The Tree of Life
There are a wide spectrum of images and ideas associated with the Tree of Life. On one level, literal trees with Sacred Geometry in Nature roots, flowers and fruits have earned the name Tree of Life through their functional diversity and profound healing qualities.
Meanwhile, many purely metaphorical understandings point to the benevolent evolution of natural creation. The way a seed becomes a tree and bears fruit, the One creator unfolds into the Many forms of manifest existence. Deeper still, the Tree of Life can indicate a geometrical structure at the heart of Kabbalastic mysticism, providing a precise map of the soul and its attributes.
In this essay, we will explore the validity of each meaning and attempt a harmonization, if not unification, of these varied ideas. Ultimately, Plato promises that study of geometry “will draw the soul toward truth and create the spirit of philosophy.” Lovers of truth, all seekers of knowledge — welcome.
The Real Live Tree of Life
Let’s begin with a biological organism that exhibits the qualities one might expect from something given the grandiose title Tree of Life. For this writer, the tree that comes mind is the Baobab (Adansonia digitata), native to southern Africa. According to the Kruger National Park website, the Baobab tree can live to be 3,000 years old, and can grow large enough to shelter 40 people inside its trunk. “Various Baobabs have been used as a shop, a prison, a house, a storage barn and a bus shelter.”
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Every aspect of the Baobab offers some boon. The fruit is considered a superfood, noted for its high Vitamin C content. The oil contains vitamins A, D, E and F and Omega 3, 6 and 9, soothing conditions like eczema and psoriasis and making it highly sought after by the cosmetics industry for its anti-aging qualities.
Kruger lists some more of its many uses: “Fiber from the bark is used to make rope, baskets, cloth, musical instrument strings, and waterproof hats… Fresh baobab leaves provide an edible vegetable similar to spinach which is also used medicinally to treat kidney and bladder disease, asthma [and] insect bites… [P]ollen from the African and Australian baobabs is mixed with water to make glue.”
These are some of its products, but the Baobab is an entire ecosystem unto itself, allowing innumerable lifeforms to subsist on its structure. It is home to birds, baboons, and bats, not to mention an infinitude of insects. “When [Baobabs] do die, they simply rot from the inside and suddenly collapse, leaving a heap of fibres…” which are summarily consumed by termites. Thus even in death, the Baobab sustains life.
Owing to its odd appearance and unusual characteristics, the Baobab is commonly known as “the upside-down tree.” There are many native legends explaining how this came to be, all of which feature some form of God tossing, smashing, or otherwise planting the tree upside-down on Earth, usually due to hubris or stupidity on the part of the Baobab or its animal counterparts.
This is a creation story that mirrors many others. Where else do we see this image of an upside-down tree as a metaphor for creation?
The Kabbalah Connection
Many people know the Tree of Life from Kabbalah, the esoteric tradition of Jewish mysticism. In this context, the Tree of Life takes the form of ten “numerical entities” known as sefirot. Perhaps their specific spatial representation will be familiar to you:
Image courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/
According to Huston Smith, writing in The Essential Kabbalah, these numerical entities are “living beings embodying the numbers one through ten, ciphers, metaphysical potencies through which creation unfolds.”
Sefirot emanate from Ein Sof, which literally translates as “endless,” and implies the infinite, unspeakable Godhead. As a reference point, the word Brahman in Vedanta philosophy points to a similar “cause of causes” or “source of all that is.” Ein Sof is the One; sefirot are the Many.
According to Smith, “another depiction of the sefirot is that of a cosmic tree growing downward from its roots above… From above to below, the sefirot depict the drama of emanation, the transition from Ein Sof to creation… From below to above, the sefirot constitute a ladder of ascent back to the One…”
This dynamic balance between ascending and descending forces is reminiscent of another famous Judaic shape: the Star of David. These two interlocking triangles represent perfect harmony between the polarized opposites of masculine and feminine, positive and negative, active and passive, yang and yin. It is the geometrical expression of the philosophical phrase, “as above, so below.”
Depicted in its three-dimensional state, this shape is known as a star tetrahedron or Merkabah. In an enlightening essay, Drunvalo Melchizedek explains how the word Merkabah encodes meaning beyond.
“In the Torah, there is reference to the Merkavah (as it is spelled in Hebrew) which has two different meanings: One meaning is ”chariot,” which is a vehicle; the other is the ”Throne of God”…
“In Ancient Egypt, this primal pattern was called the Mer-Ka-Ba. It was actually three words, not one. Mer meant a kind of light that rotated within itself. Ka meant spirit, in this case referring to the human spirit. And Ba meant the human body — though it also could mean the concept of Reality that spirit holds. And so the entire word in ancient Egypt referred to a rotating light that would take the spirit and the body from one world into another.”
