Saturday, June 13, 2015

Quotes on the sanctity of trees

Thomas Moore:
"Trees provide a rudimentary lesson in enchantment: We need not cling anxiously to our own subjectivity, will, and desire; instead we can place trust in the beings around us who demonstrate many alternative ways to be a contributing, outstanding individual. A tree tells us what gives us pleasure, and it is so good at offering us benefits beyond measure that we have no reason not to surrender ourselves to it. We can sit on a tree's limb, rest against its trunk, enjoy its fruits and nuts, sit under its shade, and watch it dance in the wind. The lessons we can learn from a tree are infinite, and its pleasures indescribable. There are moments in anyone's life when to be like a tree – tall, straight, fertile, rooted, branching, expressive, and solid – would be the most effective therapy."
Christine Valters Paintner:
"Perhaps this is why we feel so drawn to trees. Groves of redwoods and beeches are often compared to the naves of great cathedrals: the silence; the green, filtered, numinous light. A single banyan, each with its multitude of trunks, is like a temple or mosque – a living colonnade. But the metaphor should be the other way around. The cathedrals and mosques emulate the trees. The trees are innately holy."
Mohammed Amara:
"We (Muslims) do not kill clerics, we do not kill women, we do not kill children, we do not kill trees. [emphasis added] This is what the prophet taught us. The U.S. and Britain are committing atrocities against our people everywhere but we shouldn't respond to a crime with a crime."
William Ian Miller:
"Did not the Talmudic sages 1,800 years ago require that no trees be grown within twenty-five cubits of a town, and that carob and sycamore trees were to be banished to fifty cubits' distance, along with carcasses and tanneries: 'To preserve the beauty of the town, every tree that is found nearer to the town than that must be cut down'?"

Sources

Thomas Moore. The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. p. 23.

Christine Valters Paintner. Water, Wind, Earth & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements. Notre Dame, Ind.: Sorin Books, 2010. p. 110.

Mohammed Amara, of Cairo, on the Arabic-language TV network Al Jazeera, following the subway bombing in London in July 2005. Quoted in "Arab view: 'Enough, enough': Some Muslims fear backlash after UK bombs" by Octavia Nasr, CNN Senior Editor for Arab Affairs. www.cnn.com July 8, 2005.

William Ian Miller. Faking It. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. p 155. Citation: Maimonides, Book of Acquisition, "Laws Concerning Neighbors," 12.iii.10.I.

Photo of tree at Küçük Çamlıca, Istanbul, by Nevit Dilmen. Creative Commons 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

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