The squirrel’s cache of acorns lay buried and forgotten in the ground. It was a hard winter and Nature was cold and unreceptive to the little acorns.
On the first day, it rained heavily and the acorns were soaked through. “Now,” said one of the acorns, “This is the ideal beginning for us!”
The next day, however, the ground was frozen and cold and some of the acorns started to complain. “We were told that we might not find the ideal conditions to grow but this is absurd.” Some of the acorns even wished they’d never left the mother oak.
On the third day, the ground was still hard and not a root could be put down.
The rest of the week the rains came back, softening the earth, but driving the acorns further into the ground. Some near the surface were carried away on rivulets of water. Others were bounced around as large raindrops struck them.
“Ow,” they cried as the rain hammered their heads. “If only the sun would come out” they chorused.
“What a beautiful seedling I could be if only I had the right warm soil around me,” said one little acorn.
“I could grow into a great majestic oak if only the sun would come out!” cried another.
Another little acorn said “I don’t ask for much. Just a little sun through the clouds and I can manage like everyone else.”
But the rain and then the snow carried on through that month and the next. This was impossible for the little acorns. Anyone listening to them would have heard nothing but complaints.
Except for one little acorn. This little acorn had been bored by all the negativity and complaints around him and then annoyed. He now realised that if he paid any more attention to them he would become just like them – a complainer who would never, ever grow.
So what if the rain and snow won’t stop. So what if the sun doesn’t shine. Nature always favours the brave. What you must remember is that the brave are the acorns who nurture their seed and create the right conditions for it to grow; the brave are the acorns who take chances in life and don’t let the negative opinions of others stunt their growth.
The great mother tree had told the acorns the story about the sun. It would come again and it would favour those who had created strong roots and allowed their inner seed to grow and burst through. Other acorns would stay in the darkness and slowly rot away, or they would get carried away by the squirrel again and be eaten.
The one brave little acorn knew that the time had come to do something. None of the others had thought of that. This little acorn had had enough of the rain and the cold and the mud too. Perhaps, it thought, the thing to do was imagine the sun was already out.
Making a mighty will of effort the little acorn willed its seed to push out a small root. “Gosh”, it thought, “this is hard work!”
The other acorns were full of scorn. “There’s no point trying when the conditions aren’t right!” They all knew the little acorn would come to a bad end. “Never start anything unless the conditions are just right!” they chorused.
Well, the little acorn’s seed sent its root down regardless and in just a day it had a firm grip on Mother Earth. The other acorns, instead of gripping were griping. “If only…” was the prelude to each of their opinions.
The next day was cloudy. The clouds were white and fluffy now but still, the sun couldn’t get through (if there was a sun at all).
But by now the little acorn had forgotten about ‘out there’. It was concentrating hard on its powers of will and its collective memory of what it was like to be born. It no longer was aware of the other acorns, or the garden where they were buried, or the rain that continued to beat down. The little acorn felt the sun centred deep within its seed. Its seed was preparing to meet the sun.
The next day a green shoot burst through the shell of the little acorn and it found its way through to the top of the ground. Just at that moment, the clouds parted and a beautiful bright sun appeared. The rest of the acorns were still underground and many had started to rot away. They would never get to see the sun but it was as beautiful as the great legend the mother oak had spoken of. It was a welcoming glow of golden light with a halo of pure white light.
The little acorn felt a shiver of warmth blossoming down its length from the tip of its shoot to the tip of its roots. It then gathered itself and surged upwards towards the sun, casting away the old shell. For the little acorn had learned the great secret of the universe, that all along the sun had been shining from within.
According to most theories of psychology, each of us acts in the way we were programmed in life. First,we get genetic programming from our parents which determines how we act in life – whether we are lazy or ambitious, sickly or strong, inspiring or dull. This is followed by the programming given to us by our society and environment which continues for the rest of our lives.
Acorns can be said to have the same make-up.
But how can we explain how some people thrive despite their traumatic childhoods or poor genes? These are people who don’t wait around for things to be right in the world ‘out there’. Instead,they work on making things right in their heads first, which then often seems to set things ‘out there’ right. They have to will change to cause change. By changing themselves they change the world. This predisposition to change is found in the archetype of the Self.
It’s like the acorn finding the seed within.
The ego resists psychic growth, the Self demands it. People who resist change and have no ambition in life are those who live lives dominated by the ego. They resist any messages that come from the Self into consciousness to promote and transform consciousness. The ego has an inferiority complex for which it overcompensates by attempting to usurp and displace the superior Self. What makes us listen to the Self? Simply the knowledge, the wisdom, the ultimate intuition that we are each responsible for our own fate.
This wisdom is the little acorns secret: that all along the sun comes from within. The sun is a symbol of the Self. In the little acorn,the urgings of the Self save it from the fate of the other acorns, the complainers, who had to have things ‘just right’ in order to flourish. And so, in our lives, for the most part, we find excuses for our failures, never willing to face the fact that we ourselves wield the hand of fate. Becoming a Self, therefore, is like becoming one acorn in the squirrel’s cache (society) that becomes a seedling (fulfills its potential) even under the most adverse conditions.
The plan of each psyche is designed by the Self, in the same way, that the kernel of a seed contains the potential for a majestic oak in a tiny acorn.