September Retreat in Southern France.

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Entering the Place of Peace – September 2014 Weekend Workshop on Kabbalah

The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

“At your core is your spiritual Being. It is accessible to you now. This is the essence of Kabbalah.” (From Patterns of Creation.)

Weekend workshop Saturday the 27th and Sunday 28th of September 2014 With Stephen Pope, Author of Patterns of Creation Logos and the Tree of Life in the Gospel of John (Axis Mundi Books 2012)

This workshop focuses on finding Inner Peace. In Kabbalah Peace is understood as the core of who we are, synonymous with Presence, and the stillness of Being. From inner Peace we realise our intimate connection to the whole of life, to all that exists in nature and the entire Universe.

Inner Peace, is the end of all of our projections: it equates with true love, which means no enemies and marks the end of all our unconscious destructive behaviour towards the natural world.

During the weekend we will work with meditation, contemplation, conscious breathing and the energy field of the body to reconnect with the Place of Peace within each of us. From this awareness comes true freedom, as we experience these profound spiritual truths for ourselves and move beyond the mind dominated by ego into the stillness and the peace of Presence at the core.

A practicing mystic in the Kabbalistic tradition for over thirty years, Steve Pope has a B.D and MA in Theology and translates Greek and Hebrew Biblical texts.  His book Patterns of Creation – Axis Mundi Books 2012 is a radical exploration of the mystical teachings in the Gospel of John.

“This remarkable and profound work takes the understanding of the gospel to a new level.”

 Scientific and Medical Network review.

“You don’t have to a be a kabbalist to appreciate this really fascinating and enlightening book..it truly brought the teachings to life for me. It really is teaching at its very best.”

Goodreads Review. 

10.00am Saturday -­‐ 4.00pm Sunday, including evening session on Saturday £165. Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals. You have the option of arriving on Friday for the evening seminar, The Peace of Wild Things. Join us for both with two nights accommodation for £190

Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals.

To confirm booking please contact:The Abbey Sutton Courtenay, Oxon OX14 4AF 

http://www.theabbey.uk.com 

admin@theabbey.uk.com

Tel: 01235 847401

And for further details about the course please send an email to: stevepope59@hotmail.com

Two Day Workshop on Kabbalah

The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

“At your core is your spiritual Being. It is accessible to you now. This is the essence of Kabbalah.”

Weekend workshop Saturday the 2nd and Sunday 3rd of November 2013 With Stephen Pope, Author of Patterns of Creation Logos and the Tree of Life in the Gospel of John (Axis Mundi Books 2012)

This workshop takes you into the depth and beauty of the mystical teachings of Kabbalah, which tell us that we are intimately connected to the whole of life, to all that exists in nature and the vastness of the Cosmos.

“You are a tree of life, connected to all that is unfolding in the natural world, the solar system, and stars. You have within you the light of consciousness that continually gives birth to, and sustains, the created universe.” (From Patterns of Creation)

The workshop will help you to experience these profound spiritual truths for yourself, going beyond the everyday mind, which is dominated by the ego, into the stillness and peace of Presence at your core.

The creative intelligence of life is far greater than the everyday mind can conceive: it is the formless essence out of which all life forms emerge, and into which they dissolve, to be reborn as new life.

During the weekend we will work with meditation, contemplation, conscious breathing and the energy field of the body to reconnect with that creative source of life within each of us. From this awareness comes true freedom, and the realization that we are part of the great community of life on Earth, and intimately connected to the life sustaining the vast Cosmos.

Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm with an evening session. Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm.

A practicing mystic in the Kabbalistic tradition for over thirty years, Steve Pope has a B.D and MA in Theology and translates Greek and Hebrew Biblical texts.  His book Patterns of Creation – Axis Mundi Books 2012 is a radical exploration of the mystical teachings in the Gospel of John.

This remarkable and profound work takes the understanding of the gospel to a new level.

 Scientific and Medical Network review.

You don’t have to a be a kabbalist to appreciate this really fascinating and enlightening book..it truly brought the teachings to life for me. It really is teaching at its very best.

Goodreads Review.

 

Cost of the workshop: £165.00

Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals.

If you wish to arrive at the Abbey and stay on the Friday evening there is a small supplement. Enquire on booking. 

To confirm booking please contact:The Abbey Sutton Courtenay, Oxon OX14 4AF 

http://www.theabbey.uk.com 

admin@theabbey.uk.com

Tel: 01235 847401

And for further details about the course please send an email to: stevepope59@hotmail.com

The Tree of Life

This post explores the origin of the Tree of Life in the creation story in Genesis and its link with the Logos in the Gospel of John. Logos is usually translated as “Word” but this is completely inadequate.

John’s Gospel opens with the words “in the beginning the Logos was.” These words tell us that there is a timeless, formless, pre-existent reality to time-space. This eternal presence is depicted in the creation story in Genesis, where it is called the Tree of Life. To open the Gospel of John with the first words of the creation story in Genesis makes the link between these two texts very plain. The Jewish mystic is trying to convey Hebrew ideas to a Greek audience. Genesis is the older Hebrew text – the Gospel of John the newer Greek text, written for the Jewish diaspora in the Greek-speaking world.

The depictions of the Tree of Life as the Menorah: the seven branched candle stand made from a solid piece of gold. 

 

The Tree of Life (Etz Ha Chaim) appears in the Hebrew text of Genesis in Ch2:9. The two Hebrew words Etz Chaim have multiple meanings:

Etz – Tree: also staff, bones, spinal cord – implying the axis of connection between heaven and earth, hence tree. Rooted in the earth, growing upwards, branching, and dividing as it spreads out into the heavens, it forms a circle or sphere in space embracing both sky and earth.

Chaim – Life: also breathing, growth, abundance, the burgeoning of life; greenness, the abundant flow of life from its source.

In Genesis 2:9 the translation reads: “And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the Tree of Life, also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.”

A deeper translation of the second half of this verse, which tries to bring out the abstract spiritual ideas the Hebrew contains:  The Tree of Life stands eternally at the point of dividing in an enclosed space (This is the idea of space, which has no fixed form or dimension.) It is from this point of dividing that the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil continually emerges.

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Geometric pattern of the Tree of Life – Synagogue, Cordoba, Spain.

The Tree of Life stands – eternally – at the point of division in any given space. It never ceases To Be. It is the timeless essence of life, uniting everything that appears to be dividing, because nothing is truly separate. Life only takes on the appearance of separation through its movement through idea into form. These ideas and forms can be understood as the universal laws that govern the codes of diversifying life, and for this reason the Torah is often referred to as the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is the eternal presence underlying the up-building and down-breaking of idea and form, which Genesis calls Etz Ha Da’at – the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. This so-called Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is the continual creation that emerges out of eternal unity, which continually dissolves back into this same source.

In John’s Gospel Etz Ha Chaim and Etz Ha Da’at equate with the Logos, which, in the Greek world, expressed the continual emergence of the patterns of creation, from out of the eternal (timeless) essence of life. Logos was expressed through the symbolic languages of geometry and mathematics. I will explore the meaning of Logos in the next post.

This image of the Tree of life is one of the diagrams from my book, Patterns of Creation. This geometric form of the Tree of Life emerged out of spiritual and philosophical knowledge in the classical world, influencing the arts, literature, architecture and mathematics.