Banana Flower Essence
(excerpted from The Essential Flower Essence Handbook)
(Click for larger picture)
Keywords: Humility Rooted in Calmness
Quality: Humility Rooted in Calmness
Message of Self-Mastery: Calmness; self-honesty; self-forgetfulness; ability to step back and observe, non-reactiveness; not getting caught up in negativity; understanding that “what goes around comes around”; for healthy distance from people and circumstances; objectivity.
Pattern of Disharmony: Focusing on oneself; anxiety; negative attachment; loss of perspective; “can’t see the forest for the trees”; clouded judgment; nervousness, a quarrelsome nature; false pride; for a deep-seated need for recognition; for “going bananas.”
I am a ripple of calmness among towering waves of egotism on life’s restless sea!
|Strong||Greatness of character|
|A good listener||Surrendering|
|Lacking in clarity||Clouded in judgment|
|Drawing conflict||Easily upset|
|Needing to be right|
“Yesterday, after taking Banana, I reacted calmly to my husband’s demands. ‘Don’t you think you should pot that plant now?’ he asked twice. Instead of reacting and getting angry, I stayed calm, answered him and continued reading my book.” -]P, Dallas, TX
“Banana helped me deal with both personal and impersonal issues- financial and political respectively. I have more energy to ‘go with what happens.’ I feel more whole. Also, I was having problems with my husband. Now I let him react without my reacting back.” -UK, Plano, TX
“My friend teaches elementary school. I felt that she needed a lot of help. She has twenty-three kids-sixteen are boys. She sprays her class room with Banana. It definitely helps.” -GK, Newbury, OR
“My strong-willed five-year-old daughter insisted on staying home from our long-planned vacation to Gram’s so that she could attend her best friend’s birthday party. She was proud and resolute in her decision to stay, despite the inconvenience it would cause to the other family members. Immediately after I gave her a drop of Banana, she looked up at me and said, ‘I think we should go to Gram’s because we haven’t seen her in a long time.’” -KK, Sacramento, CA
“I was craving bananas. When I took Banana Essence, the craving quit. I took it when I had trouble calming down to meditate. It always helps, it stills my mind.” -RD, Hayward, CA
“Humility, that low sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.”
The name, Musa paradisiaca, includes the edible varieties and alludes to the ancient myth that bananas existed in the garden of Eden. Musa sapientium translates as “fruit of the wise men.” Wild bananas date back to prehistoric times and are now cultivated in all parts of the tropics as well as in the region from India to New Guinea. This seedless fruit grows on a giant herb and not a tree, with a stem of overlapping leaves. The plant reaches a height of ten to thirty feet. A flowering stem emerges at the plant’s apex carrying the male flowers. Higher on the stem are the female flowers, or hands, which hide twelve to sixteen bananas each. Bananas are rich in fiber. Their high potassium content aids the muscular system and they are helpful in feeding the natural acidophilus bacteria of the intestines. The peels also help with migraines, hypertension, skin sores and rashes.
(see explanation of The Essence Spectrum Chart)
Banana, inhabiting Quadrant ll’s fourth house, is the natural successor to Pineapple. Whereas Pineapple is the magnetic speaker, Banana is the dynamic listener. While Pineapple occupies center stage, Banana is “the strong, silent type,” or the “man of few words” and for this very reason oft misunderstood or overlooked.
Quadrant II’s fire burns steadily in Banana, as do the masculine qualities of reason and detachment. You may be wondering what Banana, so soft and gentle, is doing in this Quadrant and in the masculine half of the Spectrum. Make no mistake: humility is a quality of enormous strength. If you want to put Banana to the test, try withdrawing from an argument when you think you are right!
As St. Francis de Sales noted: “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” These words capture the essence of Banana. True strength has no need to boast of itself. Genuine fortitude is gentle, and quiet. Its proprietor knows that it knows and that is enough. Humility’s strength, then, is its action as a vehicle for a higher power to manifest through us instead of being the end result in and of itself. A great saint was once praised for being humble. “How can there be humility, ” he asked, “when there is no sense of ego?”
