Mohaveh owes a lot to both Kabbalism and to Justin’s Book of Baruch. Justin’s work describes the twenty-four angels of Elohim and Eden as trees in the garden, the tree of life (Baruch) being one such tree. Each tree is paired with another (Baruch is paired with Naas, tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and each pair is divided by its primary affinity for either Eden or Elohim. Each angel is a self-contained enunciation and, as I read their being called ‘trees in the garden,’ all of those enunciations are kin to the model detailed in the Sefer Yetzirah.
By contrast, the essence from which Adam and Eve derive is distinguished from those divided angelic pairings by virtue of being a joined pairing. The fall is the failure of that joining but contained within that failure is the possibility of a more encompassing reformation of it, one that will include these otherwise unjoined angelic pairs.
Some of those angelic connections manifest first through a series of conflicts, but what transpires in those conflicts are disruptions that expose zones for interaction. Most such interactions are unstable or temporary, such as the occasion of Naas inserting himself between the dividing Adam and Eve, but even those have ripple effects.
Adam and Eve acquire parity with the angels only when joined; they are like the trees in the garden only when they are the expression of Eden and Elohim’s pleasure with each other. Fallen, Adam and Eve are each partial elements of a complete tree. Each of us operates within this division, giving expression to one portion of this fractured tree. Like the archetypal Adam and Eve, this partiality makes us spiritually dynamic, capable of interacting with a wide range of spiritual forces.
There is more than a little resemblance between this account and that of Plato’s Aristophanes the Symposium. There is something interesting going on in Aristophanes account and I suspect it includes useful material for getting at certain old strands in Gnostic thought. However, Plato dismisses the dyadic and quasi-Gnostic model of Aristophanes in favor of his own, so I want to be cautious about invoking Plato’s straw dogs. From within my own work, I have reasons to qualify the sort of view enunciated by Plato’s Aristophanes. Relying overmuch on it would lead me astray, though I might reference it for contrast.
One of the things that the Kabbalistic material helps flesh out is what it is that is lost in the separation of the unified human being into gendered halves. The letter that balances and discerns is Alef (א), and so we can think of the divided half-trees as split along the axis of the mothers, with each half soul taking a single mother line along with it.
With Alef lost, the tree of Adam and Eve fractures into two units, one organized around Mem (מ) and the other organized around Shin (ש). The half-soul of Adam carries Shin and the elemental lines while the half-soul of Eve carries Mem and the double lines. From within this model, we can begin to see one of the points at which it and that of Plato’s Aristophanes diverge. The joining of Adam and Eve alone is not enough to overcome the alienation of the fall. The two brought together still lack the integrating influence of Alef.
The most basic means of rekindling the tree as a whole is the kindling of lineage, of the family. The archaic image of Osiris, Isis, and Horus, as well as its more recent incarnation in the figures of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, are a symbol of this. The commitment to the family, most especially to the upbringing of children, gives birth to the integrating power of Alef.
The function of Alef needs to be distinguished from the child that makes it possible. The child is a person who partakes of the same partiality as any human, but as an expression of the union of Adam and Eve, the lineage made possible by it opens to higher matters. The connection between Kabbalism and fertility suggests something of this mystery, as do the messages received by the Yeatses regarding the importance of their children to completing the spiritualist work they were undertaking.
I know, I know, this is the sort of thing that doesn’t seem particularly Gnostic or magical to most people, but it is important to underline that lineage remains the basic unit of continuance in the human world. It is the foundation atop which socio-spiritual connections are kindled. They need to be honored and appreciated even and especially if they are not a prominent part of our personal, everyday lives. Even if you think that our goal is winding down human presence on the Earth, you are undertaking that operation under the auspices of having been born.
Okay, so the preservation and continuance of lineage forms one means of rekindling the tree of human being. It comes with all of the instabilities of life, of human relation. The Alef may also be kindled directly, called forth with the complementary lines of the tree. Adam may call forth Alef with the double lines and Eve may call forth Alef with the elemental lines. In my work, this has been undertaken with a spirit, but I am not denying that there might be less spirit-work centric avenue of approach.
This Alef does not bring Shin to Mem, nor Mem to Shin. Eve’s Mem joined to the elemental Alef lacks the elevation of Shin while Adam’s Shin joined to the double Alef lacks the foundation of Mem. So, while this Alef may prepare Eve to receive a starry crown and Adam a throne or chariot in which to rest, the Alef operation itself is not enough to complete the tree of human being. Work that relies too much on these Alefian presences will be alternately ungrounded (Adam’s throne without a seat or chariot without a floor) or chaotic (Eve’s stars without a circlet to center them).