The Barren Fig Tree

The Barren Fig Tree - Rays of Wisdom - Astrology on the Healing JourneySt Luke 13:6-9 of the Jesus legend contains the following parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. When he came seeking fruit on it, he found none. So he said to the labourer: `Behold, for three years I have been coming and seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down. Why should the ground be wasted?’ The labourer replied: ‘My lord, let it remain for this year also, until I work and fertilise it. It might bear fruit and if not, you can cut it down.’

Apparently the meaning of this tale has remained a puzzle to devout Christians, who still believe that every word of the Bible is from God and true and therefore has to be understood literally. Yet, for anyone in search of the esoteric truths that are hidden behind the surface words of all sacred texts, this parable and the tree itself provide invaluable clues to the origin of all wisdom contained not only in the Bible but also in its forerunner, the Torah of Judaism. The Jewish scriptures once emerged from various regions of the Middle Eastern countries of antiquity, where many religions proliferated. From them over time grew the Torah, which was followed by the Bible and after a while by Islam’s Koran. Although the two new religions adopted parts of the Torah into their teachings, each also presented a new part to our world.

In the Middle East  the fig tree has always been an essential part of the support of life. Because of this it is hardly surprising that it was chosen to represent not only one of the major symbols of life but also the Tree of Life. Through this the fig tree and its product, the fig leaf, crept into the Western versions of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam – through the backdoor, so to speak. The fig leaf in Genesis represents knowledge acquired from the tree of life. With the help of the first small piece they each picked, just one leaf each, Adam and Eve, are leaving paradise, a symbolism for the pre-conscious state of our oneness with God. With the leaves they cover their nudity, a metaphor for their lack of self-knowledge, self-awareness and understanding, their ignorance of themselves and also their innocence. Adam stands for the human spirit, masculine. He is accompanied by his female counterpart, Eve, the human soul, who leave paradise together.

Every individual life, each one of us, is a shoot of the great Tree of Life and the parable of the barren fig tree appears as a warning to our whole world. It carries the message that no matter what anyone’s beliefs may be in any given lifetime, unless a measure of learning and spiritual progress is a achieved, a lifetime can be a completely wasted one. The barren fig tree is a symbolism for all who insist on spending the whole of their present lifetime pursuing purely earthly pleasures and material gains of this, that and the other kind.

To the wise ones in charge of humankind, the biblical references to the fig tree and its products all along were intended to act merely as teaching aids. In the time and place where the tale originated its meaning could easily be understood by the general public. That’s why the story of the Master, and many others who long before served the same purpose in our world, used the same metaphors. In the days of yore, the easiest way of explaining spiritual concepts was with the help of things people were familiar with and whose importance they understood, for example that of the fig tree. However, when these ideas were later transferred and translated into words for the consumption of Western minds, their original meaning was lost.

How, without explaining why this should be so, was the mass of people in that world to know that no human life, like the fig tree, should be entirely bereft of good thoughts, words and deeds and therefore wholly unproductive? Our spiritual teachers could not tell us what is required from every human soul on the Earth plane, because they themselves were left in the dark about such things. So, how could we, the ordinary people, guess that the gift of another lifetime is only granted to human souls in the hope that it will bring forth some more of the rich harvest of the fruits that grow on the tree of life in the form of wisdom and understanding? That’s why it took us such a long time to find out that the only way this tree can yield its fruit to anyone is through endeavouring to learn something from every experience.

But even if we choose to waste a whole lifetime with fooling about, nobody is going to sit in judgement over us or condemns us. However, when we leave our present existence and return to our true home, the world of spirit, we ourselves together with the wise ones in charge of us, review our most recent lifetime and all previous ones. Every one of our performances thus far, good and bad, positive and negative alike, are laid into the scales of justice. Those who have failed to grow in wisdom and understanding through their experiences, either because of laziness or maybe just ignorance of the true purpose of their existence, are in for a rude awakening at that time. They will then be able to see for themselves how many of the growth opportunities of their past lifetime were disregarded and maybe even thoughtlessly thrown away.

However, this in itself is by no means a wasted experience. Souls who have done this are unlikely to ever forget that life on Earth is an institution for learning and growing. They will then know and take full advantage of the fact that earthly life is the only place where negative character traces can be changed into positive ones, and weaknesses converted into strengths. Having grown much wiser, they appreciate that only through freely exploring the negative and darkest aspects of our nature in past lifetimes, we ourselves brought it about that wisdom and understanding, the fruits of the tree of life, to this day are mostly gathered through suffering.

This too is meant to change. That’s why the Universe places the tools for bringing forth the highest, noblest and best that is in us into every soul’s own hands and encourages us to develop them to their highest potential. As ever more of us live by and obey the Universal laws, the darkness of our present level of existence is gradually dissolving. The more one finds out about the true purpose of life on the material plane, the more one feels inclined to approach all life with reverence and gratitude for the great wisdom and love that provides everything for us and brings all things into being.

Recommended Reading:
•    ‘There Is No Judgement Day’
•    ‘The Tree of Life’
•    ‘Adam  And Eve’

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This article is a chapter from ‘Astrology On The Healing Journey’.
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