The Star of David (Merkavah) consists of two interpenetrating, equally balanced triangles (pyramids). Traditionally, the sefirot structure is composed of one upward-aiming triangle and two downward moving triangles.
This predominance of downward, inward, feminine directionality shows how the sefirot tend towards diversity and manifestation, as opposed to reunification. For example, if there were two upward triangles and only one downward, the balance would tilt in favor of ascension into subtler dimensions. Trending ever towards unity, there would not be sufficient differentiation between the One and Many for us to have this discussion; all potentials would remain latent and nothing new would manifest. The world would remain a blank slate.
As it is, the Creator exhibits an obvious preference for creation. The search for truth about the reality of that creation essentially leads immediately to the Quadrivium, the sciences of Number, Geometry, Music and Cosmology exalted by the great Pythagorus as four of the seven original Liberal Arts (in addition to the Trivium of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric).
Pythagorus the Multidimensional
Pythagoreans teach the Quadrivium through the tetraktys — a sacred geometrical structure of ten points. Sound familiar? Similar to the sefirot, the tetraktys gives a set of ten coordinates that function as “a numerical paradigm of whole systems”.
The tetraktys is arranged in a triangle, like bowling pins. One may approach the tetraktys from many angles, and arrive at many valid interpretations. Here, let’s look at how the tetraktys maps the unfolding of the dimensions.
Given the first dot, we have Dimension Zero, the singularity, or monad. According to Robin Waterfield’s translation of The Theology of Arithmetic, “[t]he monad is the non-spatial source of number… the monad is… linear and plane and solid.” In a purely latent state of potentiality, the monad contains all that follows.
Given one dot, the second makes a dyad and represents Dimension One — linearity. To mark the distance from one dot to another creates a line between two opposing points. This is the level of polarity — the pervasive opposition of phenomena like night and day, cold and hot, Demons and Gods.
The paradox is that of course the two poles are connected, never separate. A magnetic field is the purest expression of this principle, as its apparently opposite lines of force ultimately loop back around and merge into one another in a demonstration of essential unity.
The polarity of masculine and feminine energy inevitably gives way to a triumvirate when mom and dad have a little baby. Everybody knows three is the magic number, but why is that?
The triad encloses area, providing a plane whereupon further creations can flourish. This is Dimension Two, which according to Nassim Harramein, “is where cartoons live.”
Indeed, the great charm of cartoons is the plurality of possibility; any thing can arise in that area! How often do we stop counting after one and two? The next value in that sequence is “several,” suggesting many more than simply three.
Meanwhile, every satisfactory story requires a beginning, middle and end. It needs a hero, villain and neutral narrator. There must be activity, trouble and finally peace. Musically, the score to the story must have its root, dissonance and resolution. Ultimately, the whole story is overseen by a holy trinity, be it Father, Son and Ghost, or Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The triad of creation, preservation and destruction shows the nature of creation at every scale. This is harmony.
After harmony, we get depth. At the fourth and final level of the tetraktys is the tetrahedron, a pyramid made of four equilateral triangles. This is the first solid that encloses volume, literally creating space in three dimensions.
As the forces of one and two are united by a third, an entirely new whole is generated. This is the first manifestation of what we might call “shared reality.” It is in three-dimensional space that bodies are born, grow, decay and die.
If you are reading this, you are most likely in the depths of a third-dimensional experience. You are a conglomeration of water held by Earth breathing air that feeds the fire in your eyes and belly. These elements interact with your five senses to create the sensation of embodied aliveness. What a beautiful miracle Platonic Solids (and a topic for another time)!
Here is a graphic representation of the process just described, wherein we have completed the original promise of the monad as containing all that is “linear…plane and solid.”
Now, if you please, hold the image of the tetrahedron in your mind’s eye and scroll back up. Does the Star of David spin with new meaning? Staring at the sefirot, do you see more deeply now how the Tree of Life is a multidimensional map of consciousness as it unfolds into matter?
It is as if the seed of life is planted by lightning strike, speeding to the ground by the power of two downward-pointing tetrahedrons. Once embedded in the soil, it is a slower climb back up the framework, battling against the full weight of creation. The body, soul and mind creep back up toward oneness like a vine climbing a divine trellis.
Sacred geometry gives the blueprint for that subtle framework, acting as a map of both soul and body. If you wish to accelerate the return journey to oneness, or just to move and play freely within the grand construct, I suggest you study the archetypal forms and learn to retrace the Creator’s steps.
If “spiritual and psychological wholeness is achieved by meditating on the qualities of each sefirah, by imitating and integrating the attributes of God,” then we are well advised to familiarize ourselves these qualities and attributes. In order to better know the Creator, let us study the creation.
As above, so below. As within, so without.
Phantom DNA and the Soul's Sense of Smell
This is the fourth article in a five-part series on how your soul experiences the physical senses. In our previous articles, we discussed the senses of sight, sound, and taste. Let’s move now to the sense of smell.
