The Barren Fig Tree
St Luke 13:6-9 of the Jesus legend contains the following parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. When he came seeking fruit on it, he found none. So he said to the labourer: `Behold, for three years I have been coming and seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down. Why should the ground be wasted?’ The labourer replied: ‘My lord, let it remain for this year also, until I work and fertilise it. It might bear fruit and if not, you can cut it down.’
Apparently the meaning of this tale has remained a puzzle to devout Christians, who still believe that every word of the Bible is from God and true and therefore has to be understood literally. Yet, for anyone in search of the esoteric truths that are hidden behind the surface words of all sacred texts, this parable and the tree itself provide invaluable clues to the origin of all wisdom contained not only in the Bible but also in its forerunner, the Torah of Judaism. The Jewish scriptures once emerged from various regions of the Middle Eastern countries of antiquity, where many religions proliferated. From them over time emerged the Torah, which was followed by the Bible and after a while by Islam’s Koran. Slowly but surely, all of these evolved into holy texts each in their own right.
In the Middle East the fig tree has always been an essential part of the support of life. Because of this it is hardly surprising that it was chosen to represent not only one of the major symbols of life but also the Tree of Life. Through this the fig tree and its product, the fig leaf, crept into the Western versions of the Bible – through the backdoor, so to speak. The fig leaf in Genesis represents knowledge acquired from the tree of life. With the help of the first small piece they each picked, just one leaf each, Adam and Eve, upon leaving paradise, a symbolism for the pre-conscious state of our oneness with God. With the leaves they cover their nudity, a metaphor for their lack of self-knowledge, self-awareness and understanding, their ignorance of themselves and also their innocence. Adam stands for the human spirit, masculine. He is accompanied by his female counterpart, Eve, the human soul, who leave paradise together.
Every individual life, each one of us, is a shoot of the great Tree of Life and the parable of the barren fig tree appears as a warning to our whole world. It carries the message that no matter what anyone’s beliefs may be in any given lifetime, unless a measure of learning and spiritual progress is a achieved, a lifetime can be a completely wasted one. The barren fig tree is a symbolism for all who insist on spending the whole of their present lifetime pursuing purely earthly pleasures and material gains of this, that and the other kind.
To the wise ones in charge of humankind, the biblical references to the fig tree and its products all along were intended to act merely as teaching aids. In the time and place where the tale originated its meaning could easily be understood by the general public. That’s why the story of the Master, and many others who long before served the same purpose in our world, used the same metaphors. In the days of yore, the easiest way of explaining spiritual concepts was with the help of things people were familiar with and whose importance they understood, for example that of the fig tree. However, when these ideas were later transferred and translated into words for the consumption of Western minds, their original meaning was lost.
How, without explaining why this should be so, was the mass of people in that world to know that no human life, like the fig tree, should be entirely bereft of good thoughts, words and deeds and therefore wholly unproductive? Our spiritual teachers could not tell us what is required from every human soul on the Earth plane, because they themselves were left in the dark about such things. So, how could we, the ordinary people, guess that the gift of another lifetime is only granted to human souls in the hope that it will bring forth some more of the rich harvest of the fruits that grow on the tree of life in the form of wisdom and understanding? That’s why it took us such a long time to find out that the only way this tree can yield its fruit to anyone is through endeavouring to learn something from every experience.
But even if we choose to waste a whole lifetime with fooling about, nobody is going to sit in judgement over us or condemns us. However, when we leave our present existence and return to our true home, the world of spirit, we ourselves together with the wise ones in charge of us, review our most recent lifetime and all previous ones. Every one of our performances thus far, good and bad, positive and negative alike, are laid into the scales of justice. Those who have failed to grow in wisdom and understanding through their experiences, either because of laziness or maybe just ignorance of the true purpose of their existence, are in for a rude awakening at that time. They will then be able to see for themselves how many of the growth opportunities of their past lifetime were disregarded and maybe even thoughtlessly thrown away.
However, this in itself is by no means a wasted experience. Souls who have done this are unlikely to ever forget that life on Earth is an institution for learning and growing. They will then know and take full advantage of the fact that earthly life is the only place where negative character traces can be changed into positive ones, and weaknesses converted into strengths. Having grown much wiser, they appreciate that only through freely exploring the negative and darkest aspects of our nature in past lifetimes, we ourselves brought it about that wisdom and understanding, the fruits of the tree of life, to this day are mostly gathered through suffering.
This too is meant to change. That’s why the Universe places the tools for bringing forth the highest, noblest and best that is in us into every soul’s own hands and encourages us to develop them to their highest potential. As ever more of us live by and obey the Universal laws, the darkness of our present level of existence is gradually dissolving. The more one finds out about the true purpose of life on the material plane, the more one feels inclined to approach all life with reverence and gratitude for the great wisdom and love that provides everything for us and brings all things into being.
