Humans cry. Dogs whine. Trees crackle. What do these three have in common? Feelings! At least that is what author Peter Wohlleben proposes in his two popular books: The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals. Peter shares intriguing facts revealing distinct personalities and the intuitive social nature of all living things! If you can wrap your mind around this notion, you will discover that humans have more similarities with the plant and animal world than you ever thought! In fact, thinking is one of the greatest blocks for humans, being both a virtue and vice.
Plants and animals instinctively know how to survive and even thrive. Humans on the other hand are a little different because of their capacity for imagination. Humans can imagine catastrophic disasters as well as heavenly blissful experiences, unconsciously triggering their nervous system into fight or flight when there is no real risk or meditatively inducing calm when exposed to real risk! Our capacity to thrive is just as inherent as the plant and animal world. We just need to disengage from limiting thoughts and trust our instinctual knowing. Easier said than done? Maybe!
Psychology, as defined in the dictionary, is the scientific study of the human mind and it’s functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context. Applying this to the plant world, imagine the behaviour of a tree revealing it’s ‘mindset’. If it grows toward the sun and flexes with the wind; if it grows massive roots that breaks through paved paths; or remains green and vibrant through all kinds of weather, what do each of these tell you about their inherent personality? Whether it is an evergreen tree that remains ever green, a deciduous tree that annually sheds it leaves or a coniferous tree that bears cones, each have a personality unique to its type … which brings to mind the monkey tree. Does it have a monkey mind?!
Buddhist texts use the term monkey mind to describe the continuous chatter of the human mind. Neuroscientists reveals that the majority of human thoughts are not only repetitive, but also negative. Monkeys on the other hand are brilliant creatures who have been tested to be even smarter than humans! This may be due to their instinctual nature and pattern of tuning into what feels right for them … which leads to the ultimate question we all need to ask ourselves: “What feels right for me?” Grab a banana and ponder this question for a while. See what emerges! Eep eeep!!