It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.
Imagine a beautiful fruit tree is growing in your garden, and it is your job to ensure its optimal health. If you didn’t understand that the true source of the tree (its roots) lies underground, you might spend many hours watering all the external parts of the tree individually—the trunk, branches, leaves and fruits. If you did this, the tree would soon die because you didn’t nourish its source. However, although the roots of a tree lie underground and cannot be seen with the naked eye, you know that they are the ultimate source of nourishment for the entire tree. By spending a few minutes each day watering the roots, i.e. tending to what lies ‘unseen’, you would nourish every part of the tree and enjoy bountiful fruit for many years. This analogy comes from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the renowned Indian scholar and spiritual teacher. According to Maharishi, the exact same idea applies to our success in life. He says, ‘Water the roots to enjoy the fruits’. In other words, to have balanced health and success in life (enjoy the fruits), we need to nourish our unseen, non-physical, spiritual source (water our roots).
Wise teachers from Jesus to Buddha, Krishna to Mohammed, Shaolin monks to Aboriginal elders, Hippocrates to Einstein, have also known that the unseen or spiritual part of us is the essential nourishing source of all that we are. Throughout time, there has always been one consistent message amongst all the great philosophies and spiritual precepts. That is, due to the ever-changing nature of our material world, permanent happiness can never be attained by tending to the physical level of life alone. We can race around day after day, year after year, focusing on the external areas of our lives—diet, exercise, work, relationships—yet, despite much effort, happiness can still elude us. The secret of true fulfillment, we have been told, lies within. Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is within’. The underlying message of the Tao Te Ching is that ‘The Tao (the eternal source of all that exists) is within you’. Perhaps Socrates summed it up most succinctly with his famous words, ‘Know Thyself ’.