(… continued)

Eventually you become a huge tree, with magnificent strong branches and countless fluttering leaves, offering shade and protection to all and sundry, great and small. You bear flowers and fruits. You are admired by the world. You live a long, full and fulfilling life as a tree.

Then, slowly but surely, there arises once more from deep within you, a gnawing sense of something greater, stronger, vaster. Your sense of incompleteness grows and grows into an insistent cry, an intense longing for something beyond…

This inner yearning blocks out all else, becoming so intense you almost cannot bear it any more.

Then “whoosh!”, you are reborn as an animal!

You are a gush of freedom and dominion. Your senses are flooded with sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations. You roam all around, investigating the world to establish your unique identity. Compared to your tree existence, this life is infinitely richer, more varied and fulfilling. You have a powerful, dynamic body and voice. You communicate with others of your species. You recognise which other animals are your sources of food and livelihood, and which would make of you their own dinner. You nurture and protect your own, at any cost. The world of sense and instinct is your dominion. You tread between breathless fear and exuberant glee.

You live a long, rich life as an animal, replete with adventure and achievement. Nothing more could you hope to accomplish. Yet again their arises, from deep within, faint at first and gradually growing, an inner need for something higher, grander, mightier, fuller. This desperate compulsion grows in a crescendo, to completely dominate your consciousness. It becomes maddening, of intolerable intensity…

… until Lo and Behold, you take birth as a human being.

(continued …)