Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tree of Life
This version of the Tree of Life is from Builders of the Adytum. The glyph itself is from the Qabalah, and represents the All.
At the top is Kether, The Crown, Unity. This is the innermost point of the Universe. Some say that God is a circle whose circumference is nowhere and its center everywhere. Thus the center of the universe is the center of your being. As my yoga teacher said the other day, "the Seer wants to experience everything, all points of view, and never judges."
Forming a triad with Kether, at the level just below it, are Chokmah (the Divine Father) and Binah (the Divine Mother), the eternal opposites. Their polarities express throughout the universe as projective and receptive, light and darkness, male and female, good and evil. Their interplay is what creates our experience of differences. Remembering that those differences are essential to life and movement, yet always knowing that they are relative, not absolute, is an important point. This is known as the Supernal Triad, because these Sephiroth are abstract and nearly unknowable for a human being.
The next level down is another triad, known in some traditions as the Egoic Triad. This is what we call the Higher Self, Tiphareth, Beauty, and the pair of opposites are Chesed, or Mercy, and Gevurah, or Severity. The enlightened human being lives from this triad. The balance between justice and mercy is maintained in the sphere of Tiphareth, the sphere of the Sun, the center of our solar system, and the Heart of a human being. Living from the heart means sometimes expressing mercy, other times severity, but always with love.
Down farther we come to what is termed the Personality Triad. This is where most of us experience ourselves. The pair of opposites are Netzach, or Desire, and Hod, or Intellect. They are resolved in Yesod, the sphere of the subconscious mind, where the patterns are formed that eventually manifest themselves in physical reality. Balancing these opposites involves breaking our old and unhealthy patterns by making new and healthy ones, be it psychologically, physically, environmentally, or spiritually. Whatever we believe is taken in by Yesod and manifested for us automatically. Therefore we must take care what we believe.
Finally we come down to the fruit of this Tree, Malkuth, the sphere of the elements, where all that we experience in physical life is laid out before us. This is the sphere of constant change; all that we see now is a result of past patterns we (human beings) have formed through the ages. All that we are setting into motion now will manifest in time. So what we see is always passing away. The surface is not the truth.
Right now we are in a very deeply materialistic phase of philosophical belief, no matter what terms are used to express it. The underlying belief system currently is, "outer conditions create inner experiences and from that come actions".
For the Wise of every age, the truth is the opposite, "inner beliefs and patterns create outer conditions". Reversing the flow of energy is the first stage of enlightenment. Becoming a center of light, love and unity, and no matter what comes, bringing that energy of Unity downward and outward, is the task of the Wise.