Sir George Trevelyan: memories and observations
Sir George and Trees
For several years in succession we ran our Essene Summer School at Tekels Park in Camberley. One of the highlights of the week-end was the session with Sir George on "Trees". It began with Kale Wilson Baker's poem The Tree:
Yoke fellow of the earth;
By roots too deep for remembrance
To stand hard against the storm
To fill my place.
(But high in the branches of my green tree
there is a wild bird singing:
Wind-free are the wings of my bird:
She hath built no mortal nest.)
Thus was launched the splendid analogy of the human being in his place on earth rooted into matter with his free spirit high in the branches of his soul.
George had studied the lectures of Goethe and was keen to teach us not only his insights on 'Light', but also his theory of there being a pull contrary to Newton's gravity. This is called 'Levity'. Not mirth! But a force, which lifts, straining us all upwards and outwards towards the universe.
His talk began in the lecture room with a few flowers laid out upon the table. He picked one up and showed how the life force is drawn up from the plant's roots through the stem. Leaves open and express this life force. Still farther upwards the sap is drawn into the floret with sepals, bud; and later petals, stamens; finally to express its highest spiritual activity in all its colourful beauty. By the end of this part the flower was in pieces with all its little bits laid out in a neat row for us to appreciate what he was frying to underline, which was there is a force drawing life upwards.
Next moment he left his stance and went to the wall. There he leant hard against the wall with one shoulder. Then he moved away and his arm would float upwards without any volition of its own. We were all to try this to prove to ourselves that some force existed which drew things upwards.
From there into the garden. Tekels Park has magnificent trees: gingko; tulip tree; fantastic redwoods; and dozens of others. Imagine approaching the Wellingtonia. It has an aura, or forcefleld, stretching fifty yards or so around it. As you enter its ambience, say these words from the Essene Communion with the Angel of Life:
She who gives strength and vigour to man.
For, lo, if the wax is not pure,
How then can the candle give a steady flame?
Go then toward the high-growing trees,
And before one of them which is beautiful,
High-growing and mighty,
Say these words:
'Hail be unto thee! O good living tree,
Made by the Creator'
Then shall the River of Life
Flow between you and your Brother,
And health of the body,
Swiftness of foot,
Quick hearing of the ears
Strength of the arms
And eyesight of the eagle be yours,
Such is the Communion
With the Angel of Life,
Holy messenger of the Earthly Mother.
Now we are invited to approach this great majestic tree more closely and stand under its canopy of branches and leaves and look up into it. Imagine the incredible complexity of the system which receives water and nourishment from the earth as well as rain and sunshine from the sky. All this manifestation of life fills one with awe. Then we touch the soft, serrated, russet bark. Feel the life within. Know that literally tons of water are drawn up inside this bark to spread to all the branches and all the pine needles, each making their contribution to the upstanding imperial beauty of this immensely tall tree. Are the branches finding it difficult to hold themselves out? No. They are upheld by this force of Levity, which draws life upwards. It is in exact equal balance with the force of gravity which drags things down. To maintain equilibrium we need both. A tree demonstrates perfect integration of these two forces. Thus it 'stands hard against the storm and fills its place' from decade to decade, becoming for us a symbol also of eternal life.
After this lesson in the garden, Sir George would lead us round the pond and back to the house and all of us would feel awed, not only by the trees, but also by him and by each other and the amazing complexity and beauty of life.
Anne MacEwen, M.A.
President of 'The Essene Network International'
8 Cannon Hill Gardens
Colehill, Wimborne, Dorset BH2I 2TA