In the journey to become enlightened — the path to become the greatest version of human possible — you must see the evil within yourself.
Think of the worst atrocities that humankind has committed — then realize and come to terms with the fact that you hold the potential within you to commit those same atrocities. It is not enough to merely acknowledge the potential — you must truly understand/comprehend the capacity for evil within you. You must meditate on these evils, and their accompanying motivations, consequences, and feelings…feelings of enjoying inflicting evil and suffering upon others. You must feel how gratifying it can be to be Adolf Hitler for example.
Only then are you truly capable of embodying the greatest good. True goodness does not emerge from a happy ignorance of evil — these people fall apart when they encounter true evil that they do not have a theory for. This is how PTSD emerges. Goodness can only come from a true understanding of evil, and the choice to act in the good in the face of the suffering of life.
This truth is written in our genetic code, and is likely why we all feel a sense of gratification when the evil villain redeems himself into the hero that saves the day.
This idea of goodness being emergent from the understanding, and subsequent rejection of evil is reflected in the story of Christ (the central figure in Western culture) rejecting the temptation of Satan three times in the Judaean desert, where Christ plays the archetype of the perfect human: he who, through unjustly being nailed to a cross and tortured by the world of unenlightened man, willingly embraces his own suffering and carries it on his back along with the suffering and darkness of all men. If we envision life as a game, and “God” as the rules/enforcer of the rules of the game, then Christ is the “perfect player” of the game who makes the correct decision in every circumstance that he encounters — that which all can aspire to.
(Neo from The Matrix also plays this archetype)
The central story of Christianity is that a divine light exists within all individuals, and thus redemption and the ability to “walk in the footsteps of Christ” is inherent in all — regardless of class or status.
But first you must sort yourself out, and clean your room (both literally and metaphorically). Go into the darkest caves in your soul, and confront and slay the dragon. Then bring the treasure back to your community, returning as the triumphant hero.
The Tree of Life (Kabbalah ) is derived from the Flower of Life. In Hebrew, it is a mystical symbol within the Kabbalah of esoteric Judaism used to describe the path to God. It is an arrangement of ten interconnected spheres (called sephiroth, meaning ‘spheres’), which represent the central organizational system of the Jewish Kabbalistic tradition or ‘cosmology’ of the Kabbalah.
The Tree of life is considered to be a map of the universe and the psyche, the order of the creation of the cosmos, and a path to spiritual illumination.
The ten spheres represent the ten archetypal numbers of the Pythagorian system. There are said to be 32 paths on the Tree of Life.
The first 10 are the Sefiroth (not including Daat). The remaining 22 correspond to the lines or channels of energy that join the Sefiroth together. Each of these, in turn, corresponds to one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
The Crown (‘Kether’ in Hebrew): the Creator Himself.
Wisdom (‘Chokhmah’): Divine reality/revelation; the power of Wisdom.
Understanding (‘Binah’): repentance/reason; the power of Love.
Mercy (‘Chesed’): grace/intention to emulate God; the power of vision.
Strength (‘Gevurah’): judgment/determination; the power of Intention.
Beauty (‘Tiferet’): symmetry/compassion; the power of Creativity.
Victory (‘Netzach’): contemplation/initiative/persistence; the power of the Eternal Now.
Splendour (‘Hod’): surrender/sincerity/steadfastness; the power of Observation.
Yesod (‘Foundation’): remembering/knowing; the power of Manifesting.
Kingdom (‘Malkuth’): physical presence/vision and illusion; the power of Healing.
Kabbalistic tree of life
The Kabbalistic tree of life has evolved over time. Its basic design is based on descriptions given in the Sefer Yetsirah, or Book of Creation, and expanded upon in the enourmous Kabbalistic text Zohar, the book of Splendour. The ten sephira, similar to the Norse tree of life, are divided into four realms:
Atziluth: the realm of the supernal, beyond which is the ain, or no-thing.
Beriah: the creative world, of archetypes and ideals.
Yetsirah: the world of formation.
Assiah: manifest creation, the material world.
Tree of Life does not only speak of the origins of the physical universe out of the unimaginable, but also of man’s place in the universe. Since man is invested with Mind, consciousness in the Kabbalah is thought of as the fruit of the physical world, through whom the original infinite energy can experience and express itself as a finite entity. After the energy of creation has condensed into matter it is thought to reverse its course back up the Tree until it is once again united with its true nature.
Thus the Kabbalist seeks to know himself and the universe as an expression of God, and to make the journey of Return by stages charted by the Sephiroth, until he has come to the realization he sought.
The Budding of the Fig Tree
One of the most fascinating parables in the Bible (okay, they’re all fascinating!) involves the parable of the budding fig tree, spoken of in Matthew 24; Luke 21 and Mark 13. Many scholars interpret it as referring to the coming Kingdom of God.
Others—particularly Bible prophecy teachers and students—believe it refers to the re-establishment of Israel.
Hal Lindsey, among others, has promoted this view.
Others, however, say no. In an article titled, “The Parable of the Fig Tree Matthew 24:32-36,” by Chafer Theological Seminary professor, George E. Meisinger took issue with the “Israel” interpretation:
“Some have said that the budding of the fig tree speaks of the re-establishment of Israel as a nation (1948), seeing it as a precursor of Christ’s return. Several things work strongly against that interpretation: Nowhere does Matthew 24–25 speak of Israel’s return to Palestine.
In fact we do not find Israel’s return anywhere in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, in its flow of future historical events, has moved beyond Israel’s return portraying the Jews already in the land.
“Furthermore, Luke says in his parallel account ‘look at the fig tree, and all the trees’ (21:29). Not just one tree is in view, but many. Thus Christ refers to trees in general and what they do in the spring, not to a particular fig tree that pictures Israel. In Matthew 24, the budding fig tree, rather than picturing Israel, depicts eleven signs that Jesus reveals in 24:4–24.
Nine begin to occur in the first half of the Tribulation and two more appear in the second half. Thus what we see unfolding is that as new leaves each spring signal the return of summer, so the signs Christ reveals will signal His return.”
But here, Meisinger is using “the argument from silence.”