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Old 21-01-2014, 07:31 AM
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The Tree of Life is a set of symbols that represent Divine Truths. They have specific, objective meanings and associations.

Though many texts disagree on certain specifics they all agree on the generalities and their disagreements can usually be resolved by understanding that they approach the symbols from different perspectives.

The best example would be with the 4th symbol. The ancient name for it was 'Gedulah' or Greatness and the modern name for it is 'Chesed' or Kindness. Though the name for it has changed all sources agree that this symbol represents the force of Expansion. Nobody says it is a force of Contraction and there is no room whatsoever for saying so. The change of the name can be understood by following the perspectives used in Kabbalah through the ages and their nuances. Nonetheless, the general understanding remains the same.

In Hermetic Kabbalah the tree of life was taken in many different directions through gnosticism, so much so that all the meanings have been skewed. Even basics like how to apply it to the human body (traditionally Chesed is Right, Gevurah is Left; in Hermetic, Chesed is usually Left and Gevurah is usually Right) have been skewed. Many other things have been misinterpretted because the interpretters' understandings didn't have a proper foundation in Torah, Gemarah and other Jewish texts and usually didn't even have a good understanding of the Hebrew language and how it relates to the tree of life (an essential foundation).

Not having a proper foundation leaves the mind floating through the air, reaching conclusions without backing and following assumptions to half-truths which lead to drifting falsehoods. True Knowledge is like a Tree, not a cloud.
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