Oak Trees and Einstein

Why do certain tree species evoke the same response from all people? 

The Oak, for example, was considered  by the Celtic Druids to be the 'King of the Greenwood' . To them, oaks represented mighty and enduring power.  

The ancient Greeks also revered oaks - groves of them were deemed sacred territory.  
And Native Americans viewed the oak tree as a symbol of strength with supernatural powers. In fact, the tradition of “knocking on wood” is said to be of Native American origin  - they would knock on an oak tree in order to avert the failing of a hopeful prediction.

Katsura Tree

This similarity is true for many other trees from Ash trees to katsura trees to maples.... So why do disparate cultures see tree 'personas' similarly?  

I think Albert Einstein figured it out.

  In  1905, Einstein, a young patent inspector in Switzerland,  came up with a simple equation that challenged the way we in Western society saw the  physical world: 

Few people, at the time, realized what this mix of numbers and letters meant but it was revolutionary to those who did. 

Einstein originally wrote the converse of this elegant equation  (M =  E/C2)  but it all means the same thing - 

mass (or matter) is a function of light and energy;

matter is energized light.

As Niels Bohr, another famous scientist, explained it, mass is basically ‘frozen light’. This applies to all physical creation, including trees and humans.

In essence, Einstein realized that human beings (and trees) are ‘energized light beings’

 This revolutionary equation brought modern physics to the border line of science and spirit. 

Einstein alluded to this interface when he described the awe that inquiring scientists feel when confronted with the  inner workings of nature:

“…[it is] a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority, that compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. 

 This feeling is … closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.”

  (Albert Einstein, the World as I See It”, p.29)

   If we, and the physical world around us, are ‘energized light’ then the idea that electromagnetic auras surround our bodies is not as improbable as once thought.    

Ironically, Science, in its own way, has validated the Renaissance paintings of the saints by confirming the existence of halos...

            Plants and trees are also energized light and they, too, have an energetic aura.

Once you see the world in this way, thanks to E = MC 2 , a garden is more than a verdant retreat - it is also a conglomeration of chlorophyll filled, light catching balls of energy!

As Rumi, the 13th century Persian Poet and mystic, wrote:

"Once we were particles of Light, now we are beings of

Light, radiating Love"

P.S  There are no coincidences - just co-incidents.  So I had to share: I posted this blog post this morning and now, about 9 hours later, I am reading a book on art called, Refiguring the Spiritual by Mark C. Taylor.  He talks about Turrell, Barney and Goldsworthy but then, in the second half of the book he starts to talk about gardening and then about the root of the English word 'matter':

Here is what he wrote that pertains to this post:
"hyle in Greek does not originally mean matter, it means forest...Romans...have translated...hyle with the word materia...Materia means wood..."

Sp I guess my choice here to use trees as a stand-in for the 'matter' that Einstein referred to in his famous equation is a good one! 


  1. Jan, this is so deeply true and beautiful! Thank you for weaving so many threads together, and for the serenely spiritual tone of your blog. It goes to the heart of science, religion and human experience...and radiates delight and hope.

  2. Great research by you Jan! You have connected many different aspects to each other. Especially trees. I will share you thoughts.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, I like the idea of "no coincidences just co- incidents".

  4. This post is very nice related to tree and garden i really like this post. we provide all tools related to gardening and tree pruning or cutting.

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