(1797 total words in this text)
We have seen in the last Chapter how our original conception of “The Tree of Life” may be multiplied and crystallized into a Macrocosmic Snow Flake, or Six-fold Star. Let us now return to our first simple form of the “Tree” and examine it more carefully with a view to further discoveries.
We have been accustomed to look upon this as representing a flat two-dimensional surface, but we were not necessarily correct in our supposition.
In reality we have been looking at the front surface of a Triangular Crystal_Prism , and what we saw was not all in one plane. The “sides” of the Tree are but two angles of an equilateral solid; the third angle, at the back, is invisible, being completely hidden by the Paths of the Central Pillar.
This Central Pillar is not level with the front surface, but is the Core of the prism. Kether is the Apex of a pyramid whose base is equilateral. Malkuth is at the lower point of a descending pyramid, all four sides of which are equilateral, thus forming a Tetrahedron.
Tiphereth and Yesod are both embedded in the solid, and the Paths of the “Three Mothers” are interior channels.
Looking at the “Tree” in the ordinary manner, we should have to realize that only the Three Reciprocal Paths, and the Four Paths forming the Side Pillars, are actually on the level surface before us. There are, however, three Reciprocal Paths of each kind, viz.: nine in all, for there are two others, in each case, which retreat and meet at the third angle of the prism. There is another pair of vertical Paths, similar to those at the sides, but concealed at the back of the solid.
Instead of there being only two Paths from Kether to Chokmah and Binah, there are _three, one sloping away to the concealed angle at the back. The triangular surface we see is not vertical, but slopes back towards Kether.
The Paths from Chokmah and Binah to Tiphereth also slope inward to the central core of the prism, and there is a third Path from the angle at the back. The four visible Paths from Chesed, Geburah, Netzach, and Hod to Tiphereth are likewise sloping within the solid and there are in addition two invisible Paths at the back.
The Paths from Netzach and Hod to Yesod also incline inward, since Yesod is at the core of the Tree. Again there is another similar Path concealed, which slopes down from the angle at the back.
The surface of the Triangle formed by the Paths connecting Netzach, Hod, and Malkuth, is not vertical, but falls away towards the back, and there are two similar surfaces connected with the concealed Sphere of Netzach-Hod behind the solid figure.
This at first may seem confusing, but it can be more clearly explained by means of diagrams and plates. Let us imagine that we have ascended above the Tree and are looking directly down upon Kether. From this position we should perceive a triangular figure as shown in the diagram:
The nearest point to us will be Kether and the other three Spheres at a lower level. The three triangular surfaces slope away from Kether to the Spheres at the angles.
But what are these Three Spheres and Six Paths, upon which we have been looking? Our conception of the Tree must undergo a remarkable change. The three bounding Paths are all equally that of Tzaddi, Aquarius, or “The Star.” The Three Spheres are each equally both Chokmah and Binah. The Three Paths connecting with Kether are each equally Jupiter and Saturn, or Kaph and Tau, or “The Wheel” and “The Universe.” In other words, THERE ARE NO LONGER ANY PAIRS OF OPPOSITES, and there never were in reality. Each idea is only true insofar as it contains its own opposite. So the Sphere we called Chokmah always concealed it Binah, and Binah its Chokmah, and so on. While we thought the Tree represented a flat surface we could not realize how these apparently opposite Spheres could in reality be one and the same, but now that we have discovered the Third Angle of the Prism, they are at once unified without difficulty.
Also the former Reciprocal Paths have now become the Boundaries of the Solid Figure, and represent a sectional plane through it. The natures of the opposite Paths are also unified, and they convey the Single Influence of Kether to the Dual Spheres they connect therewith.
Let us now include Tiphereth in our conception, and at the same time imagine that we are looking at the solid from the front, but that it has been twisted round slightly, so as to make the concealed angle clearer.
We now see how the Paths of Resh and Ayin or “The Sun” and “The Devil,” are triple, yet one. These conflicting ideas have disappeared in a harmonious combination. The Path of Shin, the Holy Spirit, at the core of the Figure uniting Kether and Tiphereth, remains single.
What were the Pillars of Mercy and Severity, are now no longer opposed to one another, for there are Three Bounding Pillars, as well as the Central One.
There are Three Chesed-Geburahs, and Three Netzach-Hods. The Paths of Samek and Pe, or “Temperance” and “The Tower,” are now united, as are those of Lamed and Yod, or “Justice” and “The Hermit.”
