The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree... (Mark 11:12-14)Why would Jesus talk to a tree - as if it were a person?
Because trees are alive. Just as our bodies are powered by a spirit-person within (each of us), the tree is a body - and this body is also powered by a spirit-person within.
Why else would Jesus talk to a tree like this? Jesus would not just be walking around talking to inanimate objects, would he?
The point Jesus is making is that we are surrounded by living beings. The bodies of animals, plants, insects and even bacteria each house a spirit-person that powers that particular body.
The question one might now ask is: Is there any difference between the spirit-persons occupying human bodies versus those occupying plants or animals or insects?
On a qualitative basis, no. Each spirit-person is an individual soul created by the Supreme Being. On the spiritual platform, every spirit-person is qualitatively equal. Each is a spark of God - a spiritual person - a child of God.
Yet each type of body a spirit-person may inhabit will have a relatively different ability to express consciousness. The lower forms of bodies force great limitations upon the spirit-person. These spirit-persons are more covered with different degrees of ignorance. This is unlike the human body, which enables greater consciousness. The human body gives the spirit-person the opportunity to advance spiritually, and return home to the spiritual realm.
But the fact that even plants have and express consciousness has been proven by research done by a number of scientists over the past century. These have included Cleve Backster, Chandra Bose and Gustav Fechner. Their experiments confirmed that plants have emotions, and they respond to emotional communications.
The fact that Jesus would speak to the tree is testament to this reality. Indeed, in the Book of Matthew, we find that after Jesus said this, the tree died:
Immediately the tree withered. (Matt. 21:19)This means the tree died. How did the tree die? Just as our bodies die: The body dies when the spirit-person leaves that body.
The reason we don't see the spirit-person is because it lies on another plane of existence - another dimension. Our physical eyes cannot see into the spiritual dimension.
For example, if we look at a body of water - say a lake or ocean - from a beach, we see the surface of the water. We see the shimmering surface of the water moving around with waves. But as we look at the surface, we can't see any life under the water.
But if we were to dive down into the water with a mask and snorkel, suddenly we will see so much life under the water.
In the same way, we don't see the living spirit-person within the body by looking at the body with these physical eyes.
But we can understand there is a living spirit-person within as soon as we begin communicating with another person. We find out that there is a person with feelings and emotions that are expressed with speaking. The emotions expressed in communications indicate there is a person within.
When this person within leaves the body, the body dies. It no longer maintains life. Or personality. We can immediately tell that the personality has left the body at the time of death because the body is lifeless and void of personality.
Sectarian institutions don't mention much about this part of Jesus' teachings. Did Jesus teach that we are spirit and not the body? Certainly he did. See the verses here.
This true teaching of Jesus conflicts with so many of the speculative teachings of sectarian institutions that claim to represent Jesus. For example, many of these will teach that the physical bodies of believers will rise up and go to heaven.
If that were true, then why are the tombs and graveyards of believers of this philosophy full of decomposed bodies and bone fragments? Why weren't their bodies lifted up to heaven? Why did their bodies decompose?
We even find churches that will house skeletal remains of previous saints. For example, the bones of Peter have been claimed to exist underneath St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Certainly, if anyone's body would be floating up to heaven it would be Peter's.
But if Peter's body floated up to heaven then why are his bone fragments still in the tomb under the church? The existence of Peter's bones contradicts the teaching that the body floats up to heaven.
Oh, but once these speculative sectarian teachers realized their philosophy doesn't jive with reality, they invented some new terms.
They began to claim that these bone fragments and decomposed bodies were all awaiting the end of the world and Jesus' coming before they could rise up to heaven.
So this means that Peter is waiting underground in the form of bone fragments in the tomb of St. Peter's Basilica for nearly 2,000 years before he can go to heaven? How much longer will he have to wait? And what will ascend, since there is nothing left but a few bone fragments?
Certainly this philosophy of the physical body ascending into heaven makes no sense. It conflicts with reality. We can see this from a practical level. When the body dies there is no longer any life in it. This is because its source of life is the spirit-person within who leaves the body at the time of death.
This is why a dead physical body is lifeless. This is why it is buried or burned. Because it will simply decompose and smell and be eaten by worms and bacteria.
The physical body is temporary. It lives for a few decades and dies. The spirit-person, on the other hand, is eternal. Each of us spirit-persons will never die. We might go from one body to the next searching for happiness within the physical world. But we will never die.
As long as we continue to identify ourselves with these physical bodies we will be spiritually blind. Like the person sitting on the beach looking at the surface of the water, we won't see life unless we dive into the spiritual plane.
How does one enter into the spiritual plane, you ask? By taking refuge in God, and glorifying and praising His Holy Names. This is why Jesus said:
“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth" (Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21)
"... let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
"Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name." (Luke 11:2 and Matthew 6:9)The word "Hallowed" comes from the Greek word ἁγιάζω (hagiazō). This means to venerate or revere something according to the lexicon. It also means 'holy.' Yes, God's Name is Holy because it is spiritual. We may not be able to see this with the physical eyes - just as we cannot see the spirit-person within each body.
But God and His Holy Names can open our spiritual eyes. Our spirit-person within can experience the spiritual nature of God's Holy Names by repeating them and glorifying them. Learn more about God's Holy Names.