01. November 2016 · Comments Off on Book Overview – The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World – By Peter Wohlleben · Categories: Nature

51ar-2gtlclThis is a most amazing book! Reading even a small portion of it will open a new portal and provide you with an entirely new perspective on how you look at not just trees, not just forests, but perhaps all of nature and how humans interact with it! The key is to remember that trees are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.

From the Forward: In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group.

Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and peter-portraittheir communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.

Author, Peter Wohlleben stated, “To work with trees is my life”. As a young boy in Germany, Peter loved nature. He went to forestry school, and became a forest ranger. At his job, he was expected to produce as many high quality saw logs as possible, with maximum efficiency, and by any means necessary. His tool kit included heavy machinery and pesticides. This was forest mining, an enterprise that ravaged the forest ecosystem and provided no long-term future for the health of the forest; a form of rape. He oversaw a plantation of trees lined up in straight rows, evenly spaced. It was a concentration camp for trees.

However, Mr. Wohlleben is a smart and sensitive man, and over the course of decades he got to know the trees as ‘people’ very well. Eventually, his job became unbearable to him. Fortunately, he made friends in the community of Hümmel, and was given permission to manage their forest in a less destructive manner. Today there is no more clear-cutting, and logs are removed by horse teams, not machines.

trees-master768In one portion of the forest – this is my favorite – old trees are leased as living gravestones, where families bury the ashes of their kin. In this way, the forest generates income without murdering trees. Also, corporations sponsor other areas in the forest as a way to protect the trees long-term.

One Amazon reviewer had this to say about the book: “The Hidden Life of Trees” is an amazing book presenting trees as sentient, purposeful beings living in dynamic relationship with each other. This is a new aspect for most of us, but apparently has been part of the secret knowledge of foresters since the early 1990’s. Trees, have a sense of time, have memories, taste, smell, feel, explore, see, and hear, but not like we do. Trees even move, from generation to generation just not as individuals. Trees live on a much slower time platform than we do. This single fact has hidden the true life of the trees from us.

“The Hidden Life of Trees” is carefully and well presented with humor, with gentleness, with compassion, with joy, even with love. The book is not a scientific, heavy fact laden tome. It is a very readable presentation of the last two decades of research into the lives of our follow beings on Earth, the Trees.”

Reading this book has opened up a whole new world for me. Now whenever I travel around my town I have started noticing how some treestreeface_capture are well placed or not; how they reach out with their branches to try to touch each other; how they also give space for neighboring trees; how they might seem thirsty, etc. My world has expanded and it feels great!

The last time I recall having any real affinity to trees was when I was around the age of 21 when I had lain down in the soft needles of a towering Pine Tree outside our summer cottage in Wisconsin as a result of a too-large dose of LSD. I felt a great deal of comfort there. It was very peaceful and soothing to my soul. And later the next day well coming down I began to really notice nature end to see the beauty that it offered, which I never noticed before in my young life.

The Hidden Life of Trees was a smash hit in Germany. It is now being translated into 19 languages. An Amazon reviewer stated, “The book is built on a foundation of reputable science, but it reads like grandpa chatting at fireside. He’s a gentle old storyteller explaining the wondrous magic of beautiful forests to befuddled space aliens from a crazy planet named Consume. He teaches readers about the family of life, a subject typically neglected in schools. Evergreen trees have been around for 170 million years, and trees with leaves are 100 million years old. Until recently, trees lived very well without the assistance of a single professional forest manager… Forests are communities of tree people.”

This Book offers an even deeper understanding of how nature works through the portal of the trees in the forest. And it stands as an analogy to show us how all of nature works. It was a real eye-opener for me and I believe it will be for you as well! Let’s start to change the way we view trees starting today. Buy this book! Link: https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Life-Trees-Communicate-Discoveries-ebook/dp/B01C9116AK/ref=cm_rdp_product


Rebel, Martin Luther

Rebel, Martin Luther

I was born into a strict Lutheran conservative sect. Since Martin Luther was a rebel, I guess it was appropriate that I would become one too. At about the age of 15 while I was taking Catechism Classes I was told by the minister that we, as Evangelical Lutherans, needed to support the outreach to those “poor” African and South American native tribes that had never heard of Jesus Christ so that they might be saved.  I cried that day. I cried because I felt that if that concept was true then I had to feel sorry for all those poor souls we Lutherans might have missed, not only in my lifetime but especially spanning all the centuries that had already passed.  I asked myself, “How could we possibly accomplish such a goal, now or ever?”

Then logic told me that this idea had to be false.  How could a loving God possibly condemn all the millions of souls in this world to hell and damnation simply because they had not had the opportunity to hear the Good News about Jesus, the Savior!  How could we Lutherans – as well as other Christian sects – place our beliefs above those of these native peoples who had lived for centuries in isolation from the so-called civilized world?  This idea also seemed to be a throwback to earlier times when brown skinned peoples were considered inferior and needed to be uplifted. This smacked of unadulterated racism, although I was not that clear about it back then.

