Wednesday, 19 October 2011

“Occupy” and the Tree as a Pendulum


I’ve put off posting about this for awhile as I dislike politics. However sometimes it’s difficult to get away from politics. So here are a few of my thoughts on the currently ongoing movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the Ocupy movement in London outside St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Poles on the Tree

If we look at the Sefirot (Divine Emanations) as modeled on the Tree, see diagram below – then there are three columns. The left side containing Binah, Gevurah, and Hod. The right side containing Chokhma, Chesed and Netzach. The middle column with Keter, Tiferet, Yesod and Malchut.

Tree of Life (from Wikipedia)


The Kabbalists refer to manifestations of G-d’s interaction with the world when interacting via the Sefirot of the left side as displaying His Attributes of Justice. When manifesting via the Sefirot of the right side He is displaying his Attributes of Mercy.

For example, when the name Elohim is used – this means that the Attribute of (strict) Justice applies. When the name Y-H-V-H (Tetragrammaton) is used it means the Attribute of Mercy. When both are used in combination: YHVH Elohim – this means the middle column and a harmonious interaction between the two sides of the Tree.

Pendulum, Or We Don’t Live in a Static Universe

A Pendulum, Foucault's

The thing about looking at the tree in such a static manner is that it’s a bit of an illusion. We don’t live in a stationary Universe. Galaxies, Stars, Planets, Molecules, Atoms, etc are in constant motion.

Using the rule of thumb: As Above, So Below, we can read in to this that just as the physical world is undergoing constant changes so too are the spiritual realms changing. However, from what I understand the laws of physics, etc cannot be meaningfully applied to the spiritual realms. Instead we need to use symbolism of the Tree to understand how what is happening Below is reflected Above.

From my limited view of history, I have seen that there are trends of political movements rising and falling. Some rise and & fall fast, others rise and fall slowly. But why is that?

The theory that I’d like to put forward is one of the “Pendulum on the Tree”. Basically it means that when a movement swings too far to the right or left of the tree – eventually it will correct itself thought one means or another.

Please note that the left and right on the Tree do not correspond to the left and right of political movements. At the extremes of the left and right – the desire to control, constrain and apply limitations are as strong all of which are representative of the left side of the Kabalistic Tree. The desire to expand, share, overflow and potentially obliterate everything in its path is representative of the right side of the Tree.



The Sun

Taking the sun as an example… on the one hand it’s very expansive in terms of giving off light, heat and radiation. On the other hand the sun is limited in terms of its size. Gravity constrains the sun to remain a certain overall size.

If a star expands too far, from what I understand, it will eventually collapse and lead to a final very large expansion. This is what I understand what happens when a star goes super nova. (Please excuse this gross simplification as I have a childlike understanding of physics).

In the run up to the super nova, the expansion and contraction reach the extremes of the pendulum swinging between Chesed (expansion) to Din (contraction, limitations). The results are pretty spectacular.

Occupy Movements

OK, this is running in to a very lengthy post so I’ll try to be brief.

The occupy movement to my understanding are going through a period of expansion. Trying to work out new ways of living, changes that can happen without engaging with the current existing political systems of Din (constraints, limitations).

Eventually the movements will need to move more to the middle ground in order to come to some kind of point of balance to integrate opposing ideologies. The other option is to continue to expand outwards, obliterating what lies in its path – in other words a revolution that overthrows the existing power political structures entirely.

However, if you look at history the communists revolutions left in place as controlling systems (if not more so) than those that came before. The same can be said for political coups and revolutions driven by ideologies from the right of the political spectrum.

What bothers me is that the movement has included “Occupy” in its name. This to me implies a root of constraint, limitation and very much points to the left side of the Tree. To strict severity and justice. Perhaps the movement will result in increase in justice to balance the expansive power of the super-rich. On the other hand, it could just turn in to a more controlling power system than previously.

Daat - Knowledge
One last thing I’d like to mention. The way that the two sides can interact is via dialogue (verbal intercourse) and action (physical).  “Adam knew Eve” (the word used in Hebrew is from the root Daat) and they had kids. Let’s all keep talking!