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The Next Tree of Life Lesson



Almost every religion in the world teaches that "In the beginning the Divine, by whatever name they use, created the world and everything in it" -- or something to that effect. This universal belief that God or the Divine created everything is the basis for most if not all religions in the world.

This is the Law of One, the doctrine of the Universal Gnostic Fellowship.

What religions rarely agree upon is how the Divine created everything. Some claim this creation occurred instantly. Some claim it happened in six days about 5,000 years ago. Some claim the creation started about 120 billion years ago and is continuing to this day. Others claim the truth lies between these extremes. The Law of One does not address this issue. What you personally believe is a matter of personal belief. The Tree of Life does not address this issue either.

The Tree of Life is mentioned in the writings of the Sumarians thought to be nearly 6500 years old. Through the centuries the Akkadians, Babylonians, Christians, Egyptians, Jews, Muslims and Pagans have borrowed parts or all of these writings, added to them, modified them and incorporated them into their religious teachings. Yet the basic teachings remain the same.

The Gnostic Lessons on the Tree of Life to follow were compiled by Dr. John Gilbert during the period of 1972 through 1952 - 2014 while he was a professor of comparative religions and spirituality at Universal Gnostic Seminary in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Gilbert wrote and edited all of the Gnostic Lessons that we offer on this website. Universal Gnostic Seminary changed it's name to Universal Seminary in about 1996. John currently serves as professor of spiritual healing for Black Mountain University.

Dr. Gilbert has the uncanny ability to make the complex and incomprehensible easy to understand. So we now present to you his teachings regarding the Tree of Life.


Most mystics agree that at some point in the ancient past, the Divine became aware it existed. Once this awareness happened everything became possible. Until this awareness occurred, nothing was possible.

There is great truth in these words because once we become aware of something, everything is possible in our own lives; but until we become aware of anything, nothing is possible. The lack of awareness makes us oblivious to our own opportunities. Only by becoming aware are we able to consider the possibilities of anything.

When we study consciousness, we learn there are three distinct attributes of consciousness. The most primitive and most limited is the concept of I. This is self-awareness. It is also the conscious mind. Most mystics believe the first step in the development of all consciousness is self-consciousness. Ancient peoples called this "I am" which means I exist or I am alive. When we apply this concept to the Divine, we call this awareness of the self I AM. I AM is a state of being something, a state of being. I AM is self-consciousness.

How long did the Divine exist before it became aware that it existed? How long has anything existed before you became aware of its existence. How long were you oblivious before you became aware? Think about these things and become more aware of yourself.

As consciousness grows it appears the next step is the awareness that not only am I alive, I am something. We are a being. More than that, we are a being that remembers our previous thinking and imagines future possibilities. These are stored in the subconscious mind where we can recall them at will. This is the consciousness called "I am that" by the ancients. When applied to the Divine we call this subconscious part of being I AM THAT. I AM THAT is sometimes referred to as Soul Consciousness or Higher Self Consciousness.

What are you? By meditating on this simple question you are probably mimicking the thinking of the Divine eons ago. We can all learn more about ourselves by using the Divine as our mentor and guide. Think about it. What are you?

Consciousness grows and eventually we become aware some of our memories are stored in the deepest levels of our being. Some things about us seem to be under the control of an "inner us" and happen without any any apparent knowledge on our path in the deepest levels of our being.

That deepest level is our unconscious mind which remembers everything concerning us. In our unconscious mind we realize we are everything we ever were. We realize we are much more than we ever thought we were. When applied to the Divine we call this understanding at the deepest level of our being I AM WHAT I AM or I AM THAT I AM.

According to experts in early Hebrew, what the earliest words written about this facit of the Divine actually mean is I AM EVERYTHING. This really makes more sense if you consider the possibility that the Divine is Everything and everything is a part of the Divine. Unconscious memory is the memory of everything. The Divine remembers everything. Our own unconscious mind remembers everything about us. The Divine Unconscious Mind remembers everything about everyone and everything.

Since all of the creation exists within the Divine, the unconscious mind of the Divine knows everything about everybody and everything. This is what we call omniscience. The Divine is omniscient. This is the first essence of the Divine.

Since the Divine is everything, the Divine is also omnipresent. The Divine is a part of everything and everything is a part of the Divine. There is nothing that is not a part of the Divine. The Divine is everywhere. The Divine is omnipresent. This is the second essence of the Divine.

Finally, the Divine is omnipotent because all the strength of everything in the creation is the strength of the Divine. This is the third essence of the Divine. There is no power in the entire creation greater than the power of the Divine.

First the Divine is omniniscient, I AM.

Secondly the Divine is omnipresent, I AM THAT.

Thirdly, the Divine is omnipotent. I AM EVERYTHING.

And each of us is a child of that Divine.

This model of consciousness states that first there was self consciousness and this is usually represented by a dot. Then there was subconsciousness which is represented by a line that makes a circle. Finally there was unconsciousness which is represented by a circle with a dot in the middle. It is said that all consciousness is the circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is infinite. Inside this circle are an infinite number of dots. Each dot is a Trees of Life and that makes each of us a Tree of Life.

Each living and non-living cell within our body is a dot. And each of those dots is a Tree of Life. Everything is a Tree of Life. Everything in the creation is a dot within an infinite circle; and that makes everything a living Tree of Life.


The Tree of Life is a glyph of the process of creation. It all starts with the White Sphere, the Sphere of Awareness. There are nine other spheres that cause the energy from the Sphere of Awareness to Manifest in this physical reality. They manifest the physical reality in this order: Gray, Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Orange, Purple and the tertiary colors at the bottom of the Tree.

The Tree of Life

In each lesson you will learn how to use that part of the Tree of Life to help you heal yourself on every level of your being. You will also learn how to create the life you want for yourself and how to become the truly spiritual person you came into this reality to become. There is no hocus-pocus. The only magic is you. The only alchemy is you. The Tree of Life is all about you becoming the spiritual being that you came here to become and doing the things you can here to accomplish.

In these lessons we use the word "Divine" to express a name for The One God that is the Source of Everything. You may substitute any name for the Divine that makes you more comfortable. You may use multiple names or a pantheon of names and the Tree of Life will explain to you exactly how you can heal yourself, how you can become the person you came here to become, and how you can accomplish the things you came here to do.


For each lesson concerning the spheres and paths on the Tree of Life there is a reference lesson containing information about how other disciplines interact with the Tree. These disciplines include alchemy, affirmations, astrology, our body, contemplation, creation, the elemental and angelic worlds, meditation, mystery schools, quantum physics, tarot, visualizations and white magic.


You have the ability and authority to study these Tree of Life Lessons any way you want. We make them available to you and what you do with them is your decision. Based on previous experience, we make the following suggestions:

  1. We suggest you study one lesson a week. Read over the study material for a few minutes for several days until the material starts to make some logical sense to you.

  2. After each reading session, sit back and relax, close your eyes and breathe deeply a few times and then think about what you read. Take a few minutes to just relax, breathe deeply and contemplate the things you're learning about yourself and the Divine.

  3. It helps to write down a few comments about what you're learning, what you're reading and what's changing inside you. You can make these notes cryptic or detailed according to your style. For example: "Read Lesson 1 for the second time. Relaxed and closed my eyes to think about the lesson. Felt very calm and free from the anxiety of my daily life."

  4. Learn what you want to learn the way you want to learn it.



For more information about any other services, e-mail info.ugf @ gmail.com
Copyright © 2008, John F. Gilbert, Ph.D.