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Lessons from Trees!

Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:23 pm
by James Parton

We could learn so much from trees.

1. It's important to have roots.
2. In today's complex world, it pays to branch out.
3. If you really believe in something, don't be afraid to go out on a
4. Be flexible so you don't break when a harsh wind blows.
5. Sometimes you have to shed your old bark in order to grow.
6. If you want to maintain accurate records, keep a log.
7. It's okay to be a late bloomer.
8. Avoid people who would like to cut you down.
9. As you approach the autumn of your life, you will show your true
10. You could be Brilliant! in other words "bloom where you are

By Ron Carter.

Here is the link to the website/forum where I found the " lesson ".

Also check out the " Living in Season " post under it. Very nice!


P.S. No I am not a member here, at least not yet. I have been
looking for another forum to expand my " spirituality " on trees.
While ENTS is a great website it always has fell short on that topic
and some other aspects on trees. On the scientific and documentation
of trees ENTS rule. Don't worry. I am not dropping outta ENTS!

Re: Lessons from Trees!

Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:39 pm
by gnmcmartin

This reminds me of something me and my officemate at the university where I worked put up on a blackboard in our office. Our office was an old converted classroom, so it had three blackboards.

What we did was create a design for a university curriculum. Our idea was that the usual traditional disciplines were too segregated, and didn’t get to the deeper levels of things. So, based on the idea that the universe as a whole is a tree--following the old Norse idea of the tree of Igdrasil--and/or that regardless of whatever cosmology you might believe in, everything, at least analogically, is a tree or a part of a tree, we created a design for a complete university curriculum, with a variety of “schools,” and academic departments.

This went on for almost two years, and at times we laughed ourselves silly, and were really amused when other professors and students would look at that blackboard and not know what to make of it.

Anyway, I could reconstruct a part of this from my memory, but I wish I had a camera so I could have taken a picture before it was all finally erased.

Anyway, there were departments/or subject areas such as “radics," which would be the study of the “roots of things.” Or “fructics,” which would be the study of the fruits, or results or things. Of course there were “semics,” and all kinds of others. One that got the most laughs was “transpirics.” Now this was subject to being looked at from different angles, one or two of which were hilariously “off center,” if that is the proper term.

But such things could be serious. Now, if the Bush administration had done a proper study of the science of “ramificology,” the study of the branchings out of things, i.e. “ramifications” of things, we would have never invaded Iraq.

At the center of this “tree” university was a special department--this department specialized in “duraclasticology,” which would be the science of the cracking of “tough nuts,” or especially difficult problems referred by all the other departments.

Well, this kind of university would avoid the merely arbitrary and superficial divisions of knowledge into our present different subject areas. The new alignments would help us all achieve a much deeper understanding of things, and to understand clearly that all the fields of study are connected, just as the parts of a tree are connected!


Re: Lessons from Trees!

Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:07 pm
by edfrank

That sounds really cool - If you think of more concepts from the tree/teaching plan or want to take a stab at reconstucting the diagram, please post it here.


Re: Lessons from Trees!

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:28 am
by James Parton

I agree with Ed, Really cool. I would have loved to have seen that diagram.


Re: Lessons from Trees!

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:15 am
by gnmcmartin
Ed and James:

I may have given enough of this "curriculum" to give you the general idea. The real fun was the creating of it. Once or twice a week one of us would come up with some new idea--either another major "branch" of knowledge, or some specific course to be included in one of the "departments." Then the other one of us would commment and offer revisions or elaborations. At times it could get quite silly, and it gave us come 'comic relief' from our work.

Near the end we really got "off" on the "transpirics" thread. It went in two directions, one on the idea of breathing--trees do breathe--and divided things up into the obvious ideas of inhaling and exhaling. If I tried to reconstruct some of this it might not seem so "profound" or amusing. As they say, "you had to be there." The other "branch" under this category played with the word root of "spire," as in "inspire," etc. And what really had us rolling on the floor one morning was our silly explorations of the science of "expirics," or the various ways things can expire.

On the more serious side, we had a department of "flowology." Sap flows, etc., and that got us into an area, which very seriously, I do think is very, very profound. I won't go into any real detail here, but you are all familiar with the various ways we understand and use the word/concept of flowing. These concepts, I think, are most properly understood as analogical. I commented briefly on analogy in my analysis of the Whitman poetry a while ago. Anyway, I do think a university department chould be established to explore all the different kinds of ways things can flow. Water can flow, ice in a glacier can flow, speech can flow--these are not all the same kinds of "flowing." Well, enough--you don't want to get me going on flowing and the concepts of analogy!

We thought about trying to regularize the word forms. All the "disciplines" had names from Latin and Greek word roots, but we just came up with our terms willy-nilly, sometimes with the --ics ending, sometimes with the --ology. And some of our terms were probably not "proper" in any form. But that work seemed like it would be far too tedious, so we let it go.


Re: Lessons from Trees!

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:51 am
by Don
Following the theme, 'off-center' might have been 'eccentrics'....

Re: Lessons from Trees!

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:07 pm
by gnmcmartin
Yes--I think that rings a bell, but I can't be sure we had that one. You know the center, or pith (yes, we had a study of "pithics," included--about how things could be "pithy.") can be off center, or eccentric. But, of course, we ourselves, were exhibit "A"!

You got me laughing all over again!