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The Second Kephalaia: The teaching on the Two Trees.

And it came to pass that on a certain occasion, the disciples approached him with a fervent request, saying, “Master, we entreat thee to elucidate unto us the meaning of the first parable.” And he, being seated before them, beheld their inquisitive countenances and spoke unto them, saying, “Verily, I shall recount and expound unto thee the parable of the two trees, as it is written in the Gospel.”

And the disciples, with reverence in their hearts, spoke unto him, saying, “O Master, enlighten us concerning these two trees of which Jesus preached unto his followers. For it is written in the Gospel, The good tree shall yield good fruit, and the bad tree shall yield bad fruit. No good tree shall yield bad fruit, nor shall a bad tree yield good fruit. By their fruits, one shall know each tree.”

In their humility, the disciples beseeched him further, saying, “We entreat thee, Master, to reveal unto us the nature of these two trees, and to explain their growth upon the earth. For it is written in the scriptures, and the mystery is known by revelation, mystery by mystery.”

Now, among the sects, there were those who expounded upon the two trees, claiming that a good tree remained upon this composite earth, while others spoke a different interpretation. Yet, the apostle Mani, in the greatness of his wisdom, addressed his disciples, declaring, “Great is the revelation that flows from the divine source, spoken by my own mouth. Behold, the secrets are unfolded, and distinctions between good and bad are made manifest.”

And as the disciples listened, he continued, “For those who explain these two trees, reckoning them upon the earth, speak of a date palm. Yet, understand this, not every part of the date palm is used, and therein lies the truth, for the mystery is revealed at the end, as a single explanation for those who seek wisdom.”

Thus, the disciples were enlightened by the words of their master, and the meaning of the parable unfolded like the petals of a flower, revealing the eternal truth hidden within the symbolism of the two trees.

Behold, in the leaves and branches of the date palm, there exists a contamination—a malign tumour that dwells within them. The tree, before which they stand in judgment, bears this noxious burden, for it yields a decision that bears the mark of bitterness.

For, in their naming, they categorize it as a tree, and yet, it is sweet in appearance. The writings establish this paradox, wherein they proclaim and confirm the nature of the tree. They declare it to be sweet, and in their understanding, they set forth a decree.

Yet, this tree, this sweet tree, holds a secret within its core. In its seed lies the foundation of nourishment, and it is used by them for sustenance. However, a revelation unfolds: this tree shall not join with mankind, as it is named.

The Apostle, counted among the twelve, bears a tale of treachery. At the beginning, he is called a good man; yet, ultimately, it is inscribed that Satan entered him. He delivered the Saviour into the hands of the Jews, who, in turn, executed their judgment upon the wood.

Judas Iscariot, once deemed a good man, is later labelled a traitor and murderer. Similarly, it is written of Paul, who, in his initial state, persecuted the church of God. He underwent a great revelation, turning from persecutor to preacher. The church of my master, shaped in the mingling of good and bad, had its foundations in these paradoxical transformations.

Behold, the explanation of the sects unfolds. Attend, and I shall reveal unto you the essence of the Saviour's parable concerning the good tree and the bad tree. They, in their ignorance, fail to grasp the true nature of these trees, for what they are, and their inner parts elude them. In their explanations, they resemble those who lack understanding.

Now, I shall disclose unto you how the expounder unravels the mysteries of the trees. The Father, in His infinite wisdom, comprehends them all, as He exists in the world. This good tree, the light of which emanates from the Pillar, is adorned with intellectuals cloaked upon its body. These intellectuals are the light elements, mingled and compounded in the totality. The fruits of this tree, both sweet and bitter, bear witness to the enigmatic interplay of the mingled elements.Behold, the good tree, radiant and glorious, is the embodiment of Jesus the Splendour, the Father of all the apostles. The taste of its fruits, symbolizing the teachings of the holy church, is found in her revered teachers and among the catechumens.

This virtuous tree, laden with goodness, has five limbs: consideration, counsel, insight, thought, and mind. Its consideration is the holy church, and its counsel is the Pillar of Glory, the Perfect Man. The insight emanates from the First Man dwelling in the ship of living waters. Its thought is represented by the Third Ambassador, residing in the ship of living fire, a brilliance that shines forth.

