The Enlightenment thinkers once wandered outside the gates of their city. Townspeople they were. They knew only their hand. They knew only stone upon stone. Shaped and layered by their hand. They knew only their own deed, born of their mind. More they did not know. But now they wandered once before the gates of their city and through their binoculars they looked around in the world. In their world, they thought. And what did they not see there everything, which was not formed and layered by their hand, which did not spring from their mind and created by it by its act! Above all they saw the trees. The old and mighty ones, which reached their majesty without man. „That cannot exist, for there is only that which, created by our mind, is subject to its control.“ That was their first fallacy. And what did they not see of people among these strange green figures: some rested among them, and when they were called, they simply did not come! So dreamy they were and away from the clear harshness of the city. Others used the trees differently: they abused them and jumped down from their branches on unsuspecting passers-by and robbed them! Sold to the disoriented and gullible to rest under them green painted racks that reminded more of gallows than trees. „What is this incomprehensible and shameful activity. The trees are lies and deceit. Harmful in every way. What shall we do about something so contrary to human deed and the layering of stone upon stone?“ So they said and asked. The solution to the problem was quickly found: „Cut down all the trees!“ And so it was done. „No more shall robbers use the trees to attack unsuspecting citizens! No one will be cheated by counterfeit trees anymore. No one, resting under trees, shall escape our dictates. Trees have been a very, very bad thing. Now they are gone.“ This was their second fallacy. Busily now every little stalk and every little shoot was uprooted and handed over to the fire, completely overlooking the fact that robbers had also always attacked people from the dark corners of the cities and that there was already a hopeless and uncontrollable robbing going on there. Cheating has also always been done there on a grand scale. Schindmähren were offered as show horses and sold to the stupid customer at usurious prices. However, horse breeding was not condemned as disgraceful and then banned. After all, it was subject to the control of the enlightened. That was understandable for them. Humanly halt, with all, which may hang on it, the lye of the deception. Human it is evenly. Differently than the Ancient Tree, which has reached its majesty completely without human being and would reach it again and again. The few robbers in the trees didn’t really matter at all, and neither did the swindlers with the false trees. But now they were convinced city people who had decided to cut down the trees, and since the trees were therefore very far away from them and had always been incomprehensible and suspicious, while horses and the dark corners in the canyons of the houses were much, much closer to them, they did nothing against the robbers in these places and the swindlers in the horse market. That was something else, somehow. So, of course, the robbers and the cheats in the dark corners became more and the robbing and the cheating increased even more, because the robbers and the cheats from the trees now had to look for other places and business fields to earn their living. In the dark corners of the city, robbing was allowed. At the horse market, lying and cheating were also allowed.
In some – informed – circles, the suspicion was expressed that the real reason why the trees had to go was so that no one should have been able to lie dreaming under them anymore. Because that appeared, so these circles suspected, for the authorities the much bigger danger. Man rests – uncontrolled and unconcerned – and no longer hears when he is called.
But what was going on now in terms of fraud and robbery in the cities. All, which rested formerly peacefully under the trees, had to begin now yes also fraud and robbery. This did not please then also many responsible persons any longer. So they reinterpreted the situation. „Well, it is not nice, with this robbery in the dark corners of the city and the fraud in the markets,“ they said „but it is part of the essence of the city. Whoever is robbed can look for a dark corner, whoever is cheated can look for a fool. A loss can quickly turn into a win. If it becomes a habit, who still wants to punish it? It is the nature of the city dwellers. Nature! Even better! It is nature. Nobody can say anything against it. The main thing is that these trees – does anyone even remember what something like this looked like? Trees? – are no longer in the game. That was a robbery at that time! In trees! And a fraud! With trees! Unimaginable. And people rested under them. A joke. Those trees. So strange and they only promoted disobedience and deception and robbing trees.“
And so it went on in this world without trees, where everyone was so proud of their extinction. „Progressive“ was the name of the game back then. And progressive everyone wanted to be at that time. The robbers and cheats became more and more, because the robbed and cheated saw no other way to survive than to become robbers and cheats themselves.
