Back Into the Tree of Life Image?
>> Recently, I re-read an old book of mine from Donald Tyson who argues that most people do things wrongly - because people don't question the reason for doing things in the first place. In addition, I have come across web sites (e.g. "Work of the Chariot" - http://www.workofthechariot.com/index.htm ) and read traditional Jewish Kabbalah books that suggest the Golden Dawn got it wrong i.e. you don't back into the TOL and visualise Geburah on your right shoulder and Chesed on your left. Is spiritual intention, and the egregor now associated with this form of the TOL what counts now? <<
One thing that differentiates Jewish kabbalah from the Western tradition is how they each treat the Tree. In Jewish kabbalah, the Tree was never placed in the body (i.e., one never stepped into the Tree either forward or backward), so the question of backing in or not was never considered. This use of the Tree was not a part of the Jewish tradition.
The Jewish kabbalah is oriented to standing face-to-face with G-d, whereas the Western tradition is oriented to standing AS G-d. Becoming at-one-with G-d requires a shift in perspective and one MUST, in effect, back into the Tree in order to assume the structure of Deity.
So those who argue that the Western tradition has it wrong and that you don't back into the Tree are correct from the Jewish perspective since the Jewish tradition would never do such a thing in the first place. However, if you're following the Western path and seeking oneness with G-d, stepping forward into the Tree will do you no good.
Those who argue that backing into the Tree is thus incorrect base their interpretation on various Hebrew texts that correlate "right" with the pillar of Mercy and "left" with the pillar of Severity. Unfortunately they haven't understood the Jewish perspective sufficiently to realize that these are references to the Tree image that depict G-d looking at us. They are not references to the Tree within the human body since this was never a practice of Jewish kabbalah. Therefore, these textual "proofs" are nothing of the sort.
Likewise, many modern Jewish kabbalists don't fully understand the Western perspective and therefore declare that Western kabbalah has it wrong and one should never back into the Tree. And even though, due to the influence of Western kabbalah, some are beginning to treat the Tree in a Western manner (by placing it in the body, etc.), they are doing so from a purely Jewish understanding.
In short, if you want to use the purely Western approach of building the Tree in your aura, then you'd be wise to stick to the Western technique of backing into the Tree. The Jewish tradition has no such practice of building the Tree in the aura.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
29 Jul 2002