Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Tree of Abraham


Poster ©2002 Stan Tenen

The "Tree of Abraham, an Organic Model of Western Civilization," is an attempt to illustrate the intrinsic cyclic relationship among the three Abrahamic covenants. They overlap in time, and they are sequential in time. They overlap in space, and they are sequential in space.

There is an historical flow from the perennial tradition to Abraham, and then to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. So, we can make a model that shows the perennial pre-history, surrounded by Judaism, surrounded by Christianity, surrounded by Islam, and now again, surrounded in the world by the perennial history we are making today. When we look back in time through Islam, we see Christianity, and when we look back in time through Christianity, we see Judaism, and before that, perennial and unbounded history. This is the flow of civilization and time, moving from a metaphoric Jewish seed, through a metaphoric Christian tree, to a metaphoric Islamic fruit.

We also have all three traditions as three phases of life, together at the same time in our time. The conceptual phase is identified with Judaism, the gestational phase with Christianity, and the letting-go (birthing) phase with Islam. Of course, each of these phases of faith must include the other two, because this is all happening all at once, right now, just as it is also happening eternally, cyclically, and throughout history.

Life grows both ways. Life grows sequentially in time, and it grows spread out in different organs within an organism at any given time.

(An earlier poster introducing this model can be found at Additional material on this theme can be found in our section on Making Peace with Geometry.)

No comments: