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The Tree of Life is growing, flexible and adaptable life pattern capable of indefinite extensions throughout all states of existence. The Qabalah, or "received teachings," is the outcome of experiences of those who have climbed the ladder of the Tree by arranging their lives according to its pattern of perfection. The Tree provides the means of receiving inner world contacts with types of consciuosness normally inaccessible to the ordinary human mind--it is from and through these sources that the "teaching" comes. Here William Gray has presented a step by step guide to the Tree of Life and the Four Worlds of the Qabalahs--the worlds of contemplation, meditation, magic and daily action. The Tree of Life is a means and not an end. It is a map for helping you attain the single objective common to all systems, mysteries and religions--namely, the mystical union of humanity and divinity.
Hands down, this is one of the best books on modern Qabala ever written! Gray takes a step-by-step look at the Ten Sephiroth and their traditional attributions in each of the Four Qabalistic Worlds. A relatively simple, no-nonsense approach to modern Qabalism.
In some ways, I view this book as a companion piece to Dion Fortune's much better-known work, "The Mystical Qabalah," since both books provide the reader with a fairly straightforward approach to this challenging subject. Where Fortune starts at the top of the Tree of Life and works her downward, however, Gray starts at the bottom of the Tree and works his way to the top. Although Grey's interpretation of the Tree is similar to Fortune's, by approaching the material from a completely different perspective he is also able to provide new insight.
This book's greatest strength is that it analyzes each of the ten Sephiroth from each of the Four Qabalistic worlds, providing the reader with something sorely missed in Dion Fortune's classic book on the subject. This book's greatest weakness is that, unlike Fortune, Gray pays almost no attention to the organization of the Sephiroth upon the Tree, or to the relationships between them. Without a word of explanation Gray also reverses the traditional Yetziratic attributions of Malkuth and Yesod, assigning them to the angelic choirs of Cherubim and Ashim respectively, although I do see the logic and consistency of this attribution.
Overall, this is a good, solid title for somebody interested in approaching modern (non-rabbinical) Qabalism for the first time. I'd recommend reading Dion Fortune's book first, if you haven't already, and then tackling this book immediately afterwards for a different take on the same material.
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