The Nature of the Soul – The Kabbalah Tree of Life and the Process of Self-Creation
Posted On September 12, 2018
/ Written by Dr. Linda Gadbois
The Kabbalah Tree of Life provides us with a symbolic diagram for understanding the true nature of our soul and how we can consciously create ourselves through the understanding and utilization of universal laws. It’s created as a hierarchical structure of “spheres of consciousness” as “states of mind” (Monads) that move an idea in a purely potential state into an actual expression of reality by steadily imposing limitations of various sorts on it as it descends from higher to lower planes that are all a dynamic and cohesive part of the same coherent reality. The human soul is represented by the central sphere (Tiphareth) that’s located on the central pillar of the Tree, and acts as the “medium” between the higher world of Archetypes as an idea in its potential (unformed) state, and the lower world of active expression where the archetype manifests as a specific entity within a reality of the same nature and with the same likeness.
Like all metaphorical ideas that are symbolic in nature and require interpretation in order to be understood, there are as many ways to interpret the Tree of Life as there are people interpreting it. And while general ideas apply as a form of overall theme that governs the nature of the interpretation itself as an intuitive form of reasoning based on the organized structure itself, the process of interpretation comes by way of a constant form of limitation that’s placed on a universal idea as adaptation to the individuals model of the world, level of esoteric knowledge, personality and identity, maturity level, and the conditions and circumstances of their life that they conform it to as a way of forming an internal representation of it as a working reality. As an idea in its potential state is brought down the planes from a universal state to a personalized expression, it’s modified by the individual mind into a new form.
All spiritual development as a higher form of consciousness (which means it’s “creative” in nature), comes through direct experience of an idea as first formed in the mind’s eye as a working concept by the individual as a form of “embodying it”, which provides the subconscious mind of the body with the means for using it to express and create as an outer reality. Higher consciousness always comes through a form of self-creating as an “individual”, whereas lower consciousness comes as a lack of individuality where spiritual doctrine is interpreted for us by another, and we simply “accept it” as gospel, so to speak, and live our life out of dogma that strips us of our true ability to create ourselves in a unique way. Our higher capacity of the mind and soul is our “creative ability” to form ourselves out of our thoughts in a unique fashion through a process of adaptation and modification. The interpretation I’m about to give is just one of many possibilities, and is not meant to take literally, but rather as the means of initiating a natural process of intuitive unfolding in your own mind. Words can never truly describe or express the nature of the divine, which can only be known through the direct (inner) experience of them, and are only approximations of an idea.
The overall Structure as a Creative Process
The first thing we want to notice is the basic structure of the Tree and how it’s laid out in terms of representing different aspects of the same principles at different “levels of creation”. The Spheres of the Tree are positioned on three pillars where the central pillar is longer and ascends to a higher level and to the lowest level as a singular or equilibrated form. The central pillar is the pillar of equilibrium, and the two side pillars represent the masculine and feminine aspect, which when brought into harmony form a functional third. All spheres, whether single or double, are positioned at different levels in a descending and ascending orientation, and represent different planes as the creative process for forming a cohesive reality as the individual expression of a universal idea. The overall Tree is formed by a series of Triads as the “One” that divides itself into complementary opposites as it descends, then brings those opposites into balance as a functional third that expresses as a combination within the lower plane as a process of solidification of an idea through various levels of transformation that alter and modify it into a new and unique form.
Universal Laws for Creating Material Reality
The most basic element in understanding universal laws and how they work to create reality comes in realizing that structure, as how information is organized into an idea as a pattern, always determines how something functions and behaves, and is what provides the means for creating a material manifestation of some kind. How a system is organized into an animated pattern gives us a kind of “formula” as a creative process that we can use for bringing an idea into expression as the physical reality of the idea. All ideas can only come into physical manifestation “through us”. They require a “mental channel” (sphere of consciousness) as a vehicle in order to express as a physical reality. The soul acts as the “medium” for calling down an idea (resonating and acting to absorb it) into the mind as a thought and imaginary idea that it then uses as a form of memory for expressing to create an experience of itself as a reality.
