The Tree and the Vine: Part 1
104. “Now have come to you,
From your Lord, proofs
(To open your eyes):
If any will see,
It will be for (the good
Of) his own soul;
If any will be blind,
It will be to his own
(Harm): I am not (here)
To watch over your doings”
105. Thus do We explain
The Signs by various (symbols):
That they may say,
" Thou hast taught (us) diligently,"
And that We may make
The matter clear
To those who know.
Holy Quran Yusuf Ali Translation. Sura VI: Verses 104-105
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful; Peace and Blessings upon His Servant and His Messenger, Muhammad, forever. Amen.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The human being may be addressed on four levels or four planes. The first plane, called the plane of blood relationships, recognizes that we are first a family people belonging to our home, our mother, our father, and to our brothers and sisters. Although the 1 strongest relationship that we feel is the blood relationship, we begin to form other relationships as we grow older. The second plane is the development of a money relationship (material accumulation) outside of the family and the home. Pretty soon, we outgrow the satisfaction that comes with blood relationships and money relationships and we begin to desire for God to come into our lives. When we begin to desire peace for ourselves, we have moved up to the plane or to the world of spirit. Lastly, there is the world of divine truth. Most spiritual people never really come into divine truth, they only "feel" it. Even though they experience it with their feelings in their heart, they never "see" divine truth.
Paradise: The Higher Life
The scripture offers us a paradise that is something to hope for, something to see. We say that we hope to live to see God or that we hope to live to see the kingdom. We know that the kingdom was not seen in Jesus' day because he prayed, "Thy kingdom come." Jesus also said that the kingdom is within you. The kingdom (the higher life) is something that only the prophets and the saints have seen, but it is a part of the natural growth of people. All of the great men in religion said that it is a natural graduation in human life growth rather than a new plane of development that is foreign to our natural development. Jesus said that no one has descended from heaven except he who was in heaven. This means that man does not come down from heaven to earth, he must have already been in heaven. We rise up from the earthly plane to the heavenly plane, and then we come back down to the earthly plane to deal with the things on earth.
The Language Thinking Of Religion
It is necessary for us to clearly understand the human growth pattern of the individual to be able to understand the natural development and growth of the society. To understand the makeup of society, we can learn much by observing nature. Throughout the Bible, the tree and the vine are used as symbols to represent types of human society. When we study the tree, we see that it is a three - part figure with roots in the ground, the trunk extends up out of the earth, and on the top there are leaves and branches. The scripture has used the tree to give religious people a simple picture of the society. As difficult as some people see religion to be, it is not difficult. Religion is simple and easy if it is properly presented to the mind.
The world is like a train or a vehicle moving in the direction of the world. When we come to you with religion, you have to put on brakes and turn back in the direction of yourself. The confusion comes when you are not able to recognize that the direction in which you have been moving is not the direction that will lead you to yourself. The language of religion seems hard to you because you are not familiar with the simple language of religion. The language of religion is the simplest language in the world. The easiest way to present a very "deep" message is through the religious language, or the scripture.
Religion Requires Thinking
Another mistake people make when they see something different is that they forget to consider the condition or the situation in which they live. When people think of religion as complicated and "deep," they are forgetting how complicated and deep the world is in which they live. Believe me, the "deepest" knowledge is religious knowledge. You should not expect to achieve the understanding of such a great knowledge without thinking. We have been trained to believe that we can understand religious knowledge without thinking. Most religious teachers direct themselves to your feelings instead of to your mind. In order to arouse your sentiments to make you begin to love God, they begin to tell you how much Jesus loves you and how many sacrifices he has made for you. You begin to feel a kind of communication with "heavenly" ideas, but you are not given the knowledge to know very much.
The teachings of Jesus in the New Testament have been translated, interpreted, and interpolated — but you can still see that he was not appealing to the sentiments (emotions) of the people as much as he was appealing to their good senses and to their intelligence. If you go to school or college, you must meet the challenge of higher mathematics, such as trigonometry and calculus. A person who has only progressed as far as elementary school will not .know about these complicated theories and concepts of higher mathematics. Should he say that these concepts are false and that they do not exist simply because they seem difficult to him and he cannot relate to them? The fact is, the higher concepts do exist and they run the higher world.
