THE HOLOGRAPHIC TREE
New Science and the Tree of Life
by Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: The science of wholeness emerging
from interdisciplinary approaches to the nature of reality reflects many
Qabalistic principles. Among the theories expressing this new paradigm
are quantum mechanics, chaos theory, Bohm's holographic universe, Pribram's
holographic brain, Buckminster Fuller's synergetics, Sheldrake's morphogenetic
fields, co-evolution, the Gaia and Panspermia hypotheses, semiotics, hermeneutics,
hyperdimensional realities, the new cosmology and consciousness studies.
In new sciences, consciousness and matter share the
same essence as different expressions of the same reality. New sciences
describe the evolution of the laws of nature, the evolution of our perception
of nature. In this view there are no abolutes, no fixed laws of nature,
only a relative stability. The laws of nature are evolving because
nature is creative.
This universal dynamic creativity is also the domain
of the Qabala with its consciousness map, the Tree of Life. It presents
a holistic image of emergent creativity, a webwork of the interaction of
various spheres of influence, and the complex feedback loops which bind
them to one another. In terms of consciousness, each sphere (hypersphere)
represents a discrete state of consciousness, and each path a transitional
phase, or transformation. Aspects of the system can be entrained
Every body placed in the luminous air spreads
out in circles and fills the surrounding space withi infinite likenesses
of itself and appears all in all.
--Leonardo da Vinci
Our mapmaking changes the very terrain, and terrain
in turn changes our map. Maps, mapmakers, and terrains whirl around
each other like the vortex in a river which expresses the whole.
--Briggs and Peat, Looking Glass Universe
A WHOLE -- IF NOT ABSOLUTE -- TRUTH
Wholeness has traditionally been a mystical perspective.
Now, the new sciences with radical notions of nonlinear complex dynamics,
nonlocality, chaotic behavior, patterns of energy flow, relativity, enmeshment,
fuzzy logic, etc. are revealing a deeper order underlying the nature of
our directly experienced reality.
Wholeness is characterized by "flow," and the influence
of every event on every other. Through minute fluctuation, this flow
gives birth to sudden orders of all kinds--structures of flowing energy
exchange. The whole is contained, paradoxically, within the "part,"
holographically. Yet, wholeness can include incompleteness, the higher
degree of order always hidden in apparent randomness.
Analogous processes of transformation in consciousness
lead to insight and creativity. Each moment in the therapeutic process,
as in all life, reflects all others in the past. Each therapeutic
image contains a fractal-like representation of past, present, and future.
The transformation of imagery reflects in creativity; transformation of
beliefs, thoughts, fellings, values, attitudes and behavior.
The Tree of Life encodes a dynamic system of transformation
of the individual at the physical, emotional, conceptual, and spiritual
levels. Rather than a hierarchical "ladder" to be climbed, the Tree
is a stratified image of the holistic nature of existence which interpenetrates
as a fluid exchange of energy at every level. More subtle "planes"
are simply more deeply enfolded aspects of reality--hidden domains of order
creating variables in our ordinary existence.
More than the sum of its parts, the Tree represents
a multidimensional web of processes emanating in all directions by the
conjoint macro-micro co-evolution of all systems. This web exalts
the pure intensification of life. The secret of the universe is that
it is alive.
The qabalistic Tree presents a model of reality and
consciousness which is organic in nature. It reflects the nature
of nature, the nature of mind, and relevates the nature mind (natural mind)
-- void of conceptualization -- the Clear Light. Qabala offers an
animated alternative perspective to the mechanistic, cybernetic models
of psychoneurological function.
The living Tree models co-evolution as a creation
that is happening at every point everywhere, in a fractal-like bottomless
unfolding. It also accomodates the self-referential process of recursive
feeding back (or recycling) of consciousness in psychological transformation
-- modeling the penetration of awareness into deeply implicate realms.
Pathworking provides for the opening, amplification, and exploration of
specific feedback channels, and the induction of specific altered states
The Tree is a graphic representation of the dynamic
process of becoming. There is no real hierarchy, no fundamental level
of description. Rather, there are different levels, each dependent
on the others in complex ways. Higher levels feed back strands of
information to lower levels, back to new higher levels, and so on.
Rather than describing a world of things, it describes process structures
and emphasizes relationship. It describes hidden formative principles,
and a webwork of multiple perspectives.
Modern cosmology suggests that all matter plus all
gravity in the observable universe equals zero. So the universe --
and therefore, ourselves -- could come from nothing, because it is fundamentally
nothing. This echoes the qabalistic creation myth where all substance
emanates from the primordial Veils of Negative Existence. It reminds
us of the Vedic and Buddhist notions that we and all we can observe are
no more than 'mind-stuff.' It reminds of Jung's conclusion that at
the most fundamental levels psyche and matter are the same, that psyche
and soma are indissoluably welded in our psychophysical selves.
The story goes that around 4,000 years ago an angel
of God gave the Qabala and Tree of Life to Abraham. Though the glyph
has gone through a few permutations through the centuries, it's essence
has remained intact. Curiously, this matrix describes the exact geometries
of the nucelus of atomic structure as described by Buckminster Fuller in
Synergetics. By "looking within" the qabalists correctly deduced
the primal structure of reality without any recourse to modern science
and technology. Apparently, the angels spoke the Truth. This
is the essence of Synergetic Qabala.
Created 8/22/99 Last updated
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