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Tree of Life & Universe Models

Jan 29, 1995 09:09 AM
by Jerry Schueler

Dr.  Bain: "Later research has established that many of the
GD/OTO attributions were and are incorrect."

Gee, I wonder what the GD and OTO have to say about this
interesting fact? Whose research?

Dr.  Bain: "Sepher Yetzirah makes it clear that there are 32
Paths of Wisdom, and ten Sephiroth - ten and not nine, ten and
not eleven."

Yes, there are 32 Paths, but the first 10 refer to going through
the Sephiroth themselves, while the remaining 22 refer to the
pathways connecting them.  Each of these 22 paths corresponds to
a Hebrew letter ajd their explorations (called pathworking) are
well documented.  The Hadra Zvta Qdisha (The Lesser Holy
Assembly) does describe the 11th Sephiroth Daath, to which
Mathers writes in a footnote "Daath is the conjunction of Chokmah
and Binah" (see The Kabbalah Unveiled by S.L.  MacGegor Mathers,
one of the three founders of the GD and magician extraordinare.
Although Mathers was a showman, his translations are quite good,
and his magic was excellent.  He is one of the very few magicians
whom Crowley had respect).  Also, the Greater Holy Assembly says
"From the third cavity there go forth a thousand times a thousand
conclaves and assemblies, wherein DOTh, Daath, Knowledge, is
contained and dwelleth" (Chapter XXVIII verse 566).  The Sepher
Yetzirah does not specifically say that Daath does not exist.  It
simply ignores it.  Maybe the problem here depends on which
translator we want to listen to? The beauty of the GD and OTO
systems (which do differ slightly) is that they are verifiable by
experience and do not stand on theory alone.  BTW, the Qlippoth
are real as well.

Let me say here that the very fact that Western Occultism has a
Qabalistic Tree of Sephiroth and Paths (with apparently several
interpretations) an Enochian system of Watchtowers and Aethyrs,
and a theosophical Gupta Vidya or Planetary Chain, to mention
just three (I omit the Egyptian and Gnostic as being outdated)
shows that these realms are very very subjective indeed.  We have
lots of maps for the same territory, folks, and they are not all
the same.  Is the problem the territory or the maps? Makes one
pause and think? I had a lot of personal problems with the Tree
of Life, but I took to the Enochian system like a duck to water.
All this means is that the Enochian system was better suited to
my own personal level of experience and "worldview." Others have
faired well enough with other systems.  I hope someone does
something with HPB's Planetary Chain, but I rather doubt that
theosophists will ever come to any agreement of just what the
heck HPB's model is all about.  The real purpose of these maps is
to help us better understand our psychic experiences in what I
call the magical universe - the 5 cosmic planes between divinity
and our physical plane.  They actually have helped folks keep
their sanity by giving them a psychic structure and framework
within which to assess their experiences.  Otherwise their value
is limited (except that one chap commented to me that he liked my
"gameboards" when referring to the Watchtowers in one of my
Enochian books.  So if you don't need a map, how about a good
game?).  So, when I said above that these maps are verifyable via
experience, I mean that a lot of different people have verified
them, while others have not.  Use what works for you, it the only
real rule here.  The notion that there is a right and wrong to
these maps (I call these maps universe models because they are,
in fact, different models of the magical universe) flies in the
face of the evidence.

Dr.  Bain: "Path 25 does indeed have the attribute of this card,
by whatever name, but sits in the center of the Greater Hod as
Path 25 of the 32.  "

Your phrase "sits in the center of the Greater Hod" leads me to
think that it is one of the paths going through the Sephirah
rather than a true path.  Anyway, I was using the GD/OTO map, and
stick by what I have said.  Your "proof" of where Path 25
"really" lies, is no better or worse than mine.  Sorry about
that.  Perhaps we can agree to disagree with all of these maps?
Is there a Lesser Hod?

Dr.  Bain: "It equates with the function of the exorcist in the
early church, the svaddisthana chakra, and the hindu mantra, VAM
[see Ernest Wood: Yoga, pub.  in UK under the Pelican imprint]."

To what does "it" refer? Hod? or Path 25? I have Wood's Yoga
somewhere in my library, but have not read it in many years.
Could you tell us what these correspondences have to do with Art
or are you implying that your version of the Tree of Life has no
real relevance?

         Jerry S.

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