Years ago, after purchasing some rural acreage, I planted chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and hickory nuts. Now all my trees are bearing nuts. I have raised them like children. (The photo above is a developing chestnut on one of the many trees I planted on my property.) But their value transcends physical food!
From an elevated and spiritual point of view, nuts (which are large seeds) symbolize intellectual ideas that are of extra value and big enough to feed and sustain the mind. I have learned that the human mind and its memory are like a field, and, various principles (like seeds) will take root in the soil or quality of this mental ground. In fact, a growing tree represents all the same steps that a growing intellect goes through.
That is why we can easily exchange botanical terms for mental functions. For instance, the ideas of the human mind take root, branch out, flower, produce fruit, and create new ideas (seeds) to take root or be planted in another person’s mind (one’s psychoscape).
Therefore, the visible world of nature can enlighten us as to the nature of the invisible world of the spirit—if we know how to decode it.
According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, Holy Scripture makes use of this same kind of symbolic language (he called it correspondences). As an example, the Garden of Eden in Genesis represents the beautiful quality of noble thoughts and affections of humans who allowed God to plant heavenly ideas into the inner landscapes of their souls. Such an inner paradise of the human heart and mind leads to true and eternal happiness.
Having studied Swedenborg’s symbolic interpretation of the Holy Bible for many years, I was inspired to create a landscape and garden that would constantly remind and teach me, through sacred symbolism, valuable spiritual lessons on cultivating my inner eco-reality and psychoscape.
Our life choices become the inner flora and fauna (bio-diversity) of our hearts and minds, so we should always be vigilant as to what we allow to live and grow deep inside us.
The quality of our inner world becomes the ecosystem of our spiritual world (whether heaven or hell). This is why the Lord said His kingdom is “within you.” Heaven is not a place you go to—it is something you become!
My first book Sermon From The Compost Pile illustrates how we can learn valuable lessons on how to garden in this world and for the next.