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Spiritual Allegories and Stories

The Rancher gossiped idly on a sunny day by his ranch and ClearSky’s farm. ClearSky hacked at a root with an axe in an increasingly deep hole.

The seemingly simple chore of removing a stump from his field had become a major project as the expansive nature of the former tree revealed itself.

The subterranean reality of the tree proved to be an extensive network of roots shooting out in every angle from a massive taproot, which Clearsky had yet to reach the bottom of. He’d lopped off several smaller roots and pulled out twenty to thirty foot long underground extensions of the plant. Now he chopped at one massive root.

The Rancher watched, sipping a homebrew.

“The Wanderer came back through town,” he commented.

The axe “thunked” into the root.

“He had lots of stories.”

“Sure,” ClearSky remarked. He wiped perspiration from his brow.

“He kept using this word over and over again…nation. I don’t really understand it. It’s like people believe they are all part of some kind of…idea?”

ClearSky frowned. “It’s an idea best forgotten.”

“Ever since one got made in the Outerlands, other places have been creating or trying to create them–the Hypervigilants of the South for one.”

ClearSky went back to chopping.

“The Wanderer said that they saw what happened to the cities in the Outerlands. They don’t want to have that happen to them.”

ClearSky kept chopping.

“Apparently it was brutal. Subjugation and torture and rape.”

ClearSky chopped harder.

“The most successful generals in the Outerlands were the most brutal.”

The sound of chopping grew louder.

“I think the worst was named Rage….”

An audible snap resounded.

The Rancher paused in his story. He looked into the hole.

Red in the face, ClearSky huffed until he caught his breath. “Lend me a hand, Tom.”

The Rancher took another swig of his brew, then hopped into the hole. “I still don’t understand why you’re obsessing with this. The stump is dead.”

“Dormant, maybe. Do you know what a Choke Tree is?”

The Rancher shook his head.

“It’s a tree from the deep southeast. It takes over swamps and helps to maintain a balance in the wetlands. Lots of animals feed on it and all kinds of other factors keep them in check.”

“Why is it here?”

“Somebody probably thought it was nice.”


“Their flowers. They smell….” He closed his eyes, and then said softly, “Amazing. But out here, it doesn’t belong. One tree can overrun everything for miles.”

“Even a dead one?” the Rancher snarked.

ClearSky grabbed ahold of the severed root. “Help?”

The Rancher worked his way over to the side where he could pull across from CkearSky.

And they pulled.

Nothing moved.

They pulled harder.


They yanked the root and swung it from side-to-side and up-and-down.

The root reluctantly slid towards them a few inches.

They yanked more side-to-side and up-and-down. The root grudgingly relinquished its hold on the land.

Little by little, they managed to pull out thirty feet of root, but had not found the end of it.

Both men poured sweat. ClearSky gulped water from a jug.

“This sure is a bit of work for one root,” the Rancher commented. “Is this really worth it?”

“Chokes grow back. Until they’re kindling in a fire, they come back.”

“If you say so.”

They kept at it.





Gradually, the root came free–another thirty, forty, fifty feet!

“This is ridiculous!” the Rancher complained at more than eighty feet from the hole. ClearSky had stayed close to the root’s connection to the ground as the Rancher had kept pulling.

They pulled more until things sped up. Suddenly, all resistance released.

The Rancher tumbled to the ground.

He dusted himself off, walking back one hundred and twenty-five feet to find ClearSky playing with the end of the root. The Rancher looked down to see a small sprout with its own small root system at the end of the long root.

ClearSky looked at the Rancher. The Rancher looked out at the farm and out into his ranch. Suddenly, he could see them–all the possible sprouts that could take over both of their lands and possibly render them useless with overgrowth.

He looked back at the tap root and the many roots expanding in every direction from it.

ClearSky picked up his axe and returned to chopping.

Interpretation of The Choke Tree

What am I discussing?

Core issues.

Oftentimes, people do a lot of good, hard work to resolve surface and mid-level issues in their lives. They chop down the many leaves, branches, and central issues that have infiltrated their lives.

But few release the core issues.

Shattering Core Issues With Spiritual Awareness

Unresolved core issues grow back.

The self-worth issue shows itself again in a thousand new places in a person’s life even if the drinking problem and the initial toxic social circle are no longer part of the person’s life. Now the self-worth issue is over-working and is gradually destroying the person’s marriage.

Core issues always come back.

The Rancher (the novice spiritual person) needs to learn this experientially much as ClearSky once did. His revelation at the end is to also a realization that core issues don’t just infiltrate one person’s life:

core issues infiltrate the lives of everyone near to the person.

ClearSky doesn’t belabor the point. There’s no need. He just goes back to doing what he needs to do chop away at the next core issue.

Spiritual Revelations and Realizations Roll Through You


I'm a spiritual teacher who helps people find freedom from suffering.

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