Smell is Stimulated by Emotion
Smell works exactly the same way that your taste buds do. The two senses are inner connected. When a smell is ignited by the engagement of something physical, then that is the same physical reaction of your senses that we have spoken about in previous articles. The soul’s sense of smell, on the other hand, is stimulated by emotion.
When you are having a memory that stirs something inside of you and you can smell something, especially when that something isn’t physically present in the room, then that is your soul speaking to you.
Many people actually get a blending of the two components (the soul sense and the physical sense of smell) at the same time. For example, you walk into a room that you haven’t been into for a long period of time and you smell the scent of a family member who has passed. Perhaps you smell the cologne or perfume they used to wear and there is no question whose scent it is. It could even be a scent you haven’t smelled since childhood, yet you still remember it clearly and it stirs an emotional response inside of you.
When Your Soul is Calling You
The intense emotional response is your soul calling out to you. If there is not a physical being standing there emitting this smell that you are smelling then you are experiencing the energy essence of what is – or what has been – in the room. Perhaps an apparition or a ghost has been there, and you are sensing through smell their energy essence.
The Phantom Effect of DNA
Your DNA is an energetic signature that transcends the need for the body. You’ve already reached a greater level of awareness through your sense of smell – this is your soul transcending materiality.
DNA photons continue spiraling where DNA was once previously. This wave of light being energy creates a phantom of where the DNA was in the first place. This is why you can still smell something from a person who is no longer there.
Your thoughts, your consciousness, your senses, are like satellite signals that can beam around the earth using electromagnetic fields – the heartbeat of the earth. See the data from Nobel-prize-winning scientist Dr. Luc Montagnier in Healing with the Source Field – Part 2 with David Wilcock.
Again, photons – the light – spiral where DNA once was, offering proof that we are light beings.
Learn more about how our energy essence remains in the room long after we leave in episodes of Wisdom Teachings with David Wilcock, one of Gaiam TV’s original shows.
Here is more scientific proof from Dr. Peter Gariaev on DNA phantoms in Beyond Cosmic Consciousness – Part 2.
Another example comes when you remember the smells you experienced when you visited a place for the first time. You may not have been consciously aware of the smells at the time, yet something much later triggers a memory and the smells come flooding back to you – even if years have passed and you’re thousands of miles away.
This happens in your dream state all the time. Without digressing too far into the subject of dreams, where do you believe the sensations come from when you dream? Have you ever seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled something in a dream? Most people have, although not everyone remembers their dreams.
Some humans have very emotional experiences when they dream. Dreams can be so vivid that they would swear that they have been somewhere or experienced something and there is no explanation for it. This emotional experience is the Soul’s experience.
When there is nothing physical around you at the time to warrant your reaction that is going on inside of you, then it’s your soul speaking to you.
Feelings vs Emotions
We can’t emphasize this point enough: your feelings are based upon that which is physical. For the most part, they are shallow and fleeting and are easily influenced and changed. Feelings are mostly what’s on the surface, so to speak. An emotion, on the other hand, is the deep resonating experience. It is the expressive and sensory system of the soul.
The emotions that you feel are the deep experiences that are carried with you from lifetime to lifetime, and existence to existence. An emotion is thought in motion. It literally sends an electrical current throughout your embodiment and is felt as an experience. That is why you take emotions with you when you leave this realm.
Your feelings are surface, fleeting, and forgotten, and in the human experience, they are continually changing from moment to moment. They tend to be in reaction to the things going on around you in the illusion. That is why we say they are related to the physical or the physical goings-on that you are doing at that moment in time.
It’s not that you don’t have an emotional experience every time you do something physical; you actually do. But it is the intense emotional experience that moves you that we are referring to in this series.
Remember Your Origins
Isn’t it rather amazing that we have set up for ourselves all these little “helpers” to aid us in experiencing more of what is going on around us? These helpers are your senses! They expand you, shift you, and help you in your creating. They are designed to remind you of who you really are…a LIGHT Being having a PHYSICAL experience.
Most humans don’t live in this perspective and have forgotten their origins. Your embodiment is an incredible mapping system to your soul. If you can come to know this and to embrace this knowing, it will expand you.
We humans take so very much for granted. When we age or manifest disease or decay in our bodies, we forget the incredible senses we retain. It is those senses that can aid us in our continued journey toward enlightenment.
When we’re distracted by pain, it is common to forget the automated system in our body that still remains in place. Our senses seem so simple and yet are so complex. We should honor each of them and hold them in our hearts with gratitude, knowing that despite all that goes on in the physical we truly remain light embodiments for all eternity.
As you reach for expanded states of consciousness, it is the senses that will take you there. In all the physical things that we do as humans, we have forgotten that. Hopefully, these discussions are igniting your senses within and expanding you to greater heights as your experience continues on this earthly plane of existence.