A wandering monk saw on his travels a gigantic
old oak tree standing in front
of the door of a monastery. Under it sat the chief monk.
The traveler called out to him,"This is a useless tree! If you wanted to make
a ship, it would soon rot. If you wanted to make tools, they would soon break.
You can't do anything useful with this tree, and that's why it has become so old."
The chief monk replied, "Keep your mouth shut! What do you know about it? You
compare this tree to your cultivated trees; your orange, pear and apple trees,
and all others that bear fruit. Even before they can ripen their fruit, people
attack and violate them. Their branches are broken, their wings are torn. Their
own gifts bring harm to them, and they cannot live out their natural span. If this
tree had been useful in any way, would it have ever reached this size?
You useless mortal man, what do you know about useless trees?"
Jung's "Man and his Symbols."