The Persona Tree

    I believe that man is not just a one lifetime physical being alone in a meaningless environment but that he is the channel for the experience and growth of his real self. Thus each step of the journey he- has a spiritual partner of which he is an integral part. I believe that in addition to man's physical senses that man has a sixth inner spiritual sense which can guide him on his path.

     I feel that in order for man to risk a co-creative relationship with his real self he must first accept the possibility of the existence of such an aspect of himself and be able to observe its presence. The second half of this book contains ideas, analyses, stories, and experiences which are offered to help others understand my personal perspective and to be of help to them on their personal life journey. However I believe the primary guide for each person is not the words of others but their individual spiritual guide, their real self. Thus, I will conclude the first section of this book with an experiential story which may help some to sense the presence and movement of their real self.

     I'd like you to imagine a tree, and that the tree is a persona tree, the tree of your personality. It is a record of your life. Imagine that for each year of your life your tree has grown a branch, for each week it has grown a twig, and for each day, a leaf. Each moment of a day is recorded in the tissue of the leaf.

     Yesterday is a leaf on your persona tree. Your memories of all the moments that made yesterday can be seen by looking at that leaf. You can visit that leaf, those moments in your thoughts. You know that leaf, those moments; they are of you but they are not you. They are a reflection of your creative actions. You can visit any part of your persona tree in your thoughts. It is of you, but is not you. The tree is a record of the actions of your physical self. Your persona tree of this life is not your real self, but it is also the real self; a reflection of its co-creative actions with the physical self in this lifetime.

     The real self is a spiritual aspect of man and is thus something which cannot be explained in terms of the reality we experience on Earth. A sculpture is not the artist who created it, but it is of him; man is not the actions he took yesterday, but they are of him. The real self which lives beyond death is not the persona tree of this lifetime, or the persona trees of previous experiences of the real self, but they are of the real self. The closest man can get to knowing the nature of his real self is in his imagination. In order to help sense the presence and force of the real self I suggest you follow the next section of the text with your imagination.

     Imagine you are standing in a field and that you can see close by a very, very small planet. Imagine that you are close enough that you can see its surface clearly as it rotates in space. Imagine its surface covered with a number of trees and that each one is a persona tree of your real self. The real self is not the trees on that small planet but those trees are reflections of the journey of your real self.

     Now imagine that you can project your consciousness into the trunk of one of those trees and down its roots until you are within the center of the small planet. When you are inside, the space is infinite. It defies logic as you know the size to the planet you experienced from outside, from the perspective of the physical self. As you sense the peace and stillness within the planet you become aware of the presence of your real self but you can only experience infinite space. You feel the love and force of that presence and the peace that love brings.

     Now I'd like you to try and sense the presence of someone you love within that peaceful infinite space. Somehow you can sense their presence and feel their energy. You know that they are not present in form, but you know that all your moments together are recorded on the leaves of the persona trees on your small planet.

     You know that looking outside the planet on the record of your journey will not help you reach the person you love. You find the closest thing you can touch to them is the real self within you. By being present with your own real self, giving yourself in love to its guidance, you are as close to others as you can be. By acting creatively with others in a state of wholeness, you are loving them in the only true way.

     I'd now like you to return by the path you took to reach the planet. Go back up the roots, out of the trunk, and then back to the field from which you started. Look back at your planet, the reflection of the journey of your real self. You realize that, the real self is something which cannot be explained in terms of our reality but it is something we can sense our unity with as we experience a creative moment together in the state of oneness with all creation. In sensing that oneness we obtain a glimpse of the oneness experienced by our spirit, the oneness with all creation, the oneness in which we experience the presence of God.

Back to Life a Journey to Wholeness: Part 1