“The growth of the soul may be compared to the growth of a plant. In both cases, no new properties are imparted by the operation of external causes, but only the inward tendencies are called into action and clothed with strength.”
-George Ripley (1802-1880)
Oftentimes when we talk about spiritual growth we compare it with the growth of a plant – planting the seed, allowing it space and time to grow with its own innate intelligence. We use this example because we understand how the growth of a plant “works.” We’ve seen seedlings sprout, we’ve had potatoes take root in glasses of water in our fifth grade science classes. And we need this kind of illustration because spiritual growth is not something we necessarily “see.” It is an internal phenomenon, something we feel, something we experience, something that goes beyond words or pictures.