The Tree of Life | Arnab Sengupta

A couple of days back, I sat under the shade of the grand decorative mango tree right outside our home, soaking up the brilliant early winter climate of a late evening winter, looking up at the pale crescent moon as I tuned in to my beloved playlist on Spotify. I wondered how marvellous the tree was. I looked at the branches above me, the leaves, and considering the fact that this sprawling excellence had started life as a modest seed. One tiny, apparently insignificant seed that contained the potential inside to develop into this astonishingly huge tree- home to a bunch of life-forms, a source of shade and of one of my favourite fruits; it was truly a beautiful sight to behold.

That insignificant seed, covered in earth, was most likely given all the right conditions to allow it to grow until it sprouted through the surface of the soil. Cell by cell, it kept on developing, dividing, changing as its direction stayed constant and true towards the light; from being a modest little seedling to a sapling, to a small tree, morphing itself from a weak petite green plant to an extraordinary magnificent tree further developing leaves to absorb the energy of the sun, and transmute that energy by the marvel of photosynthesis. Can you even imagine the number of cellular processes it went through the span of over 15 years to get from one stage to the other? There was no rushing, no sign of hassle, no taking easy routes, no lamenting over the fact that how far there still was to go. Just one constant goal: to keep going, to develop, to tear through all hardships, to break barriers to its ultimate goal.

It appears that many of us are so anchored to our ego, and so acclimated to instant gratification that we’ve lost the capacity to permit such gradual advancement. We want what we want, and we want it right now! I realise that I regularly end up surrendering outcomes that appear like excessive work for a little return in the near future. What a misfortune! Such wasted potential abandoned for the sake of speed and easiness.

I believe that we carry our energy from one life to another, that the energy we had in our past experiences may still be pulsating within us. I believe in reincarnation, which might bring our roots and linkages from the past life. From my admittedly limited understanding capability, I would say that the devastation of such anxiety was not something that I instantaneously healed by my previous life, it’s something that has been carried on to my present self. In a way, that burdensome energy prevents me from committing to my dreams, which naturally requires a gradual and slow progress. My self-conscience prevents me from ever attempting such a feat again. Almost inaudibly it echoes in me, “Don’t chase after such a big dream because it would be hard to take it away from you, which would lead to destruction.” My ego shrewdly gives me the most convincing reasons why I should not chase that dream.

Except, that it’s not. The seeds of our dreams, of all shapes and sizes, lie lethargic and dormant in our spirit. All that potential and possibility exemplified inside a dream not pursued. Sitting tight for the right conditions to enable them to sprout and reach to the light. When you begin to awaken the spirituality and reality of your spirit, these things can no longer stay dormant. They end up being enlightened, and you can’t unsee them. They can never again be disregarded and ignored. Our ego holds these seeds as a hostage. It keeps them sealed in a vacuum pack and kept somewhere unknown, somewhere dark.

By throwing some light on these amour-propre shadows and blockages that past life encounters, or any other negative experience, have made in our energy field, we may initially feel more stuck than ever. When we light a torch upon an object, it suddenly throws a more characterised shadow than what we may have previously observed in the regular light of day. Once we know it’s there, we can use mindfulness from our egoistic musings, and transmute that shadow into light. That is all the shadow is, an illusion. The shadow cast by the torch is intangible and it comes and goes relying on the angle and strength of the light. The shadow inside is correspondingly only an illusion caused by the haziness and the darkness of the ego. When we realise that, we can use mindfulness to implant our energy field with light and transform the shadows.

It could be said that the genuine tragedy in a dream failing to be pursued in the first case is unfulfilled potential- not even trying. In any case, given that we have this beautiful chance of life, for what reason would we not have any desire to bring as much light into it as is humanly possible? For what reason could we not jumpstart with full dedication at the wonderful chance life has given us and trust in the potential of the seed?


Arnab Sengupta is currently pursuing B.A. English (Hons.) at Amity Noida. Follow his blog Tiny Mind Place.

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