Well after pondering these questions for some time, I divorced myself from the Lutheran cult and went on my own merry way into the world as a young man.  I did what many young men did in the late 1960s; I went to San Francisco and hung out with the hippies. I grew my hair long sort of like Jimmy Hendrix; I dropped acid, smoked dope and generally tried to have a good time. I questioned the beliefs of my parents, I protested the Vietnam War because I knew that war was wrong. I beat the draft and paid the price in terms of lost job opportunities as a result.

Unity Church of Christianity

Unity Church of Christianity

For about 5 years I had no religious beliefs. Then one day while living in Chicago I was invited to try out a Unity Church.  Unity was a turning point for me because they believed in a more open liberal metaphysical system. I really liked the Unity minister there as he would typically dress informally, wore sneakers and hired many of the local Jazz musicians from Chicago’s nightclub district to play the music on Sundays, always seeming to be able to come up with show tunes that had a spiritual message or twist.  For many years this was my school. Unity in Chicago had a fabulous metaphysical bookstore and I purchased many books including those from the Science of Mind movement founded by Ernest Holmes.


Pan, Nature God

Sometime later I joined Science of Mind where I began taking classes in earnest with the idea of eventually becoming a licensed minister in the movement.  I took classes for about 4 – 5 years until one day I got into a philosophical argument with the minister over whether or not plants had a consciousness.  It was her belief that plants did not have a consciousness; only humans could. And this was representative of the old fashioned hierarchical view that Man was situated at the top of the hierarchy and everything else was his to dominate.  Since I had been reading books by Michael Roads, an Australian who wrote books about his dialogues with Nature, such as Talking with Nature, and Journey into Nature, I was convinced that we must pay attention to Nature because in a way it is a part of our larger self. “Rivers and rocks and trees have always been talking to us, but we’ve forgotten how to listen.” – Michael Roads

Why is it that we have so many wars, poverty and general disharmony? Since man had made such a mess of life on Planet Earth, I decided that I just could not agree that we were so much smarter than all the rest of life.  The trouble with Man, I decided was that he held himself in a type of Ego-centered separation.  This, I concluded, was the root cause of all of our problems and perhaps even the reason we are here in Earth Bodies. Lucky for us, there is help available from the Other Side.

Back in the early 1970s a small booklet was published describing the incredible happenings going on at a small trailer park in Findhorn, Scotland. There was a small group of people there who had formed an intentional community and somehow were able to grow very large organic vegetables on bad sandy soil. Word got out that they were somehow linked up with Devas, Nature Spirits, Elves, Fairies and the like and that this was the secret of their abundant success.

Findhorn_Cabbages_SmallHere’s a brief quote from the front of their book, The Findhorn Garden. “One radiant energy pervades and gives rise to all life. While it may speak to us through plants, nature spirits or the human beings with whom we share life on this planet, all are reflections of the deeper reality behind and within them. Myth has become reality in the Findhorn garden, not to present us with a new form of spiritualism, but to offer us a new vision of life, a vision of unity. Essentially, the devas and nature spirits are aspects of our own selves, guiding us toward our true identity, the divine reality within. The story of the garden is the celebration of this divine life in its myriad forms. May the joy we experience in participating in this celebration deepen our commitment to revealing the total beauty of ourselves and all life around us.

In my search for meaning I have found organized religion lacking and even misleading. Their purpose seems to be to support the Military Industrial Agricultural Complex and to keep people trapped and powerless. I also found limitations in the more modern metaphysical religions such as Unity and Science of Mind.  After reading

Talking with Nature - Michael Roads

Talking with Nature – Michael Roads

Michael Roads, Findhorn, The Elves of Lily Hill Farm, and other books that talked about the existence of Nature Spirits and the cooperative effort that Nature sought with humans, I realized that we were polluting the earth in the name of our false sense of dominion we thought we had over the earth which was supposedly given to us by the Christian Sky God who seemed to be unconcerned with its own creation except for humans. I saw the hypocrisy of this and the destruction…not only of earth, but of ourselves in the process because I learned that we are all interconnected. The earth, humans, nature…we are all interdependent on the ONE system we live within. We must learn to work WITH nature and nurture our earth and ourselves, overcoming the need to dominate one another or the planet or any of the species. We need to respect and care for…be care givers instead of exploiters.

People like Michael Roads and the Findhorn Community invite us to a more ancient time when man was young and shared his world knowingly with these beings. This priceless gift of wonderment invites us to become as little children, dancing in an elven ring …and walking near the majesty of the great god Pan. We are offered the renewal of links only recently forgotten in the rush to industrialize the Earth. Yet at the same time, Findhorn proclaims the image for humanity of a new maturity, the birth of the consciousness of participatory divinity, of co-creation with God.