The hierarchical structure of the Tree not only moves through what we can think of as seven planes of existence (which correspond to the 7 chakras of the subtle body), but also Four Worlds, which correspond to the Sacred Name of God, represented by the 4 letters of God’s name as IHVH. Each World represents a different operation in the formation and manifestation of an archetypal idea. The 4 Worlds start at the top of the Tree as the single sphere that represents the Archetypal World of ideas in their unformed (potential) state, which then undergoes a synchronized process of unfolding that ultimately acts to birth all the other spheres as its formation. It divides into polar aspects of Itself on the lower plane of Creation, as attributes and qualities necessary to form distinct characteristics, forming what’s called the “Supernal” or primary Triad that gives birth to the rest of the Triads on the Tree as a reflection and projection of itself.
Spheres 4 through 9, which form the four lower planes, is the Formative World, also known in Esoteric Sciences as the Astral-Etheric plane, where an archetypal idea is shaped by the mind of the individual soul into an actual physical reality as a unique variation of a universal idea. As it descends through various stages of formation, it forms the etheric body as the “energetic double” that provides the blueprint for producing as a physical entity and reality. The lowest sphere that’s singular in nature forms the World of Action or Manifestation as not only the physical body, but the entire outer reality of the physical body which is formed out of the same type of idea on a larger scale within the same plane.
The Tree of Life forms a hierarchical structure that moves a universal idea down into the personal realm of the soul (Astral Plane), which acts as a “medium” between the higher (pure spirit) and lower (material) planes, where it’s then used as the means for the individual soul to create itself by creating an experience of reality. The human soul, which is multidimensional in nature, uses various universal archetypes as the means of producing a “new and unique archetype” as a novel combination of universal qualities and characteristics. It takes (acts to absorb) a universal archetype as an idea of itself, and through a dynamic process of adaptation through various planes and degrees of existence, consistently modifies it into a new form of the same idea that’s bestowed with a new combination of qualities that produce unique characteristics, producing an “imaginary (inner) reality” of itself that becomes the basis for experiencing as an actual material reality. The soul “pulls an idea down” (resonates with) from the upper planes to use as the means for self-expression within the lower planes in order to create an experience of itself that it then transforms into a memory as the basis for creating itself. The soul forms itself out of various forms of integrated and assimilated memory from a unique variety of experiences that are all self-produced.
Mirroring and Reflecting
If you study the nature and structure of the Tree, you realize that as it moves in a descending manner from the upper most regions to the lower regions, it does so through a dynamic series of reflecting itself as a mirror image onto the lower plane, forming a series of Triads as energetic imprints. A mirror image is a direct reflection that’s of an opposite or polar nature to the original one that’s casting it. As we look in the mirror, we’re always seeing a reverse image of ourselves, where what appears as our right side is in reality our left side, and vice versa. We’re always seeing ourselves backwards from how everyone else sees us, and so we’re never able to “see ourselves” as we truly exist in the purely material sense.
This reveals the fact that the micro and macro are of the same nature as complementary opposites of each other on both the upper and lower planes. This same principle holds true in a linear fashion on the same plane as the inner and outer reality of the material world being of a complementary nature to each other. The same pattern forms both the upper and lower world of the soul and its material manifestation on the lower planes as the inner reality and outer experience of the same nature or idea. All are produced as a reflection and projection of the “self” on different levels and planes of existence simultaneously. This idea is represented in Sacred Geometry by the Monad (sphere of consciousness), symbolized as a dot within a sphere, where the outer reality is formed as an extension or projection of the central (inner) consciousness producing it as a perception of it. This is also symbolically represented by the “compass and square” as a 90 degree angle (L shape) that’s used by the mind in constructing the material world.
In quantum physics this is observed as the nature of light (the essence of matter as photons), which exists simultaneously as both a particle and a wave, and where two particles that are “born together” (of the same nature as a replication), that form the “appearance” of a single particle in two locations (Dyad), when separated at what seems like great distances, still continue to operate as if they’re “one”. They exist as polar opposites of each other located within the same wave-form of the material dimension as both an individual and the greater reality of that individual (Monad). Where “time and space” of the material plane exists as a “memory” created and maintained within the mind of the soul. Where an idea is absorbed and brought to life internally that forms the perceptual lens for perceiving as an outer reality of the same idea as a life theme.
