Having briefly discussed the “Tree of Life” in its Prismatic form, we should now pass on to a consideration of its “Multiplication” and “Projection”; for we have indeed found it to be “The Stone of the Wise.”
This Crystal Stone is capable of indefinite increase or decrease, very much in the same manner as was found possible in regard to the flat two-dimensional figure.
The Center of Malkuth will once more be our starting point, and now we shall find the smallest Tree will be within the next larger one, and so on. (Plate D missing.)
The Central Core of this Prismatic Tree will always consist of Malkuth, Yesod, Tiphereth, and Kether, united by the Three Channels of Aleph, Mem, and Shin. These will be found to combine and recombine as the “Tree” progresses in size. The Kether of the smallest Tree will always be embedded in the Tiphereth of the next larger, and these two again in Yesod of the next. The triplication of the Tree makes little difference to these Sephiroth and Paths, but we shall find it affects some of the others.
The Three Netzach-Hods of the smallest Tree will appear as spheres in the center of the Three Venus-Mercury Paths of the next larger, and so on, indefinitely.
The Three Chesed-Geburahs of the smallest Tree will form similar spheres in the centers of the Triple Channels of Cancer-Luna of the next Tree.
The Three Chokmah-Binahs will likewise be found in the centers of the Three Channels of Leo-Gemini, and so on. These last named spheres will always be half way embedded in the surface of the Sphere of Yesod of the next larger Prismatic Tree.
The Student should trace out these correspondences for himself, making a careful study of the accompanying Plate D, while endeavoring to form a complete mental picture of these Prismatic Trees.
We are now prepared to take another step in the development of this marvelous Plan, but first let us return for a moment to the contemplation of the design of our “Crystalline Snow-Flake” as shown in Plate B.
In dealing with the two-dimensional aspect of the Work, we found upon combining SIX of the flat “Trees” we obtained a Hexagonal Figure of Sixfold-Star. This symbolism is that of the Macrocosm. What will be the result of our combining a number of the solid Prismatic Trees?
Upon experiment we find in this instance that they do not combine in six-fold arrangement as before, but that FIVE such Prisms taken together form a perfect Pentagon, the center of which is Malkuth and the bounding lines all representing the Paths of Taurus or “The Hierophant.” The lines connecting the Spheres at the five angles, which are all Netzach-Hods, will each be Paths of Venus-Mercury.
Of course, looking at the solid figure from this angle, Malkuth is nearer to us than the Netzach-Hod Spheres, for the latter are connected by the retreating Paths of Venus-Mercury. In addition to this Pentagon we should also see something of the remainder of the five solid Trees, in perspective, as they spread out behind or away from us.
The Great Work, as symbolized in the Word of the Aeon, ABRAHADABRA, has always consisted in finding the equivalence between the Microcosm and the Macrocosm, or the formula 5 = 6. Here we find a higher aspect of the Work, for this solid Figure is built up on purely Microcosmic Lines of Five Solids to a section. But we have now discovered a “Rose” capable of extension in Five Directions to Infinity, and containing within itself all the Correspondences, with powers of indefinite multiplication.
Such a figure is not capable of filling the whole of Space, but when we take FOUR such sections and combine them, we are able to make the Complete Three Dimensional Solid, which will extend in every direction as the Trees Progress in Size, thus completely filling all known space. Such a figure is composed of Twenty of our original Prismatic Trees, and 20 is the numeration of IVD, the basic letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, and the First Letter of the Ineffable Name. It is also the Numeration of the Letter Kaph, which corresponds to “The Wheel of Life” and the Father IU-Pater.
When these are so combined, the central Point of Malkuth is completely embedded in the Center of the Figure (unless it be built of actual Crystals, in which case we should be able to get a glimpse of it).
The accompanying plate showing the “Projection” of the Stone, will make the matter clear to the Student, and open up a wonderful vista to his mind.
We have now a figure capable of progression in twenty directions. The true Kether is concealed within the Malkuth at the Center, and this expands spherically as the size of the solid increases.
We have 20 Projecting Kethers representing the Forerunners of Light, followed by 60 Chokmah-Binahs and 60 Chesed-Geburahs. Then follow 20 Tiphereths concealed in the cores of the Prisms and representing the Substance of the Light which is the Soul or Life. We are able to perceive only 12 Netzach-Hods, for these have now united into groups of five dual spheres in one. Within the cores of the prisms, next follow 20 Yesods, while a single Malkuth is at the Central Point of All.
We have, therefore, One Hundred and Ninety-Three Spheres in all, connected with the un-progressed figure, and this number reduces to Thirteen, which is Unity. 193, it may be remarked, is also a prime number.
There are 60 Paths equivalent to Iu-Pater-Saturn;
60 which correspond to Aquarius; 60 to Sagittarius-Mars; 60 to Scorpio; and 60 to Virgo-Libra.
But there are only 30 representing Taurus or “The Hierophant” since these have now combined in pairs.