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The Budding Fig Tree
St Luke 21:29-33, as well as St Matthew 24:32-35 and St Mark 13:28-31, brings us a parable about a budding fig tree. Here the Master tells his disciples: ‘Look at the fig tree and all other trees. When they put forth leaves, you immediately understand by them that summer is near. Even so, when these things happen you also know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things happen. Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.’
As pointed out in the previous chapter, how can anyone be expected to understand both the stories of the barren and the budding fig tree without knowing the original meaning of the rich symbolism that hides behind the outer surface of the words? I see the labourer in the vineyard as a metaphor for the wise ones in charge of us, our Angels, Masters and guides in the world of light. To me, the life of each one of us is an offshoot of the parent tree, the Tree of Life. When, in God’s time, the winter of the existence of all saplings, i.e. young and inexperienced souls struggling with their lack of comprehension and ignorance, is over they grow into spiritual adulthood.
Spring approaches and buds begin to appear on the little trees. They grow bigger and bigger until one fine day they burst open and lo and behold! Leaves unfold that are exactly like those of the Tree of Life. in just the same way, each leaf on the tree of life and its youngsters represents a small amount of God’s sacred wisdom and truth. When such leaves at long last unfold in every heart and soul on the Earth plane and God’s children of the Earth conduct their lives in accordance with the wisdom they are finding, God’s Kingdom on the Earth will have come. Through this parable the Universal Christ lets us know that, although our understanding of the concepts of Heaven and Earth pass away – change – with the better understanding we are finding, the ancient wisdom of God’s truth behind the words of this parable and all others is indeed eternal and will never pass away.
The man in the barren fig tree clearly is a symbolism for the Highest. Now, had the words of the Bible, including those of the tales of the fig trees, really been written by God, rather than scribes under the orders of the elders of the early Christian church, wouldn’t the man have said: ‘Behold, for three years I have been coming and seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find none. But, do not cut it down. It shall remain for another year and be given another chance. You work and fertilise it, so that it too can bear fruit and there will never be any need for getting rid of it.’? After all, it was God who in His/Her great wisdom and immense thoughtfulness brings all life into being. God is love and the motivation for the universal laws, especially the law of Karma, is love because it ensures that no spirit and soul will ever be truly lost in the vastness of space and time.
Only when each one of us has been reconnected and is fully one again with their Highest Self, and when the buds of truth like those of our parent tree are sprouting on us to bring God’s sacred wisdom and truth directly from the heartmind of God into every soul’s own, the Kingdom will establish itself ever more firmly on the Earth. When everybody refuses to hurt or harm in thoughts, words and actions anybody and anything, and all of us project nothing but loving thoughts into the collective consciousness, the Kingdom truly has arrived and there will be peace on the Earth and goodwill to all, as prophesied a long, long time ago.
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The Rich Harvest
That’s what awaits all human souls who willingly accept their experiences in physicality as lessons and who strive to learn something from each one of them. To view our earthly existence from the right perspective and gratefully accept the many gifts the Universe constantly brings us, one only has to open one’s inner eyes. No matter how hard our lessons may appear to be sometimes, if we but grow through them in wisdom and understanding, our consciousness expands. This is the only way human souls can make progress on their evolutionary pathway.
If we did deny ourselves the learning every experience contains, what would be the point of being here at all? As the law of life demands evolution from all of its creatures, great and small, in the long run this is impossible in any case. Attending to our duties as God’s children of the Earth is the only way any one of us can hope to ever find its way back home into the oneness with God. The return to it at the end of its long evolutionary journey is every soul’s birthright and the reward for all the struggles that had to be encountered along the way.
Clearly, there is every point in attending diligently to our life lessons. There is nothing for it but shouldering them resolutely and focussing our vision on what lies ahead, individually and collectively. With the awareness of what life truly is all about and living ever more in harmony with the Universal laws, Earth’s suffering will eventually run out of steam and cease altogether. Each one of us will get there in due course, of that I am sure. But let’s face it, without bravely facing and tackling all our experiences, getting to know the accompanying feelings and dealing with them in the appropriate manner, we would never have found any of the wisdom that’s already ours. Now, wouldn’t that be a pity?
So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get on with our studies. Souls who refuse to do so, for whatever reasons, cannot grow. They stagnate and are in danger of wasting one of their precious lifetimes. However, as nothing in the whole of creation is ever lost or wasted, upon their return into the world of spirit the wise ones in charge of them will help them to realise this. They will be painfully aware of what they have missed and that’s how dallying souls receive one of their most valuable lessons ever, which they will never forget. In coming lifetimes they will remember and at long last seriously buckle down to what lies before them.
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