That's part of what I meant about reading the map
You can see that the "main path" clearly goes along the lower branch, ie. it probably is easier.
The cave-in isn't that hard if you feel your hitbox and stay near the center. Then, only really evil constellations can kill you (but they are not THAT common).
You absolutely have to finish it, though, as it unlocks the probably most useful subweapon: Scort. Also known as escort to normal human beings.
The whole temple level is permanently burned into my muscle memory, though. Especially the miniboss.
And yes, the second level is evil.