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OfflineViveka
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Registered: 10/21/02
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The Tree of Life and the Indole Ring
    #1291208 - 02/08/03 03:26 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I was struck today with a similarity I perceived between the Qabalistic Tree of Life and the indole ring molecule structure.



That, of course, is the Tree of Life

Now here are some indole ring molecules:

The basic indole ring:


Psilocybin:


Seratonin:


DMT:


Notice that the indole structure is a six-sided ring joined to a five sided ring. Now, look at the Tree of Life and notice that it contains a "six-sided ring" at the top. The bottom is conceivably made up of a four-sided structure joined to the top "six-sided" ring by the point at 6:00 on the top ring. With a little imagination (or contrivance) the point contained inside the four-sided structure could substitute for the missing side, in the comparison with the five-sided structure of the indole ring (perhaps it's folded in on itself).

Now I'm no chemist, and i know next to nothing about the Qabalah, but i think this similarity is intriguing.

Anybody with knowledge about the Tree of Life who could expound on this curiosity? Or anyone who has any comments?


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OfflineDemon
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Re: The Tree of Life and the Indole Ring [Re: Viveka]
    #1291266 - 02/08/03 03:56 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

That's hella neat. I study Qabalah and the tree of Life. Way cool.


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Offlinejohnnyfive
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Re: The Tree of Life and the Indole Ring [Re: Viveka]
    #1291286 - 02/08/03 04:05 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Good post, very interesting!


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: The Tree of Life and the Indole Ring [Re: Viveka]
    #1291316 - 02/08/03 04:20 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I don't see any similarity whatsoever. I think that as humans, we like to find patterns and similarities among things that oftentimes are not really there.

However, I never knew about the indole ring and the fact that it is a constituent in each of those chemicals you mentioned. I'm very interested in organic chemistry, and I find it so neat that adding or changing just one functional group on a molecule can change it's entire identity and function.

Before I never paid attention to the chemical structures of things, but your post has reminded me that I can actually understand those things now that I've taken a class in organic chemistry, and maybe I should start taking a closer look at them.

Cool post!

-RebelSteve


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Namaste.


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OfflineEarth_Droid
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Re: The Tree of Life and the Indole Ring [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1291335 - 02/08/03 04:33 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I agree as humans we often find similarities and patterns, but why do you think they are not there? Where are they, I mean your daily routines are all patterns.


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: The Tree of Life and the Indole Ring [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1291513 - 02/08/03 06:26 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

If you've done some organic chemistry and have some basic knowlege in synthesis you'll want to read PIHKAL and TIHKAL by Alexander and Ann Shulgin. Dr. Shulgin is probably the greatest discoverer of psychedelic chemicals. PIHKAL is about his researches into phenethylamines (the name should tell you what they're like structurally) and TIHKAL is about tryptamines (based off of 3-ethylamino indole). He even gives the syntheses he used to create them. He also gives detailed information about their effects.

Dr. Shulgin has a web page where he answers questions, and you can order the books directly from him (see the link at the bottom of the page).

Hmm, I see he has a new book about isoquinolines. I might have to get that one, too.


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: The Tree of Life and the Indole Ring [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1291593 - 02/08/03 07:03 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Cool, thanks a lot, ToxicMan!

I actually used to dislike chemistry until I took my first organic class. That class made me realize how immensely interesting the whole system of rules and laws governing the world of atoms is. I think that understanding the chemistry of things is like understanding how the world really works, and I feel that studying chemistry can really increase your mental capacity.

I will definitely have to check out those books! Thanks again for the recommendations.

-RebelSteve


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Namaste.


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: The Tree of Life and the Indole Ring [Re: Earth_Droid]
    #1291636 - 02/08/03 07:17 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I don't deny that patterns do exist. Our lives are full of them.

One of my favorite songs is actually "Patterns" by Simon and Garfunkle.
Here are the lyrics to it:

The night is setting softly
With the hush of falling leaves,
Casting shivering shadows
On the houses through the trees,
And the light from a street lamp
Paints a pattern on my wall,
Like the pieces of a puzzle
Or a child's uneven scrawl.

Up a narrow flight of stairs
In a narrow little room,
As I lie upon my bed
In the early evening gloom.
Impaled on my wall
My eyes can dimly see
The pattern of my life
And the puzzle that is me.

From the moment of my birth
To the instant of my death,
There are patterns I must follow
Just as I must breathe each breath.
Like a rat in a maze
The path before me lies,
And the pattern never alters
Until the rat dies.


And the pattern still remains
On the wall where darkness fell,
And it's fitting that it should,
For in darkness I must dwell.
Like the color of my skin,
Or the day that I grow old,
My life is made of patterns
That can scarcely be controlled.


(I bolded my favorite part of the song.)

Anyway...

Earth Droid, I was simply saying that I don't see any similarity between that Tree of Life symbol and the indole ring. Besides, that "drawing" of the indole ring is simply a method of representing the structural formula of a molecule that was developed by humans in the not-too-distant past.

It's like an alphabet, or language, that was developed by chemists. When a chemist looks at a hexagonal shape with alternating single and double lines (like the one in the indole ring), he knows that is benzene. He knows that because those lines tell him what atom is where, what is attached to it, and how the atoms are all connected. It's a very simple system actually, and much easier than writing out the actual chemical symbols for each of the atoms that are involved in large molecules.

The point is, how could this ancient symbol of the Tree of Life have any similarity to a system of representing large molecules developed fairly recently by scientists?

That's right; it can't. It is merely our human mind trying to make connections among different things. Some of the connections exist, but others, like this one, do not.

-RebelSteve


--------------------
Namaste.


Edited by RebelSteve33 (02/08/03 09:59 PM)


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