Paradox and the Nature of Polarity
At the top of the Tree, a single sphere exists that acts to divide and separate from Itself as it descends into the next lower plane, forming itself as polar opposites that are complementary in nature (they act to stimulate each other into existence as an active memory). This forms both the masculine and feminine aspects of the same idea or archetype as the spirit within a physical form. This same principle forms the basis for all of life as cellular regeneration, where the same cell forms a replication of itself as the means for self-regeneration by “dividing”, then systematically “doubling”. A single cell acts to produce all of the cells that eventually form a much greater “unified whole” as a material body that’s of a single nature. This whole material body, which appears as trillions of individual cells that have all differentiated and specialized to form all the unique and diverse working parts needed to produce a greater whole as a functioning organism, are actually the offspring of a single cell and pattern of organized- information, that together operate as a single entity, represented by the mental sphere on the central pillar of equilibrium.
Once the Supernal (Trinity) is formed in the upper plane of the Creative World as an Archetypal idea imbued with specific attributes and qualities as a “state of mind”, it “reflects itself” down into the next lower plane of Formation in a unified state on the masculine pillar of activity. As it moves from a higher plane to the next lower, it forms a zigzag movement similar to a lightning bolt that moves it from a combined state of equilibrium into an active state that reshapes, transforms, and evolves it into a new form that then reproduces on the next plane in an equalized state of harmony. As memory (archetype) is activated by directed attention as the stimulating force of consciousness, it’s drawn down into the personalized plane of the individual soul (plane of Astral Light) where it’s shaped in the mind’s eye into an actual possibility for creating as a reality. This is the sphere of Chesed, as the fourth sphere on the masculine pillar, that’s a combination of the previous three that act to birth it, that forms the first mental operation on the lower plane of Formation, as a memory formed into a possible reality in the “imagination” of the individual soul.
It’s then shaped in the imagination as a form of universal memory that’s been specialized into a new and diverse form where it forms the inner constitution (inner nature) and all activity (outer expression) of the individual soul as a natural process of self-creation. The memory turned into an inner reality of a specialized nature, is then projected within the same plane (horizontally) as the masculine, outer aspect of the same reality. This is the mental operation as a projection of the “self” on the same plane (Sephirah (sphere) of Geburah) as the soul’s inner constitution also forming the basis for the outer reality constructed out of the same memory. The feminine of the higher plane, which is a combination as a unification of the masculine aspects, forms the masculine aspect of the lower plane as an “active state”. The imagination, which is generally considered a feminine aspect as an operation of the subconscious mind, is the active component in the lower planes of manifestation, and the masculine aspect as the perception of the outer world, normally attributed to the self-conscious mind of activity, is the passive component within the lower planes. The masculine and feminine aspects exist in polarity between the upper and lower planes, and form a fundamental paradox that’s always at play within the material world of formation.
Together, as a unique formation of archetypal memory, it returns to a unified state as it moves down into the next level (center of the Formative World of the Astral plane), and forms the basis for the “human soul” (Tiphareth) as a functional whole, which then divides from itself to form the subconscious mind of the subtle body on the lower plane (Netzach), which then separates from itself again to form the self-conscious mind (Hod) of the same plane. The Soul creates the entire lower astral realm through the faculty of the subconscious, which creates out of memory to produce both the inner and outer world of manifestation as a mental construct of itself on different scales. The subconscious then acts to birth the self-conscious aspect of the same mind as the ability to witness and experience itself through the observation of the external world produced by the projection of the internal world. Together, the subconscious and self-conscious produce a “unified whole” as the etheric body of Yesod, which acts as a blueprint for producing as a physical manifestation of both the body and its entire outer reality, all of which are all formed out of the same memory being played out on different scales simultaneously as a unified whole.
Structure and Function as the Nature of Karma
The Tree is structured out of three vertical pillars (threefold nature of the mind, soul, and reality) that sit side-by-side that forms movement as a division and unification that form a self-perpetuating and self-sustaining system of self-regeneration. The pillars form the basis for polarity as both the feminine and masculine aspects of the same plane, formed out of or returned to an equilibrated state as the basis for the next plane that issues forth from them in a synchronistic and automatic fashion as a process of spirit “becoming” material form. The masculine aspect forms the “seed” as the archetypal idea that impregnates the feminine aspect as the memory used to organize light-essence into an equivalent material form as universal memory that acts as the basis for producing the “self” as the soul and the outer reality of the soul as the experience of itself in-form. The masculine pole represents the active, outer or greater reality as a pattern that is drawn into and acts to impregnate the feminine aspect that creates it as a material form that serves as the basis for producing a virtual or universal memory.
