a swollen, fleshy, usually underground stem of a plant, such as the potato, bearing buds from which new plant shoots arise.
Life on earth is an exercise in mystery. Think of everything that had to happen for you to be exactly where you are right now; from the big bang to ice ages to photosynthesis to every idea that’s ever been hatched, each one of us is the result of a web of cause and effect too vast and far reaching for even our big modern brains to comprehend. What makes our human experience unique is our capacity to reflect and search for meaning. This, of course, is a remarkable skill that has enabled everything from Einstein to love poems, from Gandhi to zen koans.
It seems that most of the predicaments humanity finds itself in today aren’t caused by a lack of resources but by a lack of imagination. What would the world be like if we looked at our challenges the way a painter looks at an empty canvas? How would we treat our enemies if we were encouraged to slip into their skins, like actors who become another character? Who would just fend for themselves if our consciousness were stretched wide enough to see the whole world in the mirror?
Expanding consciousness is like learning a craft, a sport, or a language. You have to exercise muscles you didn’t even know you had. But while our brains can be trained in tangible, methodical ways, the soul—that deep and mysterious source of our being—likes to be tickled in different, more arcane ways.
Unearthing the creative life force from deep down is the way of the tuber. Inside its vibrant and fertile plot diggers can shed all protective layers and play. It’s a place that doesn’t care about what we do but how we do it, where mental boundaries melt and spirits meet. Down underground we don’t have to explain, we can just experience. Like tubers, we are made to dig deep for the best nutrients, sprouting the insight gained underground into our daily lives above.