The tree life has existed in almost every civilization and belief system in varying forms throughout time. Human beings as a whole have always recognized that trees are linked firmly to our survival as a race. Without trees it is doubtful other plants would be able to carry the CO2 conversion load of the earth. This belief is supported when we look at the results of deforestation worldwide, and still we cut them down. As a reminder of what we have clearly forgotten, I bring to you the Trees of Life Series, a look at the trees of life through out history.
Article three: The tree of Life and Christianity.
In Christianity we again find trees associated with both life and knowledge, and like the sacred trees of India we also find more than one tree of notable mention, The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the tree of life itself.
The first tree is very well known. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is the fabled and famous apple tree Eve ate of to curse humanity from the Garden of Eden and grant us self awareness and morality. Though some may say the Bible paints the tree as being a negative aspect to humanity I disagree. Though innocence may be a blissful garden, knowledge is held above all. Eve was tricked by a snack that dwelled in the branches of the tree, which parallels the dragon snake found in the Yggdrasil tree of life as symbol of evil.
The second tree, or the Tree of Life is lesser known. The Tree of Life was also said to stand in the Garden of Eden. Its fruit granted immortality rather than knowledge, and humanity was forbidden to eat of it after Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree of life within the bible is felt to be a gift of God which has been denied to us due to our sin and disobedience.
Tree of Life also exists in religions associated with Christianity, such as Mormonism. In the Mormon bible the tree of life is again a gift from God, but this time it is considered to be a symbol of his love for humanity even after they have become mortal.
Even if the tree of life is denied to humanity in the Christian Bible we see the theme of trees granting life, as well as knowledge and self sufficiency. (The Tree of Knowledge of good and evil freed Eve and Adam of their reliance on God’s Garden) The Mormons take it one step further realizing that trees are the gift of life whether we are immortal or not.
If you enjoyed this piece please check out the first two articles of the tree of life series and be sure to check back for article four, The Mesoamerican World Tree.