Gil Shir opens up the topic of the Tree of Life from perspective of the wisdom of Kabbalah.
While a curious phenomenon to many, the Tree of Life—known to some as a symbol, to others as a game, as a movie, and for its mentions in the Bible—in the wisdom of Kabbalah, the Tree of Life describes a specific spiritual phenomenon.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is defined as a sequence of roots that hang down by way of cause and consequence, weaving to a single exalted goal: the person’s discovery of the upper light (the Creator).
The Tree of Life is that entire cause-and-effect chain. It is a formation that emanates from a “Upper Simple Light” that “had filled the whole existence” (quoting from the “Tree of Life” poem by the Ari [Rav Isaac Luria]), through a series of concealments that dim the light, down to the final filter of our world, where it continues acting through our entire universe.
As humans, the light continues guiding our development: We first exist in this world to preserve ourselves like rocks, then grow like plants, move like animals, and finally, connect socially as human beings.
Toward the end of our development, we begin feeling the original upper light acting in our lives. It causes us to feel a certain kind of emptiness in the ways we have fulfilled ourselves up until today, surfacing existential questions within us.
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, such a state marks the beginning of our ascent from this world up the Tree of Life, to our source.
The light continues guiding the development of this new desire that emerges. It also gives us opportunities to strengthen its influence upon us, so that we can accelerate our way up the Tree of Life.
This process of spiritual awakening and how to navigate our ascent to our life’s source is taught in the wisdom of Kabbalah.
In this lesson, Gil Shir introduces the Tree of Life through a Kabbalistic lens, describing the development of Kabbalah through key Kabbalists and their texts over the generations, significant mentions of the Tree of Life by these Kabbalists, opens up the Tree of Life poem by the Ari and the ten Sefirot, the structure that we discover as we rise up from our world to our life’s source.
Table of Contents
00:00 – Introduction to Tree of Life
03:39 – The History and Origin of the Tree of Life
20:09 – Different Kabbalists, A Single Soul
28:01 – The Tree of Life Poem
33:39 – Understanding the Tree of Life Structure
37:20 – The Sefira of Malchut – Pure Black