One of my favorite metaphors to describe our minds is the garden. Our minds are like gardens. James Allen starts his work, As Man Thinketh, as follows:
A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.As Man Thinketh
We take care of our gardens carefully and mindfully. We get overwhelmed by unnecessary weeds if we fail to do these daily routines. They enter our gardens even as seeds.
James Allen continues:
Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life.As Man Thinketh
Are we a good gardener?
Every day and every moment of our lives, we constantly get bombarded with the weed seeds and weeds themselves. Instead of pulling them out and carefully avoiding them, we welcome and indulge them, even looking forward to seeing them as part of our addictive entertainment.
We can no longer expect any flowers and fruits in our gardens. Instead, we deceptively believe that these weeds are our flowers and fruits. As addictive, people become obsessive to keep them in our weedy gardens and pay for them to add more and more endlessly.
Unlike flowers and fruits, but more like cancer cells, the growth of the weeds is endless. It is compatible with capitalistic business models. Weeds are for sales, and people are willingly, addictively, and obsessively purchasing them. Hence, this win-win situation thrives. We are indeed in the prison of the weed business.
Are we a good gardener?
How can we avoid this overwhelming expansion of the weeds? Probably it is impossible to pull them all out and prevent them entirely. Even if we get rid of the weeds as much as possible, they enter our gardens as seeds, which are often not distinguishable at a glance.
Jesus knew this difficulty. He shared the following parable.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.Matthew 13:24-25
We, as gardeners, have to take care of the seeds first. But we don’t know which are good seeds for flowers and fruits or weeds. Often, all seeds look good and attractive as well-crafted business models. How can we distinguish them? Jesus advises us: Let them grow both.
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.Matthew 13:30
As much as possible, let’s try our best to be diligent gardeners to keep our gardens free from weeds. Still, the weeds grow as their seeds are not distinguishable. Because of that, the weeds should grow to bring forth their “fruits.” They face their consequences. They suffer as they are and do.
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.Matthew 13:42
Is life suffering? If so, that means our gardens are full of weeds growing up from the seeds, fuelling our egos and selfishness. The weeds look tasty and attractive in this view. Still, we suffer as they are into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Be a good gardener and take care of the seeds and their growth. In the end, our gardens will see full-blown flowers and fruits.
Life is not suffering if we are good gardeners and harvest good fruits.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.Matthew 7:16-17
Image by Stanly8853