Friday, July 29, 2011

Tree of the Gods – Oak



















The oak tree belongs to a family of trees that include the beeches, Chestnuts and oak. This family of trees has been regarded as the tree of the gods in areas where it grows naturally and this family of trees caters to many human needs such as spiritual strength, shelter, food, energy and clothing.

The Oaks are trees with a strong wood excellent for building homes and furniture, the chestnuts are a food source that have been used as a delicious and healthy replacement for wheat and rice whereas the beech yields firewood and a rayon that may be used as a replacement for cotton, silk or wool. New young leaves of oak can be consumed as salad or cooked as a green and the older leaves may be soaked to flavor beer and beverages. The acorns may be processed as food or into a coffee like drink.

The Oak family (known as the botanical family Fagaceae of trees) is a truly beautiful and majestic family of trees that caters to many human needs and delights the soul. Generations of humans have sat under the mighty Oak for strength and spiritual renewal. The tree helps one arrive at a new understanding of the self and its relationship with the universe. The tree grows in the cooler parts of our planet but does not grow near the equatorial regions where persons seeking spiritual understanding use the mighty fig and banyan trees for meditating under instead.

Oak forests usually occur in regions that are just slightly warmer than regions containing pine forests. Some regions such as the Nainital district of Himalayas has forests of mixed oak and pine. In recent centuries human greed combined with carelessness has resulted in the disappearance of many oak forests from Europe, America and Asia.

Whereas there has been a cry for the disappearing rain forests, that cry sounds hypocritical and hollow when a similar cry is missing for the disappearing pine and oak forests. it is just as improper as the cry of high per capita energy consuming countries for increasing carbon emissions voiced in low per capita energy consuming countries like China and India. Restoring our forests (all forests not just rain forests) will help restore both carbon balance and human dignity.


Photo is a public domain image from http://www.public-domain-image.com/plants/flowers/slides/oak-tree.html

7 comments:

Vincent said...

Glad you are speaking up for those trees which have no voice for themselves! But who actually is issuing these hypocritical cries?

Where I am there have been pleas on behalf of the rain-forests, certainly. The singer Sting used to make it his speciality, & focused on Brazil.

As for the more temperate woods I don't think that here in Europe we source anything from the Himalayas at all. There is full consciousness of certified sustainability here and the timber merchants show logos on their products by way of demonstration, as most customers are aware of the issues and keen to do the right thing.

As for the gods and spiritual aspects, I do sympathize with the idea, if it has been subjectively experienced. Consciously espousing a cultural tradition would help make it real.

ashok said...

Hello Vincnet. Nice to have your knowledgeable views. My comment on hypocritical is for all of humanity actually. Often we tend to cry for ills far away while ignoring those in our backyards. From time to time I have heard in the media, cries of the rain forest from America and Europe, from persons who speak little of the historical forests that have disappeared from their own areas.

As you have said in recent times there has been a rising consciousness against the damgage to environment. It is encouraging and some merchants have cashed in on the concern to sell their products. However the concern has not yet been strong enough to lead to widespread active programs for restoring the environment. Perhaps that too will happen as the damage progresses.

As regards the gods and their relationship to the Oak my knowledge is too sketchy to write something worthwhile. It seems the Druids of England and the ancient Greek gods - Zeus and others have had a close relationship with the Oak. Perhaps more can be found on on the net.

Rebb said...

Ashok, I have always loved the Oak—powerful, mighty, wise, Oak. I’m glad to have learned more about his uses. When I was younger I wanted a tattoo of an oak with the roots showing. Instead, now if I drive by an Oak, I feed off the strength that I feel when I gaze in his direction. I guess, in a way, it’s tattooed on my mind.

ashok said...

Nice to hear that Rebb. Have you tried sitting silently, all by yourself under an old oak tree?

Rebb said...

I have not yet tried that, Ashok. That's a good idea.

ashok said...

Perhaps you could make a picnic out of it in the countryside :-)

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