The Fourth Greatest Commandment: Love the Plants - Part 1

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - November 9, 2020


Next to God, humanity, and Mother Earth, the fourth greatest commandment is to love the animals. But look what we are doing to them. There is a grand scale effort to extinguish them globally by means of poaching, excessive hunting, trolling, deforestation, inbreeding, and gene manipulation. Do we have the right to butcher them unconscionably? Don't they too have rights?

The Fourth Greatest Commandment: Love the Plants - Part 2

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - November 12, 2020


Next to God, humanity, Mother Earth, and animals, the fifth greatest commandment is to love the plants. But look, what we have done to them. Around 5 billion trees are cut down per year due to fire, charcoal production, cattle ranching, logging, mining, subsistence farming, and commercial agriculture alone. Can we imagine a world without plants and trees? And yet we are doing that.

Love the Plants

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - November 13, 2020


Plants are one of our earliest hosts and our interaction with them in the garden provides us the opportunity to encounter and interact with those creatures like them that live in the other dimension.

The garden is in fact a place where the physical and the spiritual as well as the secular and the divine meet. Taking care of our gardens nourishes not only our body and mindset but also develops our relationship with Nature and enriches our soul and spirituality. We are all indeed entangled with the plants.

That's why many begin the day by taking care of their gardens. Gardening is the key that opens a door to enter a place where we commune and be united with the divine.

Rudyard Kipling warned us: "Gardens are not made by singing "'Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade." We have to work for it. As Alfred Austin declares: The glory of gardening lies in dirtying our hands while keeping our head in the sun and our heart with nature.

Gardening can teach us what it means to live life here on earth. Gertrude Jekyll puts this succinctly: "A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust."

Yes, we are not the only inhabitants of Mother Earth. Today, plants are our indispensable partners in life. For millions of years, plants have existed. They survived without us but we can’t live without them.

They had been preparing this world for us. They too knew that we will be coming and they worked tirelessly to make this world worthy of our abode.

They are our hosts that prepared a great banquet for us. Until today, they are doing their job happily, producing abundance for us. We never heard them complain and grumble while working. On the contrary, we are the ones destroying their habitat.

Our leafy kindred are no different from us humans. They too eat. Food to them are the sunlight, water, air, warmth, soil. Some are carnivorous. They can be hungry too. Deprive them of their food, they starve and eventually wither away.

Plants have intelligence. They know that something or somebody is around them. They can also communicate, crying for help when they are sick.

Plants fight for territory too. They seek out food to places beyond their reach by giving off scent. They secrete defensive chemicals and attack intruders by producing toxic chemicals on their leaves to fend off herbivores like caterpillars. Even if they are not directly threatened or harassed, they evade predators by trapping or shoving them away.

They are fully conscious and aware of their surroundings. During extreme weather conditions, they respond by changing their shapes and colors.

Plants are sentient. Though not audible to human ears, they whine and shiver when danger is imminent. They feel the changing temperature from heat to cold during seasonal fluctuations. Being immobile, they are even most vulnerable than us to pain and suffering.

Known to many, they have innate paranormal senses that functions even much stronger than our five physical senses. Neurobiology has discovered recently that they have similar structures to our brains and neurons that enable them to perceive and share information with other plants, animals, and us humans.

Their equally complex sensory systems are designed to respond to dangers, opportunities, and other environmental changes around them.

They too die as a result of old age, environmental pollution, climate changes, life-threatening chemical intake, and others.

Plants deserve our utmost respect. Like us, they have the same right to live and exist in dignity, as we all are equal before the Lord of Creation. We share the same origin, future, and destiny.

Like us, they have a mission to fulfill, which is to assist us in our spiritual ascent, just as we have the same mission as regards to their spiritual journey.

Let's celebrate our life and existence by opening our day, taking care of our plants in our garden.