3.1 Judaism: The Kabala Tree of Life – Overcoming Outer Polarities
Judaism is here represented by the Tree of Spheres (See diagram). The Spheres may be considered as the attributes of both, The Creator and The Creation. The latter functions as the reflection of the Creator.
The 10 Spheres, plus the formless and soundless Sphere of Knowledge, pertain to the four Worlds of the Tree: Divine, Creation, Formation and Action.
The successive worlds indicate the process of Creation, as from the three upper Spheres – Crown, Wisdom and Understanding, situated beyond the Sphere of Knowledge, till the lowest Spheres – Eternity, Splendor and Kingdom.
The World of the Divine and The World of Creation are beyond a virtual curtain formed by The Sphere of Knowledge. This Sphere, as mentioned above, lacks form and sound, meaning that it is not subdued to space and time, as form requires space, and sound depends on the passage of time.
The virtual curtain formed by The Sphere of Knowledge points out that the three upper Spheres are beyond time and space, and therefore cannot be grasped solely by means of space and time criteria.
The World of Formation, below the Sphere of Knowledge, consists of six more Spheres and they all suggest the coming advent of space and time in which form and sound can be fulfilled.
The World of Action, with the Sphere of Kingdom, is the result of the process of Creation. Here, the world of pluralism via space and time is completed.
The Spheres of The Tree of Life thrust an incredible challenge for all of us – the ability to encapsulate both Crown and Kingdom as one sole advent. This means Lifelong learning how to overcome polarity or fixations, and to do away with the territorial view of the world. We are prompted to detect, in every moment, the balance between inner psychological life and external circumstances. The balance is never a result of an a priori concept, but rather, the ability to continuously search for the latent path between inner and outer daily life.
The Inner Column stands for Synthesis, Balance, and Harmony while the two outer columns represent complementary polarities.
When the external Spheres are melted into one Essence in the middle column, the path from the lesser Sphere of Kingdom towards the Highest Sphere of Crown becomes possible.
The insights are of extreme subtlety:
The active Sphere of Wisdom depends on the endurance of Understanding. We have to listen to the world around us, contemplate, and meditate in order to act with efficiency.
Mercy can not survive without Valor (Strength).
In turbulent human situations, as struggles, conflicts and wars, Mercy can be exercised only by the valiant, who dares not to join the aggressive flair of the herd symptom.
Eternity represents the ability of infinite interlinking while Splendor symbolizes the splendor of the infinite finite phenomena or Nature.
The inner column of The Tree of Life leads the seeker, in its path upwards, from Kingdom, symbolizing transient reality, to the Sphere of Foundation marking the common denominator of everything created, as the atom and molecules. After acknowledging the common source indicated by Foundation, we can face the Sphere of Beauty.
When reaching Beauty, we may become breathless, realizing the infinite continuum of the cosmos and its unfathomable intricacy.
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