Image courtesy of dan/

I’ve been visiting the Ram Dass Face Book site and web-site these past couple of days and have run into some ideas that blend right in with what I’ve recently heard spoken about around recovery tables. Most of what I’ve been reading is about the relationship between our ego and our fear. According to Ram Dass (accessed 11/7/13 at, before we form our ego identity through the process of living we are quite comfortable being a component of the universe. Then life teaches us we are a separate individual. It is that sense of being separate, that sense of “ego-uniqueness,” that is the basis of our fear. We are afraid of losing our vulnerable self and being swallowed up into the vast nothingness of the universe. When we are afraid of losing our sense of self—-that vulnerable identity we’ve spent a lifetime creating—-we feel afraid and threatened.  According to Ram Dass,  spiritual growth is focused on letting go of our fragile separate sense of self; when we are actually able to let go of “being somebody” and once again accept being a component of the universe we are freed from our fears.

On his Face Book site (accessed 11/7/13 at  he talks about trying to view people as trees so that you can accept people just as they are—-and on his website, on a seemingly unconnected tangent, he points out trees have no fear. But I think the two ways of viewing trees are connected— they are both ways of viewing our world (the world without and the world within). One has to do with how we view others and one has to do with how we view ourselves.

I have been carrying this whole “tree paradigm”  thing around in my head. I find it both confusing and fascinating. I think it is closely tied with accepting oneness with the universe and growing beyond the need to have separate identity. If one can do that, then it seems to me that all people would truly be viewed as equal. But then I have to turn that “pair of sunglasses” on my sense of self,  and  I realize I’m still not there because I have a bit of trouble consistently accepting myself as a “tree” (ego-less) or as a “universe component.” Perhaps the miracle is I am able to do it at all!

It’s a beautiful day outside this morning—-there’s a blue, blue sky (what I think of as “crisp blue” or almost “southwest sky blue”) sky, and everywhere you look there are trees dressed in brilliant shades of vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. That makes it a good day to be a tree….and, if I can carry that image a bit further, were I a tree, I would soon lose my leaves and be just another leaf-less tree. Letting go of my “unique leaves”  would rob me of the last bit of “unique ego-self” I have left, and it would tend to bring me closer to being at one with the universe. When I “give up the ghost” of my terminal ego-centeredness, I am then free of fear. Then my new “I” will be reborn and leaf out in the spring. Maybe this all sounds like gibberish, but to me it is one of the ways God tells me that death and life are one and that I do not need to fear either as long as my soul keeps my connection with the Creator of both this Universe and eternity.

Please comment and share your thoughts about viewing the world in terms of “trees.” May God bless and keep you.