Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The World Tree, or “The Axis of Evil”



There is a World Tree at the center of the universe, a core of creation, from which the cosmos is organized: there’s an “above,” a “below,” and a “middle.” The middle is where humans live, together with all our relatives on Earth, together with seen and unseen forces. Or, so many indigenous peoples around the globe believe. From the Desana people in the Colombian Amazon, to the Sandawe people in Africa, to the Yakut people in Russia, the motif of this World Tree as an organizing principle of all-there-is can be found. The tree is the basis of creation, the place where humans can communicate with the gods. Today many pagans, new agers, and spiritual people have adopted, or re-constructed, this belief as a point of reference. With this worldview it is easy to see existence as structured, meaningful, and animated. All has soul, and all is connected. The motif of the World Tree always suited me personally. I use it as a way of orienting myself in many worlds. The tree makes it easy to know what is up, and what is down, however far into magical realms I may travel.



For the longest time, the worldview of the scientific community has been in opposition to that of the World Tree, or any other “primitive” ideas of a structured universe. Creation started with the Big Bang and the cosmos - with all its life-forms - isn’t anything but the result of random acts, sometimes ending in unprobable things like DNA and advanced cultures. Creation then, is a mere stroke of luck, so to say. But alas, some years ago scientific evidence started pouring in that indicated that there actually is something at the center of the universe: an axis, a polarized force, actually even a structuring force. Scientists quickly named this something “the axis of evil,” (with an unfortunate correlation to politics). This naming might be a result of the infamous, grim scientific sense of humor, but it also reflects the shadow side of a purely scientific worldview: a reluctance to admit that there might be anything else than a mechanical, random cosmos with no meaning. I do not blame scientists for this. It is their job to scrutinize every hard fact.

Meanwhile, if we are to look for meaning, we have to turn to more spiritual ways of moving in the world. The shadow side of such a way of moving is, of course, to view anything as meaningful, as well as the lure of claiming to have found deep truths, based on little more than a whim and a prayer. When we move in the vast space of spiritual beliefs, we have to scrutinize what we experience in a different way than the scientific community. We have no one to trust but ourselves. As the writers and wisdom keepers of The Echo World keep insisting, be it Terry-Cole Whittaker, Maureen J. St. Germain, or Frank DeMarco, we all have to keep listening to our inner voice, find what feels right to us, or ask our Higher Self for guidance. If we do not, it is easy to fall victim to those who try to tell us that they know better than we do, what is true and right. There are many cults and religious fanatics out there who would love to take over our life, if we are not careful.



Remember, whatever ideas and opinions presented in our magazine The Echo World, or that you read anywhere else, only you know if they ring true and are meaningful for you. Only you know if they fit into your personal view of the World Tree.

This is a slightly edited version of my editorial in The Echo World June issue 2017. Top and bottom with courtesy of Pixabay free download. Centre image is an Ash tree in my parents garden in Sweden, taken by me: Sofia Karin Axelsson.

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