Thus we have 330 Visible Paths.
There are 20 Invisible Paths of Air.
20 Invisible Paths of Water.
20 Invisible Paths of Fire or Spirit.
60 Invisible Paths of Sol-Capricorn.
60 Invisible Paths of Leo-Gemini.
60 Invisible Paths of Cancer-Luna.
But only 12 Invisible Paths of Venus-Mercury. Thus we have 252 Invisible Paths in all. The Paths of the Tree were always attributed to The Serpent; it is strange that these invisible Paths should be 252, which is the numeration of the Hebrew word MAVRH, meaning “The Serpent’s Den.”
The Total number of Paths in the complete figure is thus 330 plus 252 which is 582. 330, the number of visible Paths is equivalent to the Hebrew word MTzR meaning: Boundary, Terminus, or Crosspath. 582 reduces to 15, the numeration of IH that Father and Mother of the Ineffable Name, or if further reduced we get 6, which is equivalent to V, the Son. IHV, it will be remembered, represent the three simple letters which, according to the Sepher Yetzirah, were chosen by God as His Name in the Six Directions.
The total number of Sephiroth and Paths is 193 plus 582 = 775. This reduces to 10, and therefore to Unity.
But the Points of the 20 Kethers are so arranged as to form when connected, TWELVE perfectly regular Pentagons. Thus the whole structure indicates a perfect DODECAHEDRON and, when enclosed in the circumscribing SPHERE, touches it a eighty points. The whole solid may be considered as capable of expansion by means of the progression of the unit “Trees” as explained before. Likewise, it is possible to imagine the reduction or contraction of the whole figure upon the Infinitely Small. (Plate E missing)
We have therefore discovered in the “Tree of Life,” properly Multiplied and Projected according to the Art of the Wise, what may well be looked upon as the Anatomy of the Body of God, or the natural structure of Matter under the Influence of the Concealed Spirit. Thus the “Unknown Warrior” who made some such assertion in the presence of Frater Perdurabo, and earned such scant praise, may have been inspired to a degree he, himself, little realized. The following quotation from “The Two Creation Stories” by James S. Forrester-Brown throws valuable light upon the conception of the Tree of Life as the Anatomy of the Body of God.
“When the Divine Will is born in the heart of a human soul, true free-will begins, for will is only free when in accord with the Great Will. Knowledge follows, and life becomes full of meaning and purposeful activity. The drama of the formal life (the tree of knowledge) develops in terms of the Higher Will (the tree of life), so that daily happenings appear to lift the veil from universal truths, illuminating the life. When the tree of knowledge and tree of life, reason and intuition, the personal and the universal, are harmoniously united in the individualized soul, the daily life becomes the moving image and expression of the living Soul of the universe.
“We may think of the tree of life as the arteries of the Great Cosmic Body. Through these arteries, as along channels, the cosmic Life pulses forth with every heart beat of the Great Person. This is a very deep mystery. Until this Life is caught up by each individualized soul and returns through himself to the Great Cosmic Person, flowing back along the veins of the Great Body, there is no possibility of the power within the separated soul affecting the Great Person. Moreover, unless a counter-current is set up, the Life flows past the soul, and this does not truly live. The individualized soul requires to fashion capillaries throughout his nature and keep them in use, to allow of the return flow through them into the cosmic veins. That this shall be established he must, greatly daring, yet with awe and humility, seek to know the nature of God and of man and the relation between them. When he is able to see himself as he actually is, he realizes with a sense of abasement the imperfections and impurities of his complex personality, and the immediate necessity to turn from death unto Life. This does no imply a purely temporary repentance, but a Great Act of turning back, which cleanses the entire life of the soul and establishes organized relations with the Cosmic Person, making it possible for the “Christ” consciousness to be born “from Above” within the soul.
“The tree of knowledge is then seen as the veins of the Great Body along which flow back the counter-currents carrying the fruitage of the time-order, and thus the tree of life, with its arteries along which cosmic life is “timelessly” propelled from the Great Heart, is complemented. The two trees ‘in the midst of the garden’ become united within the Cosmic Heart and Body, the ‘Eden’ of the Great Person, and the ‘Christ’ consciousness is complete.
“The tree of life may also be thought of as the tree of universal life growing round and encompassing the individual soul. When that tree is truly one with the tree of phenomenal self, the tree of knowledge, then the abstract and the concrete, the ideal and the actual are one, and their fruits are the living powers. From this universal-personal tree spring all the virtues, and on it they blossom and ripen. They are the fruits of temporal experience, containing the seeds of eternal Life, and, as such, correspond to the disciples of one’s own ‘Christ within’ at the final Consummation.
“In the Apocryphal literature, Michael, Archangel of the Sun, is set over the tree which, at the time of the great judgment (note the position of “The Judgment” as Shin on the Tree. Achad.), is given over to the righteous, who obtain Life from its fruit. This is the tree of universal life, now one with the personal tree in the region of material existence.”