of seasons of sap gradually growing the bark season after season, cycle after cycle, year after year. What’s more, is this gigantic tree, while one of the biggest in the forest and getting so much life from the forest, was actually struggling to stand up, for its roots hadn’t had time to grow down in the same proportion that it was shooting up. Like the bark and core of the tree, this adult looking tree was being supported by adolescent roots. 

What’s worse than all that, is that the forest which was giving so much life to the peculiar tree inadvertently, now that it appeared to be huge, and healthy, and abundant and rich from its outward appearance, the forest that was so mesmerized by this spectacle now was going to it not just to admire it and give it nurturing, but now to syphon off bits of its life, as they saw it as a great source of life. And after all, the one thing all life is designed to be attracted to more than anything else is the increase of life: survival and abundance. 

Within two years of becoming one of the biggest trees in the forest, the peculiar, adolescent tree had not become the BIGGEST tree in the forest, but ironically it was now struggling to survive and showing signs of dying, not just plateau, or being stunted, but it was actually decaying from the inside out. The outside which looked so full of life, was now being seen for what it actually was on the inside all along, as the decay from the inside spread to the outer bark causing the bark to decay and the sickness inside split open the weak skin to expose itself. The forest who had been so attracted to the oddity and then the abundance of the peculiar tree now was terrified of it like a plague, fearing its contagion and left it, except for those who saw the signs of its decay and imminent demise and greedily wanted to get whatever abundant life it still had to give them before it was completely dead and gone. 

Now with the decay combining with the already weak roots, without enough time to grow strong enough to hold the tree up, and with the support of the forest abandoning what life was left of the peculiar tree, it couldn’t hold itself up and it fell.  It fell hard and fast, fell just as abnormally fast as it grew up. And the crash of it resounded through the entire forest, and the forest wept for the tree, and thought of it ever after, its peculiar death making the memory of the tree even that much more an oddity, a spectacle, and a peculiarity. 

And so they say: the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and also the least resistance to falling they have. Let us neither give too much popularity to the peculiar trees (lest they grow too fast for their own lives to catch up), nor greedily assume and prey upon the appearance of their abundance, neither abandon them when the manifestation of their abnormality catches up with them in disease, nor aspire to be those peculiar trees ourselves, which grew faster than they were supposed to, against the normal design of life and growth, and so became a tragic memory of how not to be.

*This is based on the tragic career of Nirvana


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