The single sphere of consciousness at the top that initiates the process is a universal archetype (comprised of a combination of 12 aspects to form a single idea) that’s imbued with all the attributes, qualities, characteristics, and functional tendencies that form the basis of reality as the natural “story” it tells as a form of personal mythology of the soul inhabiting it. The archetype contains in its latent and potential state all the information and self-organizing forces necessary to produce a coherent and cohesive reality as the enactment of soul memory that forms “karma” as the basis for reality as the soul’s life experience through the story it naturally acts to tell through its personality played out within the conditions and circumstances of its current life situation.
The upper Triad is reflected downward into the lower plane of Astral-Light in its dual nature, which then serves to form an even lower region within the same plane as the unification of its polar aspects. This unified field as a sphere of consciousness within the lower regions of the astral field forms what we commonly think of as our “Higher Self” that’s active as intuition within the material plane, and is what serves to organize and orchestrate the entire lower plane of material reality as the basis for the souls karma (creating reality out of memory). This configuration forms what looks like an upside down triangle or Triad oriented in a downward motion. Out of this sphere emerge dual aspects into an even lower region of the same plane as the subconscious mind that will form and inhabit the material body, and give birth to the self-conscious mind as the masculine aspect of the same nature. Together, these two aspects of the mind and soul produce a unified whole as the “etheric body” that acts as the holographic template for structuring and animating the physical body of the material realm, and is reflected downward into the lower plane as a reflection of its unified state as a single sphere of consciousness.
The Fall of the Archangels to form Humanity
On the central pillar of equilibrium there are five spheres as levels of consciousness, four of which are visible as actual laws, and one invisible as the “void” or quantum leap from a higher realm of existence to a much lower realm of material manifestation. The three visible spheres (Kether, Tiphareth, and Yesod) that exist within the unmanifest, purely mental realms of organized energy as equilibrated states, are commonly referred to as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of the Trinity, and the manifestation of the Supernal represented by the Tetrad as the Holy name of God, comprised of four letters that are really three letters where one is repeated (IHVH).
The invisible sphere (forming the 11th sphere), which exists in-between the highest Triad and it’s reflection into the Lower regions of the Astral plane, called “Daath” (death), is symbolic of the “fall of the angels” (Archetypes as gods) to form mankind. It’s the invisible sphere of “knowledge” which only comes through “experience”. It’s the movement of the higher principles into the lower vibration of the astral plane of form, where an idea that’s “pure in nature” combines with an element of a lower plane, becoming contaminated and corrupted from its original form in order to produce a personalized version of the same idea as a unique variation.
What we think of as the Human Soul, represented by the central sphere of Tiphareth, or the “Son” of the Trinity, acts as a medium that vibrates at a frequency that’s in-between the higher and lower planes, and therefore acts as a “medium” necessary to access and “draw down” the higher consciousness of the upper plane while serving as the means for forming a personalized version by becoming the vehicle for expressing it within the lower plane of manifestation as the means of “self-creating”. The higher plane of the Supernal (upper most triad), and the lower plane of material manifestation vibrate at such different frequencies that they can’t resonate with each other, and so require a medium as a middle ground that vibrates at the lower region of the higher plane and the higher region of the lower plane so it can act as the channel or vehicle for archetypal principles to manifest as material forms of varying degrees and natures. And likewise act as the means for the memory obtained from personal manifestations to be returned to a universal state as the archetypal make-up of the soul. In the name of God represented by the Tetrad (different names of God indicate different operations), the H (which bridges together two I’s), is the second (Son as the human Soul) and the last (actual manifestation) letter of the name as the manifestation of the soul’s consciousness. All physical manifestation is of the human soul as “God made manifest”. The “I Am” as an actual entity and experience of the “Self” as an aspect of God.
Linda is a scholar in Esoteric Sciences and holds a doctorate in Spiritual Sciences, and a BS in Clinical Hypnotherapy, along with numerous specialty certifications in various healing modalities. She's a certified Health and Success Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, and Board Certified in Regression Therapy. She's professional writer, artist, educator and Mentor, and offers a wide variety of Mentoring and Consulting Services, along with professional training programs. Her specialties include Personal Transformation, Self-Mastery, Spiritual Sciences, Transpersonal Psychology, and Integrative Mind-Body Medicine. For more info visit our Personal and Professional Services pages in the top menu bar of this site, or email us at: [email protected]