VOID ( SOLID )
POINT ( VOID )
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them….And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden: and there he put the man whom he had formed …and the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
For the scholars and initiates of the Holy Cabbalah, concealed within the mystical symbolism of the Tree of Life is the secret, unutterable name or Word of God. The Power to create and endow matter with life. When the God of the Christian Bible uttered the Word not only did He create the Universe but retrospectively, within the primal moment of becoming, He created himself – the utterer and product of this utterance.
Within the field of comparative mythology resides a confounding enigma. For running through seemingly unrelated belief systems, scattered all across the globe from Melanesia to Siberia, Scandinavia to central America, and revered for at least seven thousand years before the composition of the Book of Genesis, flows one universal theme – the motif of a Cosmic Tree and an associated Serpent. A familiar representation still used to this day would be the Caduceus, internationally recognised symbol of the medical profession, taken from Hermes the Greek god of mystic knowledge and truth, who in turn had his antecedent in the Akkadian god Ningizzida ‘Lord of the Tree of Truth and Guardian of the waters of life”. It would seem to be what Carl Jung termed an archetype or product of the ‘collective unconscious’. This motif unclothed of its mythological trappings can be broadly thought of as a symbolic cipher for the means by which the ‘life-force’ immanent in the fabric of reality comes to animate matter.
Technically speaking DNA inhabits the dividing line between inorganic matter and life. Neither an organism in its own right nor merely a molecular interaction. In a sense DNA is the true, immortal and only life form of this planet, indeed it’s probably universal, not just a local phenomenon but nature’s evolutionary motor wherever life may be found. Whether the organism is an oak tree or a viper, an alien from Sirius or the flea on the back of a camel the organism is no more than D.N.A.’s disposable machine for ensuring its continued survival. Having evolved us through trial and error over billions of years it has developed a set of blueprints complex enough to endow molecular engines with the attributes of self-consciousness.
For the ancient Sumerians, arguably the first of humanity’s civilisations certainly the first to put to writing a Genesis myth, the first tree was female and symbolised heaven, the other, male, stood for earth. Together they were the source of creation. The priesthood were taught to rise above the duality, to reconnect with the underlying state of non-differentiation and reach perfection. The sole purpose of their existence being guardianship of the garden, in a state of communion with the Gods. And the True God, progenitor of all the others, is always portrayed through the cipher of an empty throne, the abyss or void. As for the False Gods, well they lived at the top of the ziggurats, one for each and each with a city built around it, regularly confiding with the head priest and taking an active interest in developments. They were a civilisation being pulled up by their own bootstraps.
“A new tree had grown from the stump and its trunk had grown along the ground until it reached a place where there were no wash lines above it. Then it had started to grow towards the sky again. Annie, the fir tree, that the Nolans had cherished with waterings and manurings, had long since sickened and died. But this tree in the yard–this tree that men chopped down…this tree that they built a bonfire around, trying to burn up its stump–this tree had lived!”
– Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Ch. 56