The Higher Knowledge
Even though higher knowledge runs the higher world, how many common people can understand and readily grasp the language of higher knowledge? When we talk about "God" and "His truth," most of the people mistakenly think that these subjects should be so simple that they do not have to think. God's truth is the greatest truth and the deepest truth, but he knows how to put His truth in such simple language that the lowest of the people in intelligence can understand it, if they would only think. Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that you can close up your ears and get the divine message. If you cannot" see and hear, you are "dead." You need more than just teaching, you need a rebirth (a resurrection). Because most of the people in our world are actually "dead," they have to be reborn. We must spend time working on you, teaching you, giving you the word of God, trying to get your ear to come alive because it is dead to simple truth.
Society Feeds From The Earth
The tree as a symbol of society speaks to the development of society. Society feeds from the earth for its material development like a tree gets water out of the earth to feed its body. A tree that gets no water soon withers, its limbs weaken and droop, and it is soon dead. The roots of the tree go down deep in the earth searching for water, so that the tree can live even if the rain does not come. Society is also like this. When man forms society, he does not like to wait until some natural happening brings food into his environment. Man will go out, dig up the earth, and till the ground so that he will have food even if the heavens do not "bless" him. The society of man, like the tree, sows its roots deep in the earth. Phrases like "sink your roots deep" have not come in our language accidently. These kinds of phrases have their origin in some body of truth, even though we
take them lightly.
Divine Truth Gives Rebirth
Understanding the language of scripture will help you to see the world in which you live. It will show you how your world is made, it will help you to understand your own life and to see yourself, and it will help you properly relate to the world. No other knowledge can put creation back in its proper order but spiritual, knowledge (divine knowledge).
Civilizations come into existence and they live for a period of time, then they run into trouble and either destroy themselves or they are destroyed by some greater force. The cycle of civilization is usually described as something like the birth, the growth of life to maturity, and the death of the human being. Seldom has any civilization been able to reach its maturity, recognize the forces of death working in it, and give itself a rebirth. Only divine truth can give rebirth to society.
The Power Of Root Knowledge
You may ask the question, "If divine 'truth is so great, why doesn't the Bible have a higher place in our colleges and our universities? Why haven't our learned men recognized this truth?" You must understand that the Bible is a book that is designed for the masses of the ignorant people. The truth that is in it is hidden from the masses under ancient scriptural symbolism. Before a person can get any real important position in the government or in the society, he must learn something about the hidden truth that is in scripture.
The leaders of society do not know the real secrets of scriptures, but they know enough to recognize the value of the scripture. Jesus the prophet (peace be upon him) was a great man because he got in touch with root knowledge. Anyone who has not gotten in touch with root knowledge cannot be truly great in this world. People without root knowledge are all equal (on the same level); so they can only argue back and forth between each other. But once you get root knowledge, you have the power to stop the argument between yourself and other people. When you show that you have knowledge to answer all of their questions, there is no need for further argument.
The Origin Of Knowledge
All knowledge has its origin in reality. If you can find the origin of a knowledge, you can reestablish the truth of that particular knowledge. The Bible has been taken out of its true form and it has been put in the form of symbolism. But today, because we know the origin of the knowledge that produced the Bible, we can present the Bible to the world again in its true form and nobody cannot argue with us. Almighty God is so great that He has not let any of His truth be destroyed. In the scripture, He says that His word never changes. Some people wrong!., interpret this idea because they take it in a literal sense. Truth can be expressed in many different ways. The idea of God's word never changing means that you can never take His word out of its form. You may hide its form for a time, but God has the knowledge and the power to direct the truth and to bring back its original form.
Next week we hope to go more into the subject of "The Tree And The Vine" in scripture.
Your brother, W.D. Muhammad
96. What is with you must vanish :
What is with God will endure.
And We will certainly bestow,
On those who patiently persevere.
Their reward according to
The best of their actions.
Holy Quran Yusuf Ali Translation: Sura XVI: Verse 96