In this series of articles we have been looking at Dana Redfield's life and work. It is my way of saluting Dana as she crosses over into larger life. Dana died last month of cancer, and I can think of no better tribute than to bring some of her work and ideas to the notice of those who may have missed her stellar contributions to the mounting information concerning this present time of a profound shift in consciousness on Planet Earth, the very time which Dana's Tomorrow Tree calls us to consider.
Trees have been figures in the spiritual literature of many religions and mythical systems. The Tree of Good and Evil in the Holy Bible produced fruit that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat, for they were innocent of any knowledge of this positive/negative dynamic. Like the plants and animals of the Garden of Eden, they saw all things as equally acceptable. They felt neither guilt nor shame. Then came the eating of the "forbidden fruit" and, immediately thereafter, expulsion from the Garden's innocence into the land of those who had knowledge of good and evil.
Yet my feeling is that this story is not as much about sin and folly as many have suggested. It is more centrally a story about human nature and why we are here. It figures forth the main spiritual work of our Density of Choice, or third density, on Planet Earth. As Dana said on Page 31 of "All My Days Are Shadows of Tomorrow": "The legacy of Adam and Eve is that we are knowers of good and evil. Our parents forfeited their innocence, that we might develop discernment."
Hold that thought.
In the mystical lore and literature of the Hebrew Kabbalah, the tree also plays a central role. The Tree of Life is a central glyph of that system, and it was adopted centuries ago by the Christian-driven White Western magical tradition as well. This Tree is seen to be growing downward and earthward. The roots of the Tree of Life are in heaven, while its branches touch down, deeper and deeper, into the manifested earth world in which we live.
Israel Regardie, writing in "The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic" (Llewellyn Publications, © 2007, Page 26), says:
"The magical conception of the Tree of Life is a diagram which expresses [the magical viewpoint], believing that reflection upon this glyph will yield illuminating ideas associated in the unconscious with its parts.
"The Tree of Life shows the ten spheres arranged in a geometrical pattern to form three columns or pillars. To each one of these spheres is described a different characteristic of the self. That is, the diagram expresses the integral nature of man according to ten quite distinct functions. It is the unity of these ten factors which together comprises what we choose to call man."
In a far more creative and terse way than with using prose and argument, this structural "tree" of three pillars and 10 characteristics such as Beauty and Wisdom pictures forth humankind's inner nature and calls the magician to study it and its 22 relationships in order to develop discernment.
Hold that thought.
The Native American tradition has as one of its central figures a tree called the Tree of Peace. Joanne Shenandoah created a musical vision of this Tree of Peace in her moving and beautifully sung album "The Peacemaker's Journey," available from Silver Wave Records. She wrote that a Peacemaker, carried in a white stone canoe, came to the five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy — the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and Seneca tribes.
The Peacemaker said, "I plant the Tree of Peace on this earth. If you follow the Great Law of Peace, you are welcome under the Tree of Peace. Follow its roots to the four corners of the earth and you will always have peace.
"He gave the Original People peace and power. They accepted the Good Message. The Confederacy's fire shall never die and smoke will rise to the heavens. All the earth will see."
Belief in this Tree of Peace is a key in understanding why for centuries the Indian nations of North America kept trying to make peace with the aggressive, ruthless, land-grabbing non-Indian invaders of their lands. Peace was their way, and they followed its teachings even as they progressively and at last decisively lost their native tribal lands to European aggression.
Yet as they lost their lands, they retained a spiritual integrity which is astonishingly profound. This message and its vision of the Tree of Peace have truly begun to be seen now by all the earth. They have retained and passed on to us their powers of discernment.
Hold that thought.
Dana Redfield's work also contains the metaphor of a tree, which she called the Tomorrow Tree. She considered this metaphor to be all about discernment. She said, on Page 134 of the "Tomorrow" manuscript:
"Choosing is like proceeding up the stem of the letter Y; like the trunk of a tree. While we are moving upward, we are considering the crossroads ahead. At the point where the trunk splits into a V, we choose.
"There are two limbs above and both pierce the sky.
"If both ways are the same, then what does it matter which limb we choose?
"The limbs on the Tomorrow Tree (her renaming of the Tree of Life) have grown too tall. They pierce the shields. Foreign objects are entering the life-stream. A storm is brewing. Pressure from above is bearing down. Lightning will strike and the tree will crack down the center.
"One limb and all of the branches on it will stand, while the other will crash to the ground. Seeds from the fallen limb, and all of its branches, will scatter. Some will grow into new trees. Others will be absorbed into the soil, food for tomorrow's trees.
