Echos From The Gnosis Vol 3: The Vision of Aridaeus
by G.R.S. Mead
The sentence “when He was hung on the tree of the Cross” contains a great puzzle. The word for “tree” in the original is batos; this may mean the “bush” or “tree” of the cross. But the Cross for the Gnostics was a living symbol. It was not only the cross of dead wood, or the dead trunk of a tree lopped of its branches—a symbol of Osiris in death; it was also the Tree of Life, and was equated with the “Fiery Bush” out of which the Angel of God spake to Moses—that is the Tree of Fiery Life, in the Paradise of man’s inner nature, whence the Word of God expresses itself to one who is worthy to hear. And this Tree of Life was also, as the Cross, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; indeed, both are but one Tree, for the fruit of the Tree of Life is the knowledge of good and evil, the cross of the opposites.