Metaphysics has always struck me as a prolonged form of latent insanity. If we knew the truth we'd see it; everything else is systems and approximations. The inscrutability of the universe is quite enough for us to think about; to want to understand is to be less than human because to be human is to realise it can't be understood.
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
Let us begin within the beginning. We cannot start at the beginning, otherwise time has to be somewhere and go somewhere.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Plato, The Republic
Within the beginning things have to (have) end(s) for without them they could not be perceived. These ends or depths are the system of five dimensions; three polarities of space, one of time and one of morality/perspective describe the Tree of Life. Such huge finite numbers - of souls, of alternate worlds of experience - exist within the Tree of Life you would be forgiven for thinking it infinite but it is not. The infinite defies ends, the finite necessitates them. Our finite cosmos approaches infinity in depth but never quite reaches it.
Since the finite requires position in order to be finite, a series of relationships have to exist between the depths - therefore the 22 paths of wisdom. Although they are represented by element, planet and zodiac sign you do have to see this as shorthand for what those symbols represent*. Each position within the system ends up being characterized by the network of paths or depths that define it. A finite world or soul/individual/character defined by the Depth of Evil would thereby be distinguished from a world defined by the Depth of Good and therefore percievable/intelligible. Similarly a character or individual in our world can be characterized by the admixture of good, evil, north, south, east, west, past or future. For example this position could find physical expression in the colour and quality of the skin, how saturated with melanin, whether it is cold, warm, clammy or dry or in personality qualities like neophobia and neophilia.
|SAADIA TREE OF LIFE|
The Tree of Life, using these principles of mathematics (number, geometry), language and physical quality, defines the entire range of possibility for manifestation within the finite and also the extent of all possible knowledge. The use of this knowledge in medicine requires that you classify the position of the world or soul according to it.
For example a male individual who is positioned in the Depth of the West would be expected to have: a simple identity, no strong concrete internal monologue/voice but a surging ocean of urges/drives, paraphilias, anger management issues, impulsive behaviour, balding along with a host of other characteristics we might consider more positive like assertiveness. Using this stock character as my benchmark the path system allows me to zoom in on a spectrum of individuals** that branch off from the Depth of the West and alter palliative remedies.
- If this individual has the qualities in the median above but is also slightly fatter and stores the fat in their abdomen I would place them on the Path of the Sun (King of Life/Health) but close to the Depth of the West - diet focusing on blood sugar levels.
- If they are also fleshier with evenly distributed fat storage and have some kind of skin issue (eczema, urticaria, etc) or manic-depression I would place them on the Path of Sagittarius (King of Sleep) - proactive psycho-dermatological relaxation strategies to reduce cortisol levels, anti-inflammatory diet in severe cases.
- If they are also skinnier and more avian in facial features I would place them on the Path of Capricorn (King of Anger) expect their anger management issues to be exacerbated and for them to be jumpy and temperamental - sports/exercise to burn off excess wrath.***
''Starting from the top'', within the beginning, what begins as simply a position in the cosmos of space-time-observer rapidly becomes a nest of virtues/vices that we derive character/personality/world from - the process of alchemy being the mitigation of the more vile aspects of our character and the extraction of virtue.
*In a previous post I talked about considering the planetary kingships as akin to the defining qualities of living organisms remembered in the acronym MRSGREN - movement, reproduction, sensitivity, growth, respiration, excretion, nutrition.
**Isaac Luria drew the ability to read the karma of individuals from their faces/bodies using similar methods.
***Although astrology is involved in this just because you are a Sagittarius do not expect to be on the Path of Sagittarius. Your position in this scheme is determined by the totality of your horoscope plus underlying genetics.