Q: Looking at the image of the Universal Octopus and seeing how everything emerges from the Centre, I wondered, “Do trees feel pain?”

A: Though there is a ‘livingness’ there it’s not the same as for example in a centipede, or worm, or a cat, or bird – it’s more mechanical. You can cut off a branch and stick it in the ground and it will grow roots and make a new plant or tree. You can take a part of a leaf and culture it to grow. Similarly you can cut off someone’s hair which has a sort of ‘livingness’ in it, or their nails and there is no pain. Plants and trees are the same.

Plants and trees are also the dwelling places of devas. So when trees are cut down the devas living there lose their home. Many just move on but some can be angry or sorrowful.

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