Gospel of the Living Tree
Gospel of the Living Tree

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Gospel of the Living Tree
by Roderic Knowles
2009, Softcover
6" x 9" - 352 pages
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Quotes about Trees

These are extracted from the chapter Tree Proverbs and reflect the diversity of perspectives in Gospel of the Living Tree.

A tree is a self: it is ‘unseen shaping’ more than it is leaves or bark, roots or cellulose or fruit ... What this means is that we must address trees as we must address all things, confronting them in the awareness that we are in the presence of numinous mystery.

– Brian Swimme, mathematical cosmologist,
The Universe is a Green Dragon.

Trees are right at the heart of all the necessary debates: ecological, social, economic, political, moral, religious.

– Colin Tudge, 2006.

A tree is a being that is more spiritual than material.

– Omraam Mikkael Aivanhov, Bulgarian wisdom-teacher.

Trees indeed have hearts.

– Henry David Thoreau.

Trees are the largest and most spiritually advanced plants on Earth. They are constantly in meditation. Subtle energy is their natural language.

– Mantak Chia, contemporary Taoist Master.

You do not explain the tree by telling of the water it has drunk, the minerals it has absorbed, and the sunlight that strengthened it.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wisdom of the Sands.

He who knows the tree is the knower of the Vedas.

– The Bhagavad-Gita.

In the country
It seems as if every tree
Said to me ‘Holy! Holy!’
Who can ever express
The ecstasy of the woods!
Almighty One,
In the woods I am blessed.
Happy every one in the woods.
Every tree speaks through Thee.
O God! What glory in the woodland.

– Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827.

You will find something more in woods than in books … What I know of the divine sciences and Holy Scripture, I learnt in wood and field. I have no other Masters than the beeches and the oaks.

– St Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153.

The leaves of the trees are for the healing of nations.

– The Bible, Revelations 22,2.

The kingdom of nature holds the whole of the secrets of God.

– Mona Rolfe, Irish mystic, Symbols For Eternity.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man;
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

– William Wordsworth.

In the eyes of a seer, every leaf of a tree is a page of the Holy Book and contains divine revelation …

– Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi teacher.

Fortunately, like most children, I had learned what is most valuable, most indispensable for life before school years began, taught by apple trees, by rain and sun, river and woods …

– Herman Hesse, 1877-1962, Autobiographical Writings.

How much I can learn from a tree! The tree is my church, the tree is my temple, the tree is my mantra, the tree is my poem and my prayer.

– Satish Kumar, No Destination.

If you are open to being taught by nature, go listen to the trees.

– Kenneth Meadows, shaman.

Live in the fields, and God will give you lectures on natural philosophy every day.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to listen to them, can experience the truth. They do not teach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

– Herman Hesse, Nobel Laureate.

The birth and death of leaves is part of that greater cycle that moves among the stars.

– Rabindranath Tagore, poet, Nobel Laureate.

Friendship is a sheltering tree.

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet.

The forest is the source of everything in the world, the dharma, the natural law. It is the university of our life and understanding, the place where Buddha first had a revelation, where monks first came into existence.

– Prajak Kuttajitto, Thailand.

What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.

– Mahatma Gandhi.

Forests precede civilisations and deserts follow them.

– Chateaubriand, French diplomat, 1768-1848.

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way.

– William Blake, poet, visionary.

Be like a tree. The tree gives shade even to him who cuts off its boughs.

– Sri Chaitanya, Hindu Saint.

A tree is like a saint. It calls no one to itself, nor does it send anyone away. It offers to protect everyone who wants to come to it, whether this be a man, a woman, a child, or an animal.

– Ma Anandamayi Ma, Indian saint.

And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

– Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet.

The best friend on earth of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on the earth.

– Frank Lloyd Wright, renowned architect.

When a man plants a tree, he plants himself.

– John Muir, 1838-1914.

The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, “In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon.”

– John F. Kennedy, U.S. President.

Let soldiers on manoeuvres plant trees.
Give police and criminals a shovel and a thousand seedlings.

– John Wright, poet.

Forestry is the work of nation builders.

– William Bulfin, Rambles in Erin, 1907.

The trees must breathe so I can breathe.

– Deepak Chopra, Synchrodestiny.

Trees, forests, and other forms of life - you have not inherited them from your forefathers, you have borrowed them from your children yet to be born. Their preservation, their enrichment, is the solemn responsibility you bear.

– American Indian tradition.

Imagination is a tree. It has the integrative virtues of a tree. It is root and boughs. It lives between earth and sky. It lives in the earth and the wind. The imagined tree imperceptibly becomes a cosmological tree, the tree which epitomises a universe, which makes a universe.

– Gaston Bachelard, French philosopher.

The Soul in the body is like sap in a tree.

– Saint Hildegard of Bingen.

Tree limbs rise and fall like the ecstatic arms
of those who have submitted to the mystical life.
Leaf sounds talk together like poets
making fresh metaphors.

– Rumi, Afghan poet, 13th Century.

Where trees are fallen, there is grief;
I love no leafless land …

– A.E.Housman.

Trees purify the air;
They also purify the mind …
If you want to save your world,
You must save the trees.

– The Trees of Endor.

The leaf of every tree brings a message from the unseen world. Look, every falling leaf is a blessing.

– Rumi, Afghan poet, 13th Century.

Gray are all the theories,
But green is the tree of life.

– Wolfgang von Goethe, poet, philosopher.

No bit of the natural world is more valuable or more vulnerable than the tree bit. Nothing is more like ourselves, standing upright, caught between heaven and earth, frail at the extremities, yet strong at the central trunk, and nothing is closer to us at the beginning and at the end, providing the timber boards that frame both the cradle and the coffin.”

– Seamus Heaney, Nobel poet.

There were never two leaves of a tree alike since the creation of the world.

– John Constable, artist, 1776-1837.

In talking of evolution, it is common to have in mind a tree.

– Russell Stannard, physicist.

Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.

– George Bernard Shaw.

Love is a tree; and lovers are its shade.

– Rumi, Afghan poet, 13th Century.

You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”
The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

– Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet.

Save the trees of Ireland for the future men of Ireland on the fair hills of Eire, O.

– James Joyce, Ulysses.

A mountain without a forest is an absurdity and it creates a serious illness of the Earth’s surface.

– Dr E. Pfeiffer, agriculturalist.

The trees encountered on a country stroll
Reveal a lot about that country’s soul ...
A culture is no better than its woods.

– W.H.Auden, poet.

In the words of an anonymous Chinese poet of almost 2,500 years ago:

“If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seed.
“If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.
“If you are thinking one hundred years ahead,
educate people.
“By sowing seed once, you will harvest once.
“By planting a tree, you will harvest tenfold.
“By educating people, you will harvest one

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