The Philosopher's Garden

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Thoughts on life while gardening

Two hands, some soil, and seeds






Things Hidden

Four - May 21, 07

May 21I spent some time weeding and digging in the garden today and my thoughts went to the actual
meaning and purpose of weeding and how it is like the path of life.

First layer

My first thought was that the process of weeding is very much representative of what you should
be doing in your life. You should be looking at it and making changes that move your life toward
what you want it to be. I don't want to infer that weeds are bad and that you should remove the
"bad things" from your life. This is because weeds aren't bad. They are beautiful in their own way
and they serve their place in the circle of life perfectly.

What I mean is that you should be observing the world you live in and make changes that you feel
are right for you and the people in your life. Tend your garden is the best way to put it.



There is a second layer to this thinking about modifying the world around you to what you think is best.

You shouldn't just identify the weeds and take action against them. The process of changing your life
is just that, "a process" and this means that you really need to feel the soil of your life and take a look
at the various things then make adjustments. Don't just affect the weeds, let the weeds also affect you.
It isn't the right way of the world for you to make it the way you want it. It is a collaboration between
you and the world. Listen to it and let the changes occur as a melding between you and the world.

Here's an oft cited quote that is pretty popular and pretty misunderstood:

A famous sculptor doesn't sculpt a statue out of the stone, he just removes the unnecessay parts of the stone
to reveal the sculpture hidden inside.

Now upon first thought that seems a pretty intelligent thing, but that intelligent observation of removing what
is not the sculpture is not the real point.

The real point is that as the sculptor goes along in his process he is changing the stone - but he is also being changed
by the stone. The end result is not what was initially thought. It is something different. It is something that has taken
both the sculptor and the stone to achieve. He has listened to what the stone has to say and changed with it.

Do this in your life. Don't just identify weeds and goals then take action. Listen to what these things are
trying to say to you and change.