THE TREE OF LIFE An Introduction to the Kabbalah by Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi
The Tree of Life, An Introduction to the Kabbalah by Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi 1972 The Guernsey Press
This is another book I have had on my bookcase for a long time. I had no idea what the Kabbalah was and I have found it very interesting.
The Tree of Life is a framework upon which we can examine the structure of any organisation, from a business to the existence of Man.
At the top of the tree is the sephira, or container, Kether, the Crown, which is the Absolute, the Unknowable.
At the bottom is Malkut, the Kingdom, which is the physical body.
On the central column also are
· Yesod, Foundation, which is the Ego or Persona;
· Tepheret, Beauty, which is Man’s consciousness of himself, the Watcher. This is at the centre of the tree between Heaven and Earth
· Daat, Knowledge. This is invisible, the Divine, the Void, the state of No-thing. This is where Man meets the Absolute
On either side of the central column is a passive column and an active column.
The Active Column contains, from the bottom:
· Netzah, Eternity, which is the autonomic system which runs the vital functions and instincts.
· Hesed, Mercy, which is the internal world of man, the devotion and passion which drives him.
· Hochma, Wisdom, which is inspiration and genius coming from the Crown
The Passive Column regulates the corresponding sephiroth, or containers:
· Hod, Reverberation, which is basic reasoning and knowledge.
· Gevura, Judgement, which is assessment of the emotions which arise in its opposite, Hesed. If these are not balanced, then Hesed could lead to uncontrolled passions, while someone who is in Gevura could become a bigot or zealot.
· Binah, Understanding. This is the intellect, which balances the flashes of inspiration found in its opposite, Hochma. A person who is in Hochma could become a revolutionary, while one in Binah could become too conservative.
I don’t know if this is clear, but to me it is a good map, showing the development of a person from merely physical functioning to a realisation that there is more to life; a great deal more to explore and to achieve.