Symbols - What does heaven look like
The garden represents the Soul. It is the symbol of the combination of the Conscious self and the Subconscious self. We can see it in visions, but the gardens we ourselves create also say a lot about our state of mind – so the spiritual and physical are both very telling.
It can represent ‘nature subdued’ or more correctly the subconscious subdued – or it can represent nature used and enhanced – in this case the Subconscious has not been suppressed, but given an equal place – the beauty in nature is brought out.
Because one of the fundamental goals of all spiritual paths is to merge the Conscious with the Subconscious mind, in a 'marriage' of equals – a balance - the garden is a fairly potent symbol of where one has reached on this path. The objective is not to subdue nature – not to crush the child within us, but to give it equal status. Thus any garden you see that is formal strict regimented neat, tidy but lacking in any sense of beauty or softness is not a good thing.
The garden is symbolically the place for ‘treasure hunts’.
Whereas a maze represents only Memory, the garden is the sum total of all the functions of the mind – Will, Reason, Desires and Obligations, Memory recall, the Personality , the Imagination and Creative spirit as well Emotions , Perceptions and so on, so it can be quite complex in its symbolism.
It also lends itself well to such complex symbolism, as there are any number of aspects of a garden that can be used – walls, plants, paths, layout, colour. It is, therefore, ideally placed to provide you with an at a glance idea of the state of the soul – formal, rigid, neat organised Disciplined and Intellectual ! or informal, with windings paths and secret spaces, blowsy, soft, and sensuous – emotional!
Every aspect of a garden is symbolic, the trees, the layout, the flowers, the state of ‘repair’, the tools and equipment, the walls, the buildings in it and so on. So you have to take especial note in a vision and miss nothing, note every feature, it all counts. Flowers have their own symbolism as does fruit.
The state of the garden you are faced with – the summary of your life, need not be a reflection of your inability to act, but a reflection of the system within which you have had to live. William Blake’s poem is superb in this respect, I have placed it here rather than as an observation because it is worth savouring in context – repression! …….
William Blake –from The Complete Poems
I went to the Garden of Love
And saw what I never had seen
A Chapel was built in the midst
Where I used to play on the green
And the gates of this Chapel were shut
And ‘THOU SHALT NOT’ writ over the door
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore
And I saw it was filled with graves
And tomb stones where flowers should be
And Priest in black gowns, were walking their rounds
And binding with briars, my joys and desires
A garden is a reflection of your hopes and wishes, your frustrations, the things you have done, the things you have achieved, the sort of life you have led. It is a sort of summary of you, as such it can be a happy joyous place full of trees and flowers; or wholly wasteland, with the flowers withered, weeds growing along the paths and an air of decay and hopelessness about it.
If you have achieved little, feel you have wasted your life, have led a desperate and unhappy life or your memory of life is not joyous, the garden you will be presented with in a vision [or the one outside your door!] may be a sad remnant of what it could have been.
We may be able to detect past glories – flowers which have withered but were glorious in their day, memories to be treasured even if they are over. We may once have been able to see our way forward, the paths may once have been clear and well tended, but over time the paths may have become clogged with weeds and our way forward unclear.
A garden once left to stagnate becomes overgrown and unkempt, much as a life that is not lived to the full becomes a weary one.
One could, of course, get deeply upset at having a dream or some drug induced trip late in your life, which shows you some unkempt untidy rambling plot with the odd straggly rose and unkempt path, with weedy beds and rusty garden furniture, tools unused and greenhouses smashed and empty. But that is what life often is ……….
By the time you get to a certain age, the flowers are gone, the weeds may be growing, but how big is your garden and are there signs it was once a place of pure pleasure?
It may be autumn in you garden but autumn can be a beautiful time.
Aaah and the fruit – what about the fruit?
Garden of delight - by myself 1968
The young and perhaps content may well see in dreams and visions the most beautiful gardens, if their lives are happy and fulfilled. Remember, however, that life’s garden is always changing, so it is simply a reflection of the state of your life up to then.
Gardens can appear at any level and layer not just ‘earth’ level or in the ‘air’. There are water gardens for example. The level appears to be indicative of the stage reached on the spiritual path. The higher your garden, the better placed it is despite its apparent internal condition. The level thus shows the potential, the inside shows more of the current actuality
It should now be clear now why Shaikh Kirmani states that ‘That is why the Paradise of each of us is in the Heaven of his being’; the garden of Eden and any other garden we see is a construct of our souls whilst we are living, after death there is no garden.
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.