Furthermore, the mind symbolizes the Father, dwelling in greatness, perfect in the aeons of light. These elements together form a harmonious unity within the good tree.

The souls that ascend and attain holiness, along with the alms given by the catechumens as they purify themselves in the holy church, contribute to the growth of this tree. Consideration elevates them, followed by counsel, insight, and thought, ultimately leading to the great and glorious mind—the Father, the God of truth, the great Mind of all the aeons of glory.

This good tree yields good fruit, encompassing the entirety of life and eternal light. Blessed is its occurrence, a perpetual source of goodness. It is the guiding force for the ruling powers of heaven and the wheel of existence, represented by the five fleshes in harmonious movement.

Yet, beware of the tree bearing bad fruits. These evil people, ensnared in laws upon laws, and their teachers, bound by the law of death, consume the taste of death and thirst for the soul of death. This tree, appointed by Satan in the world, carries the teachings of error, a mystery veiled in deception.

The Master called the good tree that yields good fruit, and its recognition is embedded in the scriptures. All sects, enlightened or in darkness, acknowledge its existence and significance.

I shall now disclose unto you the nature of the bad tree, and it, too, bears five limbs: consideration, counsel, insight, thought, and mind. Its consideration is rooted in the law of death, from which the sects derive their instructions. Its counsel is transmigration, occurring type after type. The insight of this tree lies in the furnaces of Gehenna, filled with smoke. Thought serves as a vessel, and its mind is akin to the discarded lump, the last bond of those cast away by Satan.

Thus, I explain to you the essence of the bad tree, wherein its fruits are tainted and filled with darkness. The existent days of this tree are marked by the presence of its corrupted fruit. Regarding this revelation, my beloved ones, know the truth that it undergoes a transformation, changing from the bad earth that lies in its midst to the good earth that bears life and light. In its good earth, death and darkness find no abode, as it is free from the realm of suffering.

The bad tree, identified as Matter, is understood in isolation, existing in its own realm of darkness and death. Blessed is every discerning soul that comprehends these two trees and distinguishes one from the other. Understand that they did not arise from each other, nor did they come from a common origin. Only those who can discern and separate them shall ascend to the aeon of light. As I have revealed unto you, the one who comprehends this truth shall see that the bad fruit did not arise from the good tree. Those who fail to make this distinction shall descend to the land of darkness until they arrive at the appointed end. Blessed indeed is the one who holds firm in belief, escaping the perpetual growth of darkness, which extends forever and ever.

A Manichaean Devotional: The Trees of Light and Darkness

In the presence of the Divine Light, we gather our hearts and minds to contemplate the profound teachings symbolised in the Good and Bad Trees.

Opening Invocation:

Radiant Jesus, Splendour of the Aeons, Guide our hearts as we delve into the mysteries Of the sacred trees, symbols of cosmic truths. In the light of your wisdom, we find refuge, And in the duality of these trees, we seek understanding.

Reflection on the Good Tree:

In the orchard of righteousness stands the Good Tree, Its branches laden with virtues, a testament to divine grace. Consideration, counsel, insight, thought, and mind— These limbs shape the teachings of the Holy Church. As we meditate on each aspect, let us embrace the Pillars of Glory, The Perfect Man, and the divine Ambassadors, dwelling in celestial vessels. May the fruits of the Good Tree nourish our souls, And its light guide us on the path of righteousness.

Reflection on the Bad Tree:

Acknowledge the Bad Tree rooted in darkness, Its limbs entwined with the law of death, a path to transmigration. In the furnace of Gehenna, smoke veils its insight, And discarded minds linger as castaways of Satan. Let us discern the traps it lays, separating truth from illusion. Grant us the strength to avoid the fruit of darkness, And may our souls be shielded from its realms of suffering.

Transformation and Blessing:

Let us contemplate the transformation of the Bad Tree's earth to good. As we dwell in the good earth, free from death and darkness, Blessed are we who hold firm in the belief of the dual nature. May our understanding be a beacon in the cosmic sea, navigating us towards the eternal light, beyond the veil of ignorance.

Closing Prayer: Radiant Jesus, source of eternal light, In the duality of the trees, we find the essence of our journey. Bless us with discernment, wisdom, and unwavering faith. As we conclude this devotional, let the revelations resonate within, guiding us on the path to salvation and divine knowledge. Amen.

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