Whoever Knows How to
Speak to Trees Can Learn the Truth
Hermann Hesse
* For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone.
* Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree.
* Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
* A tree says: “A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.”
* A tree says: “My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God [1] is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.”
* When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: “Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God [the Law of Equilibrium] speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.”
* Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
[1] God – the Universal Law of Justice and Equilibrium. (CCA)
On Listening to Trees” was published as an independent item at the associated websites on 13 March 2022, being reproduced from “The Aquarian Theosophist”, August 2021 edition, pages 1-2. The article consists of selected fragments from pages 57-59 in the book “Wandering”, by Hermann Hesse, translation by James Wright, published in New York by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, seventh printing, 1979, 109 pages. German-Swiss writer Hermann Hesse was born on July 2, 1877, and lived up to August 9, 1962. (CCA)
Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these words: “Deserve, then desire”.