- Alice in Wonderland - Ch 07 - 2 The Dormouse's story
- Alice in Wonderland - Ch 08 - 1 The Cards and the Rose Tree
- Alice in Wonderland - Ch 10 - 2 The voice of the lobster
- Ancient Egyptian - The Paradise gardens and their symbolism
- Babylon - The Hanging Gardens
- Baudelaire, Charles - Les Fleurs du Mal - My youth was a dark storm
- Baudelaire, Charles - L’ennui
- Bayard Taylor - Poems of the Orient – The Garden of Irem
- Bingen, Hildegard of - Werk Gottes map
- Blithe spirit - The Kiss
- Cartwright, Sir Fairfax Leighton - The Mystic Rose - The Gardeners
- Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz - The Third Day
- Cohen, Dr Sidney - The Beyond within - First experience
- Coleridge, Samuel Taylor - Kubla Khan
- Coleridge, Samuel Taylor - The Garden of Bocaccio
- Come to my garden
- Count of Eulenburg – 17 1915, October 19th
- Cowper, William - The Lily and the Rose
- Dickinson, Emily - There is another sky Ever serene and fair
- Dowson, Ernest - The Garden of Shadow
- Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – Mr R. H. Manns, an airman, of Bristol has an OBE
- Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – Mrs E. M. Mills, of Walthamstow has two OBEs
- Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – Mrs Florence Phillips, of Stafford St., E.14 has an OBE
- Drowning 08
- Eliot, T S - Four Quartets - 01 Burnt Norton I
- Flamel, Nicolas - Uraltes chymisches Werk A Eleazer 1760 6th illustr
- Frost, Robert - When I go up through the mowing field
- Gall bladder operation near death
- Gardner, Ingrid - Shabby garden
- Goethe - Selected poems - To my garden here translated, Foliage of this eastern tree
- Grant Gronewold - HTML Flowers - Moving house
- Green, Celia - The Recurrent nightmare
- Hafez of Shiraz - Thirty Poems - At dawn I came into the garden
- Hafez of Shiraz - Thirty Poems - I went into the garden at dawn
- Hafez of Shiraz - Thirty Poems - The rose has come into the garden
- Healer H - I’m the Fagan with the kids
- Healer H - Babies everywhere
- Heine, Heinrich - A dream of fearful mystery
- Herbert, George - Peace
- Herbert, George - The Flower
- Homer - The Odyssey - The Garden of Alcinous
- How sweet the heavens are
- Hypnerotomachia Poliphili - Garden
- Hypnerotomachia Poliphili - The Weather
- Ibn El-Arabi - The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq - She said, 'I wonder at a lover'
- Ibn El-Arabi - The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq - Halt at the abodes and weep over the ruins
- Ibn El-Arabi - The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq - O doves that haunt the arák and bán trees
- Ikkyu - Stamen
- Jami - Lucky is the one who realises the secret of being nobody
- Japanese islands
- Jardin Majorelle
- Keats, John - Ode on the Poets - Bards of passion and of mirth
- Khusrau, Amir - Ghazal 1
- Khusrau, Amir - Ghazal 1850: bakhtam az khvab dar amad chu tu ba man khufti
- Khusrau, Amir - Ghazal 313
- Klimt - Garden with Roosters
- Klimt - landscapes various
- Lake Maggiore - Borromee
- Lalla - Knowledge is a garden
- Lalla - Prune the weeds from your heart’s garden
- Lalla - Your way of knowing is a private herb garden
- Liver disease
- Lynn Anderson – Rose garden
- Maier, Michael - Atalanta fugiens 1618
- Mary, Mary quite contrary
- Masefield, John - Shakespeare and spiritual life
- Mayan - Popol Vuh - 10 The Twins and their Garden
- Mircea Eliade - On the Gardens of the Hesperides
- Miro - The Garden
- Monroe, Robert - Locale II out of body
- Moody Blues - Visions of Paradise
- Morrells, Luce and the house boat
- Mudang spiritual experiences – The sufferings and initiation of the paksu Chang Myung-hoon
- Mythology and Rites of the British druids - The gardens of the Tylwyth Teg
- Nizami – Makhzanol Asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries) – from The First Seclusion 01
- Novalis – Heinrich von Ofterdingen
- Omar Khayyam - The Rubaiyat - A Ruby kindles in the Vine
- Pauli, Wolfgang - Dreams of Rings, Circles, Eggs and Stars
- Persian gardens
- Po Chu-I - The Ruined Home
- Poe, Edgar Allen - To Helen
- Rilke, Rainer Maria - 10 Second Elegy
- Rilke, Rainer Maria - 16 Third Elegy
- Rimbaud, Arthur - This idol, black eyed and blonde topped, without parents or playground
- Romance of the Rose - The Garden of Pleasure
- Romance of the Rose - The spring
- Rumi - Love poems - Already, don't you rush toward the garden
- Rumi - Misc - Love is the Treasure
- Rumi - Rubaiyat - When you fast for a while
- Rumi - The Book of Love - I don’t mind if my companions
- Saadi - The Gulistan of Sa‘di – 01 From the Introduction
- Schoenberg, Arnold - Das Buch der Hängenden Gärten, Op. 15
- Schwabe, Carlos - La femme au luth
- Schwabe, Carlos - The Rendezvous and Les Trophees
- Shabistari, Mahmud - The Gulshan-i raz - The sea is being and speech its shore
- Shaikh Muhammad Karim Khan Kirmani - Irshad al-‘awamm - Eight degrees of Paradise
- Shaivism - Concepts and symbols - Mountain
- Song of Solomon 1
- Song of Solomon 4
- Song of Solomon 5
- Song of Solomon 6
- Song of Solomon 8
- Spencer, Stanley - Symbolism 13 - Garden, Greenhouse and onions
- Spenser, Edmund - After that they againe retourned beene
- Sting - Desert Rose
- Sting - Sacred love
- Sting - Shape of my Heart
- Stolz von Stolzenberg, Daniel - Viridarium chemicum 1624
- Swinburne, Algernon Charles – Ave Atque Vale [extracts]
- Swinburne, Algernon Charles – from A Forsaken Garden
- Symeon the New Theologian - The Light of your Way
- Temple Mount
- The gardens of Iran
- The Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine - Key 08
- Through the Looking Glass - Ch 02 - 2 The enormous game of chess
- Unbearable pain
- Waterhouse, John William - Psyche enters Cupid's garden
- Watson, Sir William - A star look'd down from heaven and loved a flower
- Wells, H G - The Door in the Wall
- Willetts, Sam - Garden
- William Browne – The Rose
- William Seabrook - White monk of Timbuctoo
- Yassawi - 16 from HIKMET 49
- Yeats, W B - Selected poems - Cap and Bells
- Yerka, Jacek and Richard Lovelace - To Althea