Michael J. Roads

As I work in my new Forest Garden I am aware of all the new growth that surrounds me. There is new growth in the young plants, but also new growth in the older ones. Age in plants does not stop new growth; they grow as freely and as vigorously as the young ones. As I worked, I could not help but become aware of how different this is with people.

Young people make new growth physically, emotionally and mentally practically every day. This is expected. But at what age is it okay for us not to make new growth mentally, psychologically and emotionally? Do we stop growing when our physical growth comes to an end? No, we do not. But for many people new growth does come to an end. As I consider this, I realise that as adults we vigorously seek the money to become ever more secure and comfortable. And this is fair enough, but at what cost? In our new times many people continue their education when they are adults . . . and most of them are surprised at how much they enjoy learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge. And, dare I say, making new growth!

However, inner growth also involves growing in consciousness. More knowledge is intellectual growth; it holds no guarantee of the needed growth in consciousness. It is the growth in consciousness that determines your status as a spiritual Being. Security and comfort can easily lead you into the armchair of reclining stagnation, not inner growth. Real growth needs to contain all the elements of change. Most plants come into flower every year, but most people only come into flower once in a lifetime. It does not have to be like this. Human flowering is every inner revelation that comes from inner growth; it is also held in the petals of insight that bloom in an open and enquiring consciousness.

In many ways, this is the path of a true spiritual teacher. I refer to the constant growth in consciousness that produces the flowers that we offer to those who are participants in this universal dance of growth and change. The years pass by and I get biologically older, but inside is an ageless Being who looks at life as much as possible through the eyes of immediacy. In the newness of the ever-moment all life is expressing itself perfectly.