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The Apple Tree

Two men set out on separate journeys. One was on a quest to find God; the other had no thoughts of God whatsoever. In fact he was not even sure there was a God; he simply needed an answer to the question, “Who am I?” Eventually the two men found themselves at the same destination.

The one man found God and in doing so discovered his true self; the other in searching for himself, found God. This is not surprising; the two are connected and you cannot find one without the other.

One had gone in search of an apple tree and on finding it, discovered the fruit. The other was on a quest to find the apple and in doing so discovered the tree it grew on.

This apple tree analogy started out as a tiny paragraph in the closing chapters of my novel Prodigal Child, published in 2003. One could weave many variations on this theme, such as a man who enjoys the apples, but doesn’t really care about the tree, or maybe doesn’t even believe there is a tree.

I’m sure I lost readers as soon as I mentioned the word “God.” It is a simple word, just three letters; spelled backwards it is Dog; yet it is guaranteed to make some feel uncomfortable enough that they will stop reading or dismiss the whole piece.

Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” An apple in different languages is known by a different word, but it is still the same piece of fruit. If I use the terms of the different religions of the world, it is still the same Deity or Entity; I choose to use the simplest word I know which is God.

Believing in love is easier for some than believing in God, and when it comes down to basics it is the same thing.

All the religions have a single theme: That God is Love. Lennon and McCartney said, “All you need is love,” and there has never been a truer word spoken. A man, who truly loves himself and loves the rest of mankind, has found God in my way of thinking; even if he doesn’t see it that way. Because all you need is love, and love is all there is.

I was the person who set out on a journey to find myself. I hated myself, and I could see no rhyme, reason, or purpose for my being here. Those of you, who know the biblical story of the Prodigal Son, will remember when the son decided to return home to his Father, the Father came out to meet him.

The meaning of this story was brought home to me when I started looking for a reason for my own existence, things started to happen, small miracles occurred, created by nothing but my own positive thoughts. I knew some Higher Power, or Universal Intelligence was at work. Not only was it at work, but It was a part of me, and I was part of It. Like the apple and the tree.

I cannot prove to anyone that there is a God, or Higher Power; that is up to each individual to find for themselves, if they are so inclined. It is like saying to me, “Prove to me that sugar is sweet.” The proof that sugar is sweet is in experiencing or tasting of it. If you refuse to taste sugar, of if sugar is not available to you, how can I prove its sweetness by mere words.

You may believe me when I tell you that sugar is sweet, just as religion tells us there is a God, but can you be sure that I have actually tasted sugar, or have I simply learned that it is sweet, from others?

I said I found God, (Again, I emphasize, just a convenient word I use.) I did not say I found religion. Religion, in my book, takes something that is already difficult enough to explain, and makes it even more complicated.

All you really need to do is just taste the fucking sugar. And if that word made you feel uncomfortable, maybe you are not so different than those who are uncomfortable with the “God” word


Reader Comments (11)

Why the swearing?
God doesn't exist, no need to try making anyone believe otherwise.

July 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthereisnogod

Look up at the sky. What color do you see? In general, the sky is blue so you would say, "blue". Now close your eyes. What color do you see? Probably black, since you see nothing at all. If you don't see the sky with your eyes closed, does that mean the sky doesn't exist anymore? Just because you may not see God doesn't mean he doesn't exist. I think people dismiss the existence of God because of their inability to explain Him. Personally, I don't think humanity gets it. We have several religious texts from the Bible to the Quran to the Torah and others. None of them gets it fully and in some cases they are just plain wrong.

Good luck with the search! I think you are on the right path. It is something only you can understand and something you only need to explain to yourself. Don't worry about what others say. It's their privilege to bear the burden of their own opinions.

-- Boris

July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBoris

So glad you're back! Found out you'd restarted blogging yesterday and now I'm all caught up (your "new" bike looks magnificent).

July 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlemmiwinks

Question to Mr. Moulton: how did your work in bicycles fulfill your search for self? Did your dedication to craftmanship provide you with the necessary perspective to come closer to making these discoveries? Or do you believe it was the opposite, that this phase of your life prevented you from getting nearer to this truth?

July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJunji

I too only recently discovered that you re-started blogging. Good to see you back!

I enjoyed your book.

I'll refrain from any sugar substitute analogies.

July 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleroy

I respect your quest to find God. It seems that you have found something that has meaning for you, and it doesn't matter if people don't like the word, the idea, or your swearing.


July 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter331miles

Been there, done all of that. It's an unfulfillable quest. Humans have been on this search for ages, and nobody has ever found the answer. Some people have gone nuts on this endless, fruitless journey. No philosopher, no witch doctor, no theologian has ever had an answer to any of that stuff. We can only postulate on what the unknowable might be, but it's always a house of cards, only waiting for a brush with death to collapse in a heap of useless theories or beliefs. The best we can do is to live at least loosely within a certain culture that we like, and leave it at that. When you start thinking about what might be out there, or what might be at the origin of the universe, all roads eventually lead to the same answer - inevitably a kind of platonism within which there must be a prime mover. What face you put on it is up to you.

July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPierre

I guess you could be expressive but cut down on the swearing. You must be a nice guy...but whats going on? Battling some inner demons?

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRon


Very well put. I sometimes wonder how different people's concept of God, Nature, the Universe (or whatever we choose call that which is greater than we are) is driven by their own particular experiences and their accompanying reactions. For example, why do we envision a benevolent and loving God or a violent and wrathful one? Is it because we have such a figure in our personal experience (i.e. a parent) or because we never have and is is our heart's desire? . Where I think religion (and some philosophy) excels is when it prods us to change to become better people. Too bad that message is lost on some of its adherents. It seems many people simply want a figure that treats us well and our "enemies" harshly.

As to some of the responses, it's interesting that one word, an old Anglo-Saxon word commonly used as an epithet, can cause people to entirely ignore or disregard the deeper content of your post and focus on the one word. Makes you wonder how easily led some people can be.

By the way, I also am very glad you're writing again.


July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHal

I am both surprised and amused by some of the comments here. The first says “There is no God,” proving that the atheist can be every bit as dogmatic as the religious extremist. I would ask that commenter, “Can you see inside my head, have you had the same life experiences I have?”

I have proved to myself that there is a Higher Power at work in the Universe; it has been demonstrated to me over and over again. I cannot prove it to anyone else, and it is not my mission in life to do so.

The “F” word was used for two reasons, for affect, and to demonstrate that the religious fanatic would dismiss the piece because it was used, just as the atheist would dismiss the content of the article as soon as he read the word “God.” Both words it seems offended the first commenter.

The late George Carlin said, “There are no bad words. Bad thoughts, bad intentions, but no bad words.” The only time the “F” word is a bad word is if it is used to hurt someone; to insult or put them down for example. I which case any word could be a bad word.

The Christian religion says, “Thou shalt not judge.” Yet one comment suggests I must be” Battling some inner demons,” simply because my use of that word. Are seriously suggesting there is some sort of evil within me because I used a certain little four letter word? I should be hurt, but I am mildly amused.

I thank everyone for their comments, and hope there will be more from all points of view. If anyone is interested in other similar pieces, (Most, if not all are without the “F” word.) click on the “Self Awareness” tag at the bottom of the piece, or you can find it again in the Archive by Subject.


July 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Perhaps some atheists can be dogmatic. That's got nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of a god.

"it has been demonstrated to me over and over again."

Why not let us in on what you've experienced, and then let us decide what it means?

July 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave Wyman
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