I love the parable of the sower.
It speaks to me you see, as an actual gardener, but also because I see myself as a seed planter.
And what's more, I think that we are all seed planters.
The scripture goes like this: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." This version is from Mark 4: 1-8 - this parable is also in Luke and Matthew.
Let's take note, this farmer guy is just sowing seeds. That's all he does. It's likely a Spring morning, after the last frost, and he is just scattering seeds letting them fall where they will. I imagine him humming some tuneless hum, ambling along, sun on his shoulders, just scattering seed. Some of the seed was gobbled up before they had a chance to take root, while others took root and flourished. Some were choked out by other more aggressive plants and others took root but then withered.
But he just kept sowing his seeds. He didn't worry about what happened to them after he sowed them. He just sowed them. And the parable assumes that he was planting good seeds, productive and viable seeds, for Jesus doesn't say that these are weed seeds. The man is a farmer and he is sowing seeds, so these are seeds of a crop that he would like to harvest.
We know that Jesus isn't talking about the planting of seeds in the soil of the outer world - he is using imagery or symbolism that the audience of his time can relate to, and that we can now also relate to, to talk about the planting of thought seeds in consciousness - thoughts that are in harmony with that which we are wanting to create in our lives.
This parable reminds me of a trip I took to Utah in my twenties. A group of us explored the canyon county in the Spring and a few weeks into the trip we found ourselves off the beaten track in an area near Moab. We were climbing through a dry creek bed - absolutely stunning in its beauty, the rocks worn in smooth swirls from the rushing water in the winter - and ever so often we would turn a corner and be astonished by what was referred to as 'hanging gardens:' a stunning array of wildflowers that had found purchase in narrow crevasses in the rock - brilliant colors spilling out of pencil thin cracks.
Just like those wildflower in the hanging gardens, the thought seeds we plant will take root, no matter what the soil of our consciousness looks like when we begin. Just like a dandelion pushing through a crack in the sidewalk, the thought seeds we plant will win if we keep sowing them. They are strong and will crack the toughest rock, the strongest cement. They will crack us wide open if we are but persistent in our planting.
When we first start down the path of cultivating conscious awareness, the thought seeds we plant may fall on rocky soil, or get choked by our old limiting programming or get gobbled up by our friends, family and/or society as they seek to keep us from rocking the boat. Eventually the birds won't get every seed scattered "on the path."
But as we take the time to cultivate our consciousness, take the time to till the soil of our consciousness and pull the weeds that have grown in our subconscious by having a regular spiritual practice, and continue to plant seeds with consistency and trust, then the seeds fall on increasingly fertile ground and yield a marvelous harvest.
When we plant a carrot seed or a mustard seed - we don't need to talk it into being a carrot or a mustard plant, it already is what it is! In the same light, we don't tell ourselves words of Truth in an effort to make them be true - they are already true!!
We tell ourselves words of Truth so that we can come to see that they reveal what it true.
My son used to drop Cheerios off the edge of his high chair. He was a scientist, proving gravity to himself. He'd drop it over the edge, and then quickly lean over to see where it had gone. He did this over and over and over, checking each time to see where it had gone. At some point, he began to know that the cheerio would be on the floor, he expected to see it and it no longer surprised him. Then one day, he was satisfied. He knew in his very bones that a cheerio (and any other food or object) would fall to the floor when dropped. He trusted the law of gravity, that it would always work, even though at one year of age he had no idea that it was called the law of gravity.
We're doing the same thing! Our teaching isn't about the stuff in the material world. It's about the Law! And we practice and experiment and we think and we learn, and we discover where and what we are believing and how that out pictures in the world until one day we get it - the Law always works! Seeds planted in soil we cultivate yield a harvest after their own kind.
We tell ourselves words of Truth like dropping seeds into our energy fields. One day there are more daisies or roses or marigolds than weeds, one day there is more abundance than lack, one day there is more love than fear, one day there is more joy than sorrow and we go Ohhhhh... it does work.
So it goes like this - we have a challenge in our life. We take our attention off of the problem - Joel Goldsmith tells us this - and we put it on God. On Truth. On the Allness of Presence. But that's not the end of the story!! We plant seeds of Truth within ourselves, we fill ourselves with that Truth, with that Presence until we feel ourselves shift even if just the tiniest bit.
And then with that fullness of Presence we turn back to our challenge. We wrap our Presence around that issue and allow the Wisdom that is God, that is Us, to do what it knows how to do.
There is nothing, nothing that Presence doesn't know how to do. We just have to get better at opening the door, opening the gate, opening our hearts, being willing to stand in the discomfort for just a little bit to give Spirit an opportunity to do what it knows how to do.
Author Dean Koontz puts it this way: "Not one day in anyone's life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem, no matter whether you are a seamstress or a queen, a shoeshine boy, or a movie star, a renowned philosopher or a Down's-syndrome child. Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kindnesses for others... Each smallest act of kindness—even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile—reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it's passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.
"Likewise, each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will.
"All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined—those dead, those liv-ing, those generations yet to come—that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands."
I think of those kindnesses and small meannesses as seeds. Some seeds will grow medicine or food, and some seeds we plant are toxic to life. We can plant seeds of abundance, of kindness, of love, of peace, of joy, of compassion... or we can plant mean seeds, seeds of lack, demeaning seeds, hate seeds, seeds that tear down and destroy.
There are weed seeds and food seeds and the Law grows them all, just like well tilled soil will yield both food crops and a bounty of weeds. They will all grow...
My friend and mentor Dr. Richard Held says, "Plant something that says life is a gift. Right where you are, plant something that says life can be trusted to care for all of us. Right where you are, plant something that says you are amazing; you are a limitless possibility in our world. And right where you are, plant something that says you and I are one."