Greetings, dear EO, and peace to you! I read your well-written article; unfortunately, though, I have to disagree with it and share with you that (1) it's really not that complicated, and (2) it's really not an "it"... but a "he":
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6)
"I am the True Vine" (John 15:1)
"I am the vine... you are the branches" (John 15:5)
"if the root is holy, so are the branches" (Romans 11:16)
"You do not support the root, but the root supports you" (Romans 11:18)
"In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples ; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious." ( Isaiah 11:10 )
"The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations ; in him the Gentiles will hope.” ( Romans 15:12 )
"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." ( Isaiah 11:1 )
"Hear, I pray thee, Joshua, the high priest, Thou and thy companions sitting before thee, (For men of type [are] they,) For lo, I am bringing in Myservant -- a Shoot ." ( Zechariah 3:8 )
"Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations ." ( Revelation 22:1, 2
"Whoever feeds on my flesh (John 6:54) and drinks my blood has eternal life..."
Christ, the Root of Jesse, True Vine, Sprout/Shoot!... and Life... is the Tree of Life, dear one. And it eating of HIM... HIS "leaves"... which is his flesh... that we are "cured"... of sin and death... so as to live... forever.
Seriously. While the term "tree" is metaphorical and symbolic... he IS real.
I hope this helps... and am very sorry you had to spend so much time on your article (which doesn't accurately explain the "meaning" of the "tree" that is my Lord... but you're not the first to have tried nor will you be the last). Some advice, if I may? Don't lean upon your own understanding. Don't try to "figure" these things out based on what you think you "know" and certainly not based on ANYTHING you've learned about it from the WTBTS, as they SURELY have no clue whatsoEVER! None, at ALL! Rather, seek... so as to find that One... and then ask for some of the "water" from that "river" that issues forth from him: the "water" of "life"... holy spirit.
Because it is through that spirit, and by means of him, Christ, the Tree of Life and the one who grants it... that you can be led into ALL truth, including the truth about him. 1 John 2:26-28 I realize that you may believe you have already received that spirit and it's "anointing," but I would offer that perhaps you may have only just heard the CALL of the One who grants it. Because it is the spirit of TRUTH... and, unfortunately, what you've published is NOT the truth about the Tree of Life, not even close. I have no doubt that your intent was sincere, but its results are inaccurate. Perhaps you will use that sincerity, then, to try again... but this time, allow HIM, the Truth, to tell you... rather than publish a speculation.
People's eternal lives are at stake, dear one. We can't afford to further mislead them. We shouldn't mislead them anyway. Love dictates that we don't... that we put THEIR interest, and thus the interest of truth, and thus the interest of THE Truth, and thus the interest of Christ, and thus the interest of GOD... before our own interests. Yes?
I hope this helps and, again, peace to you!
YOUR servant, as I am servant to ALL those of the Household of God, Israel, and all those who go with... and a slave of Christ,