If we were next to take a section through the “Tree” at the line formed by the Path of Nun, or “Death,” and remove the upper portion, while _looking_down_ upon the remainder we should see:
The bounding lines, nearest to us, would be the Three Paths of Nun with the Three Spheres of Chesed-Geburah at the angles. Tiphereth would be somewhat lower down, and the Three Paths of He-Qoph, or Aries-Pisces, would slope towards it. The small triangle near the center would be the lower part of the three paths of the Resh-Ayin triad.
If we cut through the prism at the Path of Vau, or “The Hierophant” while still looking down at the remainder, we should see:
Yesod in the Center, somewhat below the bounding lines and Spheres of the triple paths of Vau and the three Netzach-Hods. In this instance there would be no small triad in the center, since there are not paths equivalent to those mentioned in regard to the upper section.
But if from this position we looked up at the section above, we should see:
The same Spheres and Paths bounding the figure, but Tiphereth would appear in the center, connected by the triple paths of Teth-Zayin, or “The Lion-Lovers,” corresponding to Leo-Gemini.
Finally, should we look up at the whole Tree from below Malkuth, we should perceive:
Malkuth in the Center, nearest to us, with the Triple Path, or Plane, of the “Hierophant” some distance above. These would be connected by the triple Paths of Beth-Daleth, Mercury-Venus, or “The Magician-Empress.”
Thus, in every instance, would the “pairs of opposites” be truly mated and resolved into a unified triplicity, in three dimensions.
The accompanying Plate shows the whole “Prismatic Tree” with its 13 Spheres and 36 Paths, quite clearly. The whole number is 49, which again returns to Unity as 13. 49 also represents the square of seven, and the Hebrew Word for “Solve’” (See plate “C” and study carefully.)
We may now consider approximately what would be the impression received by one who took an “Astral Journey” up through the Central Core of this Triple Tree.
Starting from Malkuth by the Path of Aleph, or The Fool, the astral form would travel vertically upwards, with a consciousness of being surrounded by the combined influences of Mercury-Venus perfectly blended, while the surrounding “space” would take the form of an ever-increasing triangle, till Yesod was reached. At this juncture he would feel the concentrated essence of the forces from the Paths of Cancer-Luna (“The Chariot-High Priestess” or Pure Balanced Aspiration) while yet his consciousness continued to expand till he reached the full limits of the equilateral triangle bounded by the paths of “The Hierophant.” From Yesod onward to this point he would partake of the Mystery of the “Hanged Man” (Primitive Water) till the Influence of the Hierophantic Plane began to initiate him into its deeper Meanings. As he continued by this Path of Mem his field of consciousness would remain extended to its limits, held there by the Forces of Yod-Lamed or “The Hermit and Justice,” while, at the same time, there would be a contraction due to the influence of the Triple Paths of Zayin-Teth which would concentrate his Soul in Tiphereth.
Rising above Tiphereth his Soul would expand to the limits of his field of consciousness by means of the Paths of He-Qoph (or Aries-Pisces), while he would also have contacted the Influence of the Holy Spirit in the Central Path of Shin. This would expand within the Soul, under the influence of the triple Paths of Ayin-Resh (or Capricorn-Sol). Passing through the Plane of “Death” or Scorpio, he would ascend till his Spiritual Consciousness expanded to the limits of his Soul Consciousness, which would have been affected, meanwhile, by the Paths of Pe-Samek or Mars-Sagittarius (“The Tower - Temperance”) and presently he would reach the Plane of “The Star” (Tzaddi or Aquarius) where his Soular and Spiritual Fields of Consciousness would be equally extended, while the Spirit would steadily Flame in the Core of his Being.
Then, after contacting the Triple Influence of
Chokmah-Binah, his whole Field of Consciousness, on all Planes, would gradually contract along the Paths of Kaph-Tau upon Kether, upon reaching which, he would suddenly find Himself once more in Malkuth, which is the Body of Nuit, concentrated upon the Inner Light of the Khabs, the only veil of Hadit, the Flame in every Heart of Man and in the Core of every Star.
He would then arise as a truly Enlightened Being, clothed in a body of Flesh, ready to go forth and do his pleasure among the living. As it is written in the Ritual of Mercury: “I travel upon high, I tread upon the Firmament of Nu, I raise a flashing-flame with the Lightning of Mine Eye; ever rushing on in the Splendor of the daily Glorified Ra; giving my life to the dwellers of Earth.”
Truly will he have learned the meaning of 49, which is Solve’.
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