Kabbala Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein 3 - The Kabbalistic Tree of Life Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein The Kabbalistic Tree of Life has Kether at the top. This is the place of the Divine energy, sometimes represented as God the Father; it is the everlasting and limitless light. If we were to put a Chakra overlay on the Tree of Life, we’d see that the seven chakras run up the central pillar. The parallel circles just below are Chockma, representing Wisdom, which is often seen as masculine, and Binah, representing Understanding, which is often seen as feminine. These two elements might be considered parallel to the yin-yang symbol of Taoism; they represent a recognition among the Kabbalistic writers that each of us contains both masculine and feminine sides, and that both are necessary for life in the third dimension. Chockma heads the “Pillar of Mercy” and Binah heads the “Pillar of Severity”; the central pillar (as in the Temple of Solomon), is the Pillar of Balance. However, what Binah and Chockma actually seem to represent are the right and left brain hemispheres; as the lightning bolt courses down the tree, the masculine Chockma actually becomes the controller of the opposite side of the tree, or the Pillar of Severity, and the feminine Binah becomes the controller of the Pillar of Mercy. It is said that as human beings take on life in the third dimension, they are energized by a “lightning bolt” that runs from Kether through Chockma through Binah, and then zig-zags through the rest of the circles represented here. Notice that as we draw this lightning bolt, it has an undulating serpentine form. Where have we seen this before? In the staff of Hermes Trismegistis/Hermes/Mercury, with the two entwined serpents (similar to the ida and pingala of Vedic medicine that runs up the spinal column), that has come to represent the medical profession; and in the White Serpent of the Kundalini that lies coiled at the base of the spine of the yogi. (Remember Inanna preparing the upper chakras for her descent into the underworld and poor Eve and her serpent and the bad rap they got in Eden.) We might also take the liberty of looking at these two sides of human beings as the right and left brain hemispheres, one side governing rational, linear thinking, and the other side governing access to the wholistic “all that is.” In fact, the Kabbalistic writers saw two ways of accessing the Divine: Elochim, which saw God in the “All that Is,” and Hashem, which found God by going within to the inner world of dreams, intuition, and direct revelation. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily