If a human disciple is capable of "not tasting death" by "making the
two into one", entering a Kingdom transcending all opposites, a new
world without Summer or Winter Solstice, only Equinox, then one could
reasonably expect that within this Kingdom, even normally deciduous
plants/trees would no longer undergo their normal seasonal changes.
If, however, you believe seasonal plants/trees must be ruled out, I
would offer you an alternate hypothesis that the 5 trees represent
the 5 virtues as put forth by Philo. These 5 virtues may also be
correlated to the 5 Gnostic rites.
The following quotes are from _The Works of Philo - Complete and
Unabridged_, translated by C D Younge, 1993, Hendrickson publishers.
Allegorical Interpretation I, XVII and XVIII
"And God caused to rise out of the earth every tree which is pleasant
to the sight and good for food, and the tree of life he raised in the
middle of the Paradise, and also the tree of knowledge of good and
(Philo says)"He here gives a sketch of the trees of virtue which he
plants in the soul." ..."But the tree of life is that most general
virtue which some people call goodness, from which the particular
virtues are derived, and of which they are composed." ..."but as to
the other tree, that namely of the knowledge of good and evil, he has
not specified whether it is within or outside of the Paradise."
"And a river goes forth out of Eden to water Paradise...separated
into four heads...Pheison...Gihon...Tigris...Euphrates"
(Philo says)"In these words Moses intends to sketch out the
particular virtues. And they also are four in number."
"Prudence, Temperance, Courage, and Justice."
"Now the greatest river from which the four branches flow off, is
generic virtue, which we have already called goodness."
The tree of Life would correspond to the ultimate culmination of
Gnosis or the "bridal chamber", while the elementary lessons of right
and wrong or "Justice" would correspond to repentance and "Baptism".
"Temperence" would refer to moderation in food and drinkk, thus
corresponding to the holy meal of the "Eucharist". "Prudence" would
be associated with Wisdom or Spiritual fire and annointing with the
oil of "Chrism", while "Courage" would be a necessity for confronting
the menacing archons in ascent through the heavens during the rite
--- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
> I think the "Five Trees" of 19 cannot reasonably be the five
> you mention because the criteria that their leaves are unchangeable
> or winter, and do not fall, is not met. Something eternal and
> ie- immortal and 'divine" is being referenced.
> I cannot escape from the conclusion that 19 is about the Thomas
> re-entry to Eden (Paradise) and encountering it's 'trees", one of
> course is the Tree of Life, which according to Genesis a man "may
> never die"- that is- he will not, as Adam, who never got to eat of
> "taste death".
> Ron McCann
> Saskatoon, Canada
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "docgroove1017" <docgroove1017@a...>
> To: <gthomas@y...>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 7:26 PM
> Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)
> > My hypothesis is that the five trees in Saying (19) are the
> > five Gnostic rites of initiation and may have been associated with
> > actual plants as were the Greek gods and goddesses.
> > 1.) BAPTISM = LILY (WATER LILY) = JUNO
> > [goddess of childbirth- "born again"]
> > 2.) EUCHARIST = VINE (WINE) = BACCHUS
> > [another dying and resurrecting god!]
> > ??? and WHEAT (BREAD) = DEMETER
> > 3.) CHRISM = OLIVE (OIL) = MINERVA
> > [goddess of Wisdom/Sophia, "Spirit"]
> > ??? OR BALSAM
> > 4.) REDEMPTION = OAK = JUPITER
> > (god of the sky)
> > [meeting archons in ascent through heavens]
> > 5.) BRIDAL CHAMBER = LINDEN = PHILEMON & BAUCIS
> > [the eternal couple representing mutual love]
> Randall Wilson
> > Lebanon, IL
> > USA