“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is and who is to come.” (Revelation 4: 8)
The Tree of Life is a universal symbol of the three-fold structure of Creation and of the human being, made in the image and likeness of God. In all world religions, in accordance with their model of the Universe, the Tree of Life is presented in great detail.
In this section I would like to discuss the great system of co-ordinates of the Tree of Life – the horizontal (the physical Universe) and the vertical (the three-fold structure of Creation consisting of the material, the celestial and the highest Divine worlds). In fact, they are the two main dimensions which form the system of coordinates of our civilisation - the physical and the metaphysical. The physical ‘horizontal’ dimension is the enormous reality of the ever expanding physical universe since the Big Bang; the metaphysical ‘vertical’ dimension is the vertical structure of the Universe with sequential cosmic cycles of evolution. Above the highest Divine world is only the Absolute Origin of Being, the World of Emanation, the Primal Cause, the Great Void, the Source of Life - in accordance with one or another world religion.
In the Kabbalistic tradition, the structure of Creation is symbolised by the Jacob’s ladder: Assiyah (the world of made-fact), Yetzirah (the world of formation), Beriah (the world of creation) and Azilut (the world of emanation, corresponding to the Absolute Origin of Being):
The Kabbalistic Tree of Life
Image courtesy of Zev Ben Shimon Halevi
In this Kabbalistic Tree of Life the vertical axis is presented as the four interconnected worlds of Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriah and Azilut. The horizontal axis arises out of the world of Assiyah, overlapping with the corresponding sefiroth of Yetzirah. In fact, the essence of Kabbalah is this Tree of Life, studied, deciphered and contemplated over the centuries and millennia. Here I would like only to mention the connection between the physical Big Bang (the birth of the physical Universe - the horizontal axis of the Tree of Life) and the spiritual Big Bangs (the rhythm of the cosmic cycles of the metaphysical Universe - the vertical axis of the Tree of Life).
The physical Big Bang gave birth to the physical Universe as depicted in the NASA/WMAP:
The Universe Is Old (Really Old) The universe began with the Big Bang, and is estimated to be approximately 13.7 billion years old (plus or minus 130 million years). This graphic shows a timeline of the universe based on the Big Bang theory and inflation models.
The physical Universe, i.e. the ‘horizontal’ dimension of the Tree of Life, is the enormous reality of the physical cosmos appearing after the physical Big Bang. It is a reality, expanding with increasing acceleration.
The metaphysical Universe, i.e. the ‘vertical’ dimension of the Tree of Life, follows a different pattern: it is subject to constant expansion and contraction. The spiritual Big Bangs follow the rhythm of great interchanging cosmic cycles. From the World of Emanation, God generates the impulse for a new cosmic cycle, which gives rise to the whole vertical structure of Creation and then returns back to the Origin:
The beginning of Existence comes into being with the Crown of Crowns, the Azilutic Keter of EHYEH – I AM. Out of the Endless Changeless World of Emanation, Creation emerges at the Tiferet of Azilut which becomes the Keter of Beriah. From this place, the CREATOR generates the impulse of a Shemittah or Great Cosmic Cycle with all its created Worlds and creatures that inhabit them.
(Halevi, A Kabbalistic Universe, Kabbalah Society, 2007, 27. End of Days, p. 236).
It is amazing that in our epoch the impulse for the present great Cosmic Cycle has come to its fulfilment and returns to the World of Emanation in order for a great new Cosmic Cycle to begin: When all the Worlds were completed, the cosmic Shemittah turned at the Malkhut at the foot of Jacob’s Ladder and began its retreat from the densest materiality and complexity of law. This is the evolutionary return and rising of Existence back to its source.... At the present time the return, if it is to be judged by the general state of mankind, is to be seen somewhere between the central nervous system and the Self, or between the Hod (Body – L.M.) and Tiferet (Self – L.M.) on the Great Line of Light on the central column. This places most of incarnate humanity at the level of the ego with some above and some below.
(Halevi, A Kabbalistic Universe, Kabbalah Society, 2007, 27. End of Days, p. 237-238)
Fig. 81– EVOLUTION
This sets out the current situation in the history of humanity. At the bottom are the living dead. Above come the as yet unawakened masses ruled by animal level leaders. Over these are individuated souls and the ranks of spiritually developed people. The lower levels reincarnate while the more advanced can choose to be reborn on their Third Journey of Destiny. This vast process will go on until all of mankind has fulfilled its purpose. Above and below is I AM with all of Existence embodied in the word THAT in between.
(Halevi, A Kabbalistic Universe, Kabbalah Society, 2007, p. 236).
Many of the world religions in our time acknowledge that the Divine impulse for the unfolding of the Indo-European cycle has fulfilled its function and is now returning back to the Origin of Being (see, sections The Second Coming
and The Mayan Prophecy
). This means that we will undergo the change of the metaphysics of the material world into the metaphysics of the celestial world (the Garden of Paradise) and later on – to the metaphysics of the highest Divine World (the Causal World).
This is an objective Divine rhythm which unfolds the cosmic cycles. It is the Will of God and does not depend on human will. In this case only the people who have opened their souls will be able to adjust easily to the changing situation. The other people have to start their Exodus from the present material world, going towards the celestial world (the Garden of Paradise).
In essence, all of humankind is challenged to start its spiritual Exodus from the material world in order to survive. Perhaps the previous human civilisations that disappeared, like Atlantis, where not able to meet the challenges of the return of their Cosmic cycle to the Origin of Being; then only the advanced initiates adjusted to the higher vibrations of the new cosmic cycle (the Indo-European one) and participated in its development.
It would be a great cosmic tragedy, if the present civilisation was to undergo self-destruction because there were not enough advanced souls to raise the contemporary human civilisation to the higher vibrations of the emerging new cosmic cycle.
In order to ascend to the higher levels of Being humankind has to start its Exodus from the restricted material consciousness – the Indo-European cycle has completed its function, the vibrations of the return to the Divine Origin are rising and we have to respond and adapt to the new objective cosmic situation.
It is difficult to imagine a more crucial and responsible time for humankind throughout the whole Indo-European cycle than our present epoch. Our epoch is the critical stage of human evolution on Earth. Depending on the choice of humankind as a whole, the result will be either spiritual resurrection and entry into the new cycle of evolution, or human catastrophe and starting the evolutionary process all over again (as in the case of Atlantis). Metaphorically speaking, humankind as a whole will enter either into the 'black hole' of collapse, or into the ‘white source of Light’ giving birth to a New Humankind living in a New Heaven and New Earth.
The New Exodus is a great metaphysical journey. It is the Exodus of contemporary humankind from its earthly consciousness with all its attendant ills up to the reality of the Garden of Paradise and then to the Kingdom of God with many mansions. As Moses led the Exodus of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, now the whole of humankind will be led to the reality of the New Heaven and the New Earth, ignited by God Who makes all things new!
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