But then something strange happened. Slowly, the people in the cities became weaker and weaker. At first it was not so noticeable. This robbing and stealing was so exhausting, especially for those who were not quite suited for this work, that people attributed this weakness to the general situation. „It’s just life,“ they said. Then, insidiously, this slight weakness began to turn into shortness of breath. People began to gasp. Shortness of breath makes people afraid. So they became more and more paranoid in their weakness. They suspected the stronger robber behind every corner and in every word and every face. Fear makes angry. So they became hostile to each other, while more and more they lost their breath. With a blurry look, staggering and staring, they threateningly stretched out their fingers to everyone. And after anger comes hatred. So they began to group and stumbling they fought continuously against each other. Preventive fights, so that the other would not become stronger than them, while they themselves would become weaker and weaker. Destroy while you can. Everyone was an opponent at some point. An enemy. Because people were so weak and so full of pain and fear. So mad with pain and fear. And they were panting and hunting and killing and robbing, with blue lips and the sweat on their foreheads.
And some wondered why all this was happening. It would have been different once. This could not be normal. This is not ‚life‘. Why is it like a madhouse here? What could be done, for God’s sake? they asked.
But something else had happened. There was a group of people who were different from most people in the cities. Many of those were also involved in the cutting down of trees at that time, because they and the others in their group could exist with little and some even without oxygen at all. Instinctively, they knew even then that logging would eventually benefit them. And so it was: where the others became weak and dragged themselves along on their knees, robbing their neighbor with bare fists and – for safety’s sake – slaying him directly, those were strong. Without obvious suffering. They lived in abundance, because the deadly chaos around them served them. If all others were busy with robbing and killing and surviving, nobody could harm them, who did not need oxygen. And if they wanted something, then they went strong step and took it simply from the hands of the victors. Who could stop them? And according to the rules it was. The right of the strongest. Quite natural. So they became the leaders of the desperate and if someone asked what to do, for God’s sake!??! they would tell him: „My brother. You rob too little. Rob still more, then you will see, it will go to you again better. Look at me: Do I not have so much and how well am I doing? So it can also go to you. Just cheer up and go for it! You’ll see.“ And they conceal from the questioner that it is only oxygen that he lacks. And that the robbing will not help him at all. And that they are not of his kind, they don’t need oxygen at all. And that they are not alive. That they are dead and accumulate dead. And that the trees were not to blame, but that they were life-giving. And that something should have been done about lying and robbing altogether – from trees and from dark corners alike – and not about the trees themselves. And that he is near death and only in death, only then, will he be one of them. And all this the strong one does not tell to the maltreated one, to the one crawling in the dark gutter. To the one who desperately stretches his dirty hand out of his filthy rags inquiringly towards him. Instead, he tells him the lie of the good, natural robbery and of the evil trees. And, as a parting gesture, he kindly and firmly presses an angular black stone into his hand. „Greetings to God! This is life!“ He said and, smiling obligingly – without a single breath – he went back to his palace of dead gold and bones…
– – –
Then one day the news makes the rounds. The customer of the few, which in their courtyards secretly and hid themselves always trees pulled. The message of those, because of which at all still life exists, which had produced alone the oxygen, which was present at all still in this eternal dark night of mankind for breathing. The message that one cannot breathe stolen. That robbed is not ‚the life‘. That it is the trees that man needs to be strong and powerful. To be able to love again and no longer have to hate only for the sake of his naked passing.
And seeds are distributed and individuals begin to plant trees again. Perhaps only because they, for God’s sake, no longer know anything else and therefore, at first quite shyly and bashfully, simply do it. And with every tree, breathing becomes easier for ALL. With each tree the fear of death decreases with ALL. With every tree, the dead, who don’t need breathing to live, lose their power….
And man, now having again the material for life, having peace, recognizes what ‚life‘ is. And he breathes deeply, returned home and sheltered in the evergreen grove of his soulfulness. And he has returned from the nightmare into which he and so many others have been thrown. He blinks at the warming sun that shines smilingly through the green, softly rustling canopy. And he rests.
One day this message will resound. I know that for sure…. In each individual first and then in the whole world….