Banana’s greatness lies in its ability to help us step back, or out of the way altogether, in circumstances that would otherwise snag us-a quarrel with the spouse, a confrontation at work or feeling out of sorts and on the verge of anger or frustration. When we are able to remain nonreactive in the face of confrontation, we are in the positive Banana state. When we take a farsighted view of our problems, we are again expressing the gentle strength of this essence. One man recounts, “After the first night on Banana, I felt like my past was wiped clean and forgiven. I have an easy and soft feeling inside now.”
Melanie relates: “I have been dealing with a difficult mental/emotional state for three years. It involves a broken heart-a loss of love, resulting in depression, insecurity, melancholy and self-pity. I experienced Banana’s qualities of humility and calmness as aids to greater detachment and started seeing my problem as less important, thinking of others first.
“At first on Banana, it felt like I’d taken a Valium. I had a distinct feeling of just rolling with the punches. After one week it seemed to have done its job because it no longer felt important or on my mind to take it. Even my coworker remarked on the change-there was nothing but Banana that 1 could attribute it to. 1 felt very detached all week. I have learned some valuable new habits from Banana.”
The negative Banana condition is one that we have all experienced at one time or another. Honest pride in our accomplishments is harmless and is, in fact, healthy. But false pride is another. To lose sight that true achievements come to us from a higher level of inspiration-the superconscious, mentioned in the Coconut chapter-creates a block in our energy flow, much like damming up a stream.
The negative Banana state is exhibited as the need to be right; the Itold-you-so attitude; the desire to add our two cents when what we’re really after is having the last word. These attitudes-anxiety, nervousness, and a quarrelsome nature-are the foes of true calmness. Through Banana’s quiet strength we are able to say, “Yes, maybe I was wrong”-or to say nothing at all where words would only prove inflammatory.
We have all experienced someone trying to “get our goat,” the goat symbolizing our peace of mind. To give in to negative emotions by getting angry or upset, even righteously so, means we have lost. Instead, we have only succeeded in filling our bodies with biochemical poisons manufactured by negative emotions. If repeated often enough, this harmful pattern inscribes into our cells the blueprint for disease and the need for Banana.
(see explanation of Theme Flower Essences)
The Italians have an expression for proud people-”sotto il naso”- referring to those who view the world “beneath the nose.” We, too, describe the prideful as those who look down their noses at others. Thus the humble, prayerful posture of the Banana theme belies his true nature-his head slightly lowered, though not downcast, and an almost imperceptible bow to the spine.
These are soft-spoken people-you may need to ask them to speak up-as well as especially good listeners. Through their own inner stillness, they draw to themselves quiet environments. Being in their presence helps others to see the larger realities around them. Veiled in inconspicuousness, Banana themes are Pineapples’ polar opposite. Banana themes are easily overshadowed by the Pineapple and Corn themes of this world. The very quality in which they are so great is their littleness.
FAMOUS THEME PERSONALITIES
- Luther Burbank
- George Washington Carver
- Derek Bell
- Frank Laubach
- Linus from “Peanuts” cartoons
- Sarada Devi
- Gerhart Tersteegen
History records Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), called Mahatma or “great soul,” as the father of independent India. This humble statesman, a perfect Banana theme, demonstrated that the best leader is he who serves. Gandhi practiced and exemplified a philosophy of nonviolence called satyagraha, meaning truth, or soul force. Identifying himself with the Indian caste of the untouchables, he wore only a loin cloth and traveled in third-class trains. What better testimony to his resolute humility? (Yogananda, by the way, met with Gandhi in 1935; he described the statesman as a hundred-pound saint who “radiated physical, mental and spiritual health.”)
Gandhi embodied a humility that superseded the ego-quality of self-protectiveness. In fact, true to his Banana theme of disidentification with his own body and mind, he once refused anesthetics for an appendectomy, chatting with friends during the operation! In his own words: “All that I can in true humility present to you is that Truth is not to be found by anybody who has not got an abundant sense of humility. If you would swim on the bosom of the ocean of Truth you must reduce yourself to a zero.” Of all Gandhi’s Banana-like qualities, perhaps the most striking was his simple gesture after being mortally wounded-a hand gently raised in blessing and forgiveness of his assassin.
