To have roots in the sky
Ash I know standing,
a lofty tree, laved
with limpid water:
thence comes dew
that in dales fell;
stands always over
the green Urd’s well.
To have a centre, and roots in the sky like the tree of life. It’s the best we could wish for you, it’s the best thing you could possibly want for yourself.
To have a centre – or be in harmony with the material and spiritual spheres that are the form and substance of the ego and of totality. To have roots in the sky – that is to act, build and stretch toward ultimate and eternal things.
These essential aspects of human conduct, linked to the myth of origins, constitute the universal desire to grasp the very truth of the world.
And it is through symbolic language that man expresses his imperfect knowledge. Adopting a religiously derived attitude, wanting with this to draw a bridge between the human and the divine, between boundedness and infinity.
The evocative image of the World Tree (Axis mundi or cosmic axis) is very old. Plato himself speaks of man as a “heavenly plant”, that is an inverted tree, whose roots stretch to the sky and whose branches stretch to the ground. It’s an intuitive understanding, as René Guenon explains. If it occurs it is primarily because the root is the Principle, while the branches represent the unfolding of events, the very life of this earth.
In the Divine Comedy, in songs XXII and XXV of Purgatory, Dante describes two overturned trees at the top of the mountain that lies just below the level of Eden. The souls in Purgatory, eager to feed and quench their thirst at the Tree of Life, cannot climb it because they lack the necessary purity. Matter is a limit if weighed down by sin.
As we see, the source of our strength is in heaven.
Recommended listening: Fake Plastic Trees Radiohead