Saturday, July 3, 2010

Binah: Understanding

Binah is the second intellectual sefira on the Tree of Life. It is directly below Keter on the left-hand column, across from Chokmah and directly above Gevurah.

There are usually four paths to Keter from Binah: to Keter, Chokmah, Gevurah, and Tiphereth. Some Kabbalists place a path from Binah to Chesed also.

In relation to the human body, Binah could be alternatively related to the left eye, left hemisphere of the brain or the heart.

Binah represents deductive reasoning or davar mitoch davar- understanding one idea from another. Whereas Chokmah is intellect that does not emanate from the rational process (it is either inspired or taught), Binah is the rational process of thought which works to develop an idea completely.

Binah is also associated with the feminine principle. This association with the feminine goes back to ancient times. Classical Jewish texts state Binah yeterah natun l'nashim ("an extra measure of Binah was given to women").

In its highest form Binah possesses two partzufim (faces/features): the higher of these is referred to as Imma Ila'ah ("the higher mother"), whereas the lower is referred to as Tevunah ("comprehension"). Together, the two are referred to as Imma ("the mother"). In the correlation of Binah with Shakti: and Chokmah with Shiva, Shakti is the animating life force whereas Shiva is dead, a corpse, without here energy.

Binah's Qlippothic or negative opposite name of the Tree of Death is Sathariel.

More here and here and here.

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