CONFESSIONS OF A BANANA THEME: ROY SPEAKS
“Well, I guess I wouldn’t know what to talk about. What would you like me to say? I told you I’m not a super talker. I have a lot of quirks, though, but none of them are particularly interesting. I get upset with myself over my failings3. I hit my head against the wall-things like that. That’s probably the worst of my faults. And this is probably not going to make a good story!
“I don’t remember my childhood. 1 thought it was reasonably happy, that’s what everybody told me. I remember having a pleasant time, don’t remember any bad things. I had a wonderful loving family, and I had more than I should have of everything.
“I did construction work until about three years ago. I work at the computer now and talk to people a lot. Operations Manager is my title in a business that produces equipment for renewable energy systems.
“It’s probably tricky for anybody to talk about his emotions. I do tend to overreact a lot. I guess I’m emotional. I deal with this by leaving the scene of the action for awhile. This gives you a chance to think in a better perspective. Then I feel better and get the chance to see things clearly. I don’t overreact to people too much generally, but more to situations. Some people are real cool and calm-my boss, for example. You could drop a bomb near him and he’d be fine. If something like that happens to me, I get excited and usually say something that I wish I could have taken back. But by then it’s too late-the moment to act correctly is gone. This is a major issue for me, but I’m doing better at it.
“The one quality I would most like to perfect is more calmness, which means being less emotional. You need emotions, but emotional extremes are what I mean. I manage to pull it off most of the time. For myself, I try to listen to others. In fact, I’ve had people tell me that I listen to them really well. Sometimes I think I listen too much. If I’m going to err, I’d rather err on that side even though it takes up too much of my time.
“Am I humble? Let’s put it this way-I have a lot of reasons to be humble because I’m not particularly good at anything. I mean, you’d have to be red-hot at something to be humble about it. If you didn’t excel, you’d have nothing to be humble about.”
WRAPPING IT UP
The female banana flower is a deep shade of purple, its petals thick and firm. Growing like little children under the protection of its hands are a dozen or so pale bananas. The more they ripen and absorb weight, the lower the flower bows on its stalk, closely resembling one bowed in prayer yet dressed in the purple robes of a king. Symbolized in the flowering banana plant we see both the nobility of being humble and the humility of true greatness.
Banana allows us a detached view of life-and of ourselves. “The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient,” admitted St. Augustine. In the positive Banana state, there is no questioning of our worth or excellence, no belittling of our capabilities. What, we would argue, exists to question or belittle? There is, however, in addition to our worthiness, credit given to the Creator as the source of all calmness and the origin of true greatness.
|BANANA||Contrasted With:||Companioned With:|
|Almond||for calmness through control of desires||for the wisdom to discriminate beyond the level of emotions and desires|
|Lettuce||for calmness of emotions||to be an observer of one’s life and not get caught up in disturbing emotions|
|Strawberry||for a healthy self-image||for seeing dysfunction as a part of the process toward integration as lessons are learned|
|Tomato||for breaking negative habit patterns||for tests designed to pull you off center, drawing you into emotional involvement|
Read about the lives of famous Banana theme personalities.
If you find yourself involved in an argument, say to your opponent, “Maybe you are right.” Release the need to be right and be open to what you can learn from the experience.
Study one of the martial arts and learn to work with nonviolent flows of energy flows.
A gentle surf on the tropical shore rhythmically drums its fingers on the shell-strewn beach. As an exercise in consciousness, identify yourself with the sand. “Tap, tap, tap,” reiterate the waves. Now allow your consciousness to recede from the beach that is presently upstaged by a five-star sunset of ever-changing hues. Observe the deep reds and kingly violets weave soft patterns in the quiet sky.
“Who am I?” you ask the wave-stirring wind. “Who is asking?” the wind, in question form, replies. You set the question aside like a toy sand pail and dive into the waves. Imagine yourself floating, raft-like, upon them. Play with the thought of becoming a wave. The rivulets to your left and right for miles are like brothers and sisters. You frolic together on the ocean of life. Become the littlest wave possible. And now become merely the salty froth on that wave.
Foam on one small wave in a great big ocean? How little you are! How tiny, and humble. And how little ”you” matter anyway. A wave of great calmness washes over you in the realization of your little part in the oceanic drama of creation.