Tree Of Life (Kabbalah)
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The Tree of Life, or Etz haChayim (עץ החיים) in Hebrew, is a classic descriptive term for the central mystical symbol used in the Kabbalah of esoteric Judaism, also known as the 10 Sephirot. The symbolic configuration of 10 spiritual principles (11 can be shown, of which - Keter and Da'at are interchangable), arranged in 3 columns/pillars, describes the manner in which God creates existence ex nihilo, the nature of revealed divinity, the human soul, and the spiritual path of ascent by man. In this way, Kabbalists developed the symbol into a full model of reality, using the tree to depict a map of Creation.
Jewish Kabbalah usually refers to the symbol as the 10 Sephirot, while non-Jewish Christian Cabala and Hermetic Qabalah generally terms it universally as the Cabalistic/Qabalistic Tree of Life. This metaphor derives from Judaic Kabbalah, though is understood less universally. In the Jewish Kabbalist view, both of the two trees in the Biblical Garden of Eden, the Tree of knowledge of good and evil and the Tree of Life were alternative perspectives of the Sephirot: the full array of 10 as seen respectively from the last Sephirah Malkuth, and the middle Sephirah Tiferet.
From the Renaissance onwards, the Jewish mystical concept was adopted by some esoterically inclined Christians as well as some Hermeticists. Among the Christian Cabalists, the sephirot were also called Dignities, referred to by Latin, instead of Hebrew, names. Christian Cabala also places emphasis on Christ as Sustainer and Preserver of the Universe, and the Malkuth of Jewish Kabbalah is absent, as it is considered of a different order-of-being. Hermetic Qabalah's use of the Tree continues as a contemporary Western esotericism tradition, with alternative Esoteric Christian and Occultist emphases.
Read more about Tree Of Life (Kabbalah): Jewish Kabbalah Interpretations, Christian Cabala and Hermetic Qabalah Interpretations, Similarities To Other Traditions, Image Gallery, See Also
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