"The part of the tree that stands, the limb and all of its branches, will blossom and bear fruit.
"The limb you choose matters."
This is a clear metaphor for The Choice, that choice of following "good"/service to others or "evil"/service to self. This present, third-density earth world is described by my ET sources again and again as The Density of Choice.
It is difficult to define good and evil, the two branches of the Tomorrow Tree, in a way that is emotionally neutral. The biblical usage of "Good and Evil" seems clear enough, but also is quite judgmental. Its story leaves us to discern, here in the confusion of earthly life, what is good and what is evil. That is often excruciatingly difficult. Our intellects are of little use.
Yet discern that dynamic we must, each of us for ourselves. We are here to do discern positive polarity from negative polarity and choose one polarity, firmly and finally.
Dana says in "Tomorrow":
"There comes a time in the lives of all spiritual beings when we are called to remember who we are and why we are here, at which time we are given the opportunity to choose the path we shall go — or the limb upon which we shall climb.
"Like Jonah, we can go reluctantly, complaining to the end, or we can seek the shade of the tree that continues to flower and bear fruit, even after lightning strikes and sets the land afire all around."
Many of us complain about the challenges of this time of lightning and stringent choice. We find ourselves uncomfortable in the brilliant illumination of this lightning which strips us of outer artifice and pretence and asks us to reckon with our deepest truth; our heart-felt choice.
Yet this time is upon us. The present metaphysical moment is one of choice. We are left to our discernment in the making and pursuing of that choice. Dana's advice is to find comfort as we make the choice. On Page 204 of "Tomorrow," she says:
"New shoots are springing up out of the Earth, and there is one tree grown tall enough to sit under. The shade of the Tomorrow Tree is cool under the hot sun, its branches sturdy enough to support a hammock. The shadow it casts is like a long arm reaching out to the door behind which I have shivered, afraid to open, silence holding me prisoner.
"No more. Now I strike the match. Now I see the sparks, light enough to fill the lantern over my head, should clouds obscure the sun. No matter. The seeds are strewn and one tree stands."
That "one tree" is the tree of positive polarity and acknowledgment of the unity of all things. Synchronistically, as I was composing this article, a friend from Great Britain, Ian Bond, sent me this poem:
A Story of a Finger and a Thumb
There once was a finger, which once met a thumb,
Both clinging to a branch so tightly they were numb.
"What brings you here, and what is your name?"
Said the finger to the thumb. "Have you no shame?
This branch is for fingers such as we,
Not oddly shaped folk, like thee!"
Said the thumb to the finger, "'Tis true I am not
Formed in the strange image of your lot.
My form is one of beauty, much greater than thee.
I can move every way, such dexterity!
Rolling and bending wherever I choose,
I grasp so tightly whatever I might use!"
"Well," said the finger and all of his friends,
Disgruntled and angry, the thumb did so offend,
"We shall not stay near you, for you are quite rude!
Your pretensions of brilliance are rather skewed."
And with that the fingers all opened wide,
And the thumb's firm purchase was quickly denied
And all fell down. Then the hand they did see,
Which was joined to an arm, and the man's body.
"What have we done?"
Said the finger to the thumb.
[new speaker] CRASH!
"We forgot we are One!"
There is discernment made clear! WE ARE ONE! Only by choosing positive polarity as our way of life can we express this unity. Only by embracing our oneness as a global tribe can we claim to follow the roots of the Tree of Peace. Only by choosing the "good" can we rest under the branch of the Tomorrow Tree that now comes to blossom.
From a poem I wrote in 1979, called "The Tree of Life," comes this thought:
[lyrics start] "Why do I want to say these things?
Why do I have this song to sing?
I'm yearning to stop the burning
Of the Tree of Life." [lyrics end]
Those words ring true for me today, and I believe the selfsame sentiment also motivated Dana Redfield in her life and work, although she would have expressed it differently. How she yearned to awaken her fellow human beings to the imminent storm over the Tomorrow Tree! How she hoped and prayed that her service, her song and her life might bring people to this time of choice with good information in hand.
She said, on Page 207 of the "Tomorrow" manuscript: "Take heart. Be of courage. I am told that we are being gathered, quietly, surely, drawn from the ends of the Earth to a center place, where we shall finally meet again."
I open my arms and embrace your spirit. May we be gathered by love. May we meet again in fullest light! And meanwhile, as we live lives of love and peace, may we find comfort in the shade of the Tomorrow Tree.