The Girl and The Tree

The child stood 9,573 feet above sea level and sighed.

She didn’t understand the lesson being taught to her, and her mind was having trouble comprehending exactly what it was she was meant to be doing.

“Not doing.

Just being.

Now do you understand?”

The girl looked bewildered.

“No.” she said.

“I don’t.

Can you please try again?”

The Goddess looked at the child and sighed.

“I don’t see how you can not understand?” she said. “Which part don’t you understand? Is it the beginning? Is it the middle or is it the end?” Where are you having difficulties child?”

The child sighed.

“All of it. I don’t understand the beginning, the middle or the end. Please explain it to me one more time, and I will try my hardest.

I promise.”

The Goddess looked at the child with warmth.

“Ok. But this is the last time…..maybe we could try something different this time? What if instead of me talking, I ask you questions instead. Would you like that?”

The child brightened.

“Yes please! I would like that very much.”

“Right. Let’s begin then.

Tell me child..what is the difference between mankind and the Gods?”

The child knew this immediately.

“Mortality. The Gods are immortal and mankind is mortal.

“Correct!” said the Goddess

“Now, tell me child, what is the difference between mankind and machine?”

The child knew this immediately too!

“It is thought and emotion” she replied. “Man can think and feel and a machine can not.”

“Also correct!” said the Goddess.

“Now child, tell me something.

If a machine could think…… what then would be the difference between man and machine?”

The child responded quickly. She was getting good at this question and answer thing.

“It’s emotion.” she said.

“If the difference between man and machine is thought and feeling, and then you take away thought (because the machine can think for itself) then the difference left over is feeling and feeling equals emotion, so therefore emotion is the answer.

“Very good!” beamed the Goddess.

“Now you understand the beginning. Do you think that is a fair thing to say?”

The child answered quickly.

“If what you just taught is the beginning, then yes, I agree I understand.”

“Excellent!” said the Goddess.

“Now let’s move onto the middle.”

“Tell me child?”

“Yes.”

“Why did you come here today?”

“Because it’s my birthday” said the child. “And each year I am allowed to come visit. You told me that yourself.”

“I told you that each year on your birthday is the only day I can intervene in your earthly life” said the Goddess. “If you interpret that as visiting, this is fine, but still my question remains.

Why did you come here today?”

The child had been waiting for this question as it was where they had both became entangled previously.

“I came because I have a question regarding my destiny.” replied the child.

“I’m confused. I don’t understand what I am meant to do.”

The Goddess looked at the child and could see the pain in her eyes. She had tried to explain this to the child earlier, but she couldn’t grasp what she was saying, and now she wondered how to explain it with wisdom, and yet still allow the child to comprehend the meaning.

“Tell me child” said the Goddess.

“How did you get here today?”

The child re-traced the steps in her mind and then spoke out loud.

“I left home…

“Yes?”

“And I turned left at the tree….walked though town and turned right to board the ship and cross the ocean…”

“Yes?”

“And then I got off the ship, and climbed the mountain….all the way to the top…and well….here I am.”

“Very good.” said the Goddess.

“Now child?”

“Yes Goddess?”

“Tell me something…”

“What is it?”

“When you passed the tree on your journey here…what was it doing?”

“The tree?” asked the child

“Yes. The tree.” replied the Goddess.

Oh no….. thought the child…..here we go again…

“I don’t understand the question Goddess. The tree wasn’t doing anything. It’s a tree. It’s just there. It just is.”

“Excellent!” replied the Goddess with a broad smile.

“Now lets move forward!”

“When you crossed the ocean, what was it doing when you crossed it?”

“I don’t understand this question either” the child said with a heightened sense of whine in her voice.

“The ocean is the same as the tree. It was doing the same thing the tree was doing. It was just doing what the ocean does….sometimes there were waves and sometimes it was calm. But ultimately, just like the tree was being a tree, the ocean was being the ocean.”

“Very good child!” replied the Goddess, silently commending herself on her teaching skills.

“Now, one last question regarding the middle” spoke the Goddess.

“What am I doing?”

The child sat and thought for a minute.

“You are teaching me” she replied.

“Am I?” asked the Goddess.

“Am I teaching you, or am I just being? Exactly like the ocean does what it does because it is what it is….or the same way the tree does what it does, because it is what it is….

Am I teaching you because that’s what I do, or because it is part of my being?”

Oh dear, thought the child. This is all very confusing.

“Well….” began the child….”You are a Goddess, so I would say that is your being…and that you have many different kinds of “doing” and teaching is one of them. Is that correct?”

“Yes!! Exclaimed the Goddess. “You are exactly correct!!”

“Now, for the last part of the middle, let’s see what you have learned…”

“Tell me child?”

“Yes Goddess….”

“What is the destiny of the tree which you passed on the way here?

Don’t tell me what it was doing…tell me instead what it was born to be…”

The child thought for a minute and then spoke.

“The tree’s destiny is to be a tree.” she said calmly.

“Excellent!” said the Goddess.

“Now child, tell me…..”

What is the destiny of the ocean?” What is it there for? What is it’s purpose?”

The child stumbled for a minute before volunteering the answer unknowingly…

“Is it to be the ocean?” she asked timidly before answering her own question.

“The ocean’s destiny, is to be the ocean.”

“Oh! I see! said the child.

And your destiny is to be a Goddess!! Not a teacher….or a warrior…even though they are the things you do….”

“The actual “being” though….Your being….or your destiny….that is to be a Goddess.”

“That’s correct!” said the Goddess.

“Now child, let us finish the part of the middle so we can move onto the end.

Are you ready?”

“Yes!” replied the child confident in her own abilities.

“Tell me child” said the Goddess.

“If the destiny of the tree is to be a tree…

And the destiny of the ocean to be an ocean….

The destiny of the Goddess is to be a Goddess…..

Then what of you child?

Can you now answer your own question of what your destiny is?”

The child realised immediately what the Goddess was saying.

“My destiny is to be human” she replied.

“There are things which I can do, but my destiny to be…..

That destiny is to be that of a human.”

“Excellent!” replied the Goddess.

And if you pair that information, from what you have learned in lesson one between the machine and mankind, then what are things as a human which Will make up your “being” human?”

The child thought back to the earlier conversation before speaking confidently.

“I will have thoughts and feelings” she replied.

“Excellent!” replied the Goddess.

“And when you have thoughts and feelings as part of “being” and you “do” something with them….then what happens?” she asked

The child thought.

“Then I create actions.” she replied.

“Excellent!” replied the Goddess.

“We are half way there.”

***