Mark 4:21–34: Tending Our Garden

Verse 26–28a: “He said, ‘The Kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed on the land; he goes to bed at night and gets up in the morning, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he does not know. The ground produces a crop by itself.’”

This Scripture reminds us of the Mystery of life and growth. Symbolically, the land and the ground represent our body and mind. The esoteric tradition teaches that the Divine Spirit lives, moves, and reigns within each of us, thus the Kingdom of God is within—it is our embodied Self. Saint Paul asserts this belief in the imagery of our body as the temple of God.

Anyone who gardens knows the mystery of growth. The gardener can till the soil, plant the seeds, pull the weeds, and fertilize and water the plants. Yet, she cannot make the seeds grow. No matter how much knowledge we have, we are not in control of the processes of life. We can do our part to create the needed environment for growth, and with trial and error, we can learn what aids growth and what doesn’t. We can then tweak our actions.

The metaphor of gardening is true for our spiritual growth and individuation. (Individuation is the process through which our ego consciously connects to the Self/God Within and seeks to live more fully the truth of the Self.) We “scatter seeds” as we focus on images, ideas, beliefs, etc.

Anything to which we give our attention seeds our body and mind. It grows. We don’t understand why some things grow and others don’t. Like gardeners, we must look, see, and tend the processes within us to the best of our ability.

We tend our psychic processes as we pay attention to what happens within us. As we track emotions, feelings, thoughts, and actions, we can learn about how we work. We can willingly and intentionally relate to these aspects of our selves with openness to seeing what is true about us that is yet unknown to our ego/self.

The tools for psychic gardening include journaling, active imagination, dream work, contemplative practices, body movement, expressive arts, etc. As we cultivate receptivity to the larger Self/God Within, the necessary conditions for growth are nurtured.

Inner Reflection
Take a few minutes to see what’s growing in your life. What are the thoughts, feelings, habits, projects, relationships, etc. that are most active? Are they life sustaining or life destroying?

Tend your own inner psychic processes as a gardener. What needs pulling up? What needs more emotional energy? What needs to be planted? Where do you need to add support? Ask your Inner Divine Spirit for the vision and energy to act in the ways necessary to be receptive to your psyche/soul’s growth.