-Two trees eternally separated from each other.

Mani, born not far from present-day Bagdad in the third century CE, founded a religion that thrived for more than a thousand years, spreading to Syria, Egypt, Arabia, Asia Minor, the Balkan, North Africa, Spain, Italy and Gaul. What is fascinating is that the most important Manichaean source texts were only rediscovered in the early 20th century, in as remote a place as Turfan (and also Dunhuang) in China. Mani considered himself to be the ultimate messenger in a long line of messengers that began with Adam and included Buddha, Zarathustra and Jesus. Mani’s religion was strictly dualistic: he viewed the universe as a perpetual conflict between good and evil, light and darkness, using this symbolism of the tree of light and the tree of darkness to convey his meaning.