Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chokhmah: Wisdom

Chokhmah is the topmost of the sephirot of the right- hand column as Binah is at the top of the left-hand column. It is derived from the Hebrew word chokhmah which means "wisdom." It is to the bottom right of Keter, and under it are the sephirot Chesed and Netzach. The right-hand column of the three sephiroth is also known as "The Pillar of Mercy", while the left-hand column of Binah, Gevurah and Hod is known as "The Pillar of Severity."

Chokhmah usually has four paths going to Keter, Binah, Tiphereth and Chesed. Some Kabbalists place a path between Chokhmah and Gevurah.

In Jewish mysticism, it denotes the first intermediate step between Keter and the rest of the sephirot, channelling Or Ein sof through the rest of them.

Chokhmah is the first power of conscious intellect within Creation, and corresponds to tzelem Elokim ("the Divine Image") and the right hemisphere of the brain.

In its highest form, Chokhmah possesses two partzufim ("faces" or "features"): the higher of these is referred to as Abba Ila'ah ("the higher father"), whereas the lower is referred to as Yisrael Saba ("Israel the Elder"). United, these partzufim are referred to as Abba ("father").

In the soul, Chokhmah is associated with the power of intuitive insight; the feeling one gets with "aha!" or "eureka" moments when insight zaps across consciousness like a bolt of lightning. Wikipedia: " The partzufim Abba Ila'ah is associated with the power to spontaneously extract such insight from the superconscious realm, whereas the partzufim of Yisrael Saba is associated with the power to subsequently direct it into consciousness.

The "wisdom" of Chokhmah also implies the ability to look deeply at some aspect of reality and abstract its conceptual essence till one succeeds in uncovering its underlying axiomatic truth. These seeds of truth can then be conveyed to the companion power of Binah for the sake of intellectual analysis and development.

The word Chokhmah itself may be broken into two words- koach ("potential") and ma ("what is"). Thus Chokhmah means "the potential to be." This aspect of Chokhmah describes the state of Chokhmah in relation to the sefira of Keter. As Chokhmah emanates from Keter, the first dawning of the "Infinite Light", as it "appears" in an obscure and undefined state that is a virtual non-being. Thus the verse states, "and Chokhmah emerges from nothingness" (Job 28:12, see Zohar II, 121a, Zohar III, 290a, commentaries). The light of the Ein Sof becomes unified in the world of Atzilut though clothing itself first in the sefira of Chokhmah.

Chokhmah is related to the phallus and the straight line. It is variously attepted to relate it to different chakras in Indian mysticism. One attempt at reconciliation is that both Chokhmah and Binah are united in the Ajna chakra, which is where both Shiva and Shakti, subject and object are united.

In Aleister Crowley's Liber 777, Chokhmah is represented as The Four twos of the Tarot, Illuminating, Thoth, Vishnu, Joy, Odin, Uranus, Athena, God the Father, Man, Amaranth, VIAOV, Star Ruby, Lingam, Hashish, Phosphorus, Musk, and Yang (not a complete list).

Its opposite or Qlippothic equivalent has the name Chaigidel."

More here and here and here


Justin Russell said...

Haven't really delved into the Kabbalah much, I intend to one day. It's all Hebrew to me. lol.
I found the following interviews from Jan Irvin's Gnostic Media podcasts interesting on the subject, where one Gene Odening correlated the Tree of Life with the application of the Aristotelian logic. I can't judge myself really, but quite an interesting perspective on something that is always seen as a mystical system:

The Trivium - An interview with Gene Odening

The Quadrivium - An interview with Gene Odening, Part 2

The Kabbalah and the Mystery Schools - An interview with Gene Odening, Part 3

I also hear that the work of Gershom Scholem is the real go to scholar for the etic perspective on the Kabbalah.

BTW, I think your particular "Tree of Life" would be made entirely of studly men Dev. lol.

Above the Norm said...

Interesting series Devin, I do enjoying reading them. You have some sexy men photos displayed on each post, thanks!

Hope all is well with you, little bro.

Alex Robinson said...

"... the ability to look deeply at some aspect of reality and abstract its conceptual essence till one succeeds in uncovering its underlying axiomatic truth."

I loved that idea.

I hope you have a wonderful day with your folks. I'm off to look deeply into some aspects of reality :)
Love to you Devin xx

X. Dell said...

Reading along. Interesting to see that the ancients associated inspirational thought to the membrum virale. With some of the dissociations that ancient (and present day, for that matter) peoples make between women and creativity (the alleged inability to compose great symphonies, develop the great philosophies, or write the great plays of the Western canon, and so on), it makes me think about how contemporary social mores of the time developed this religious belief (as opposed to the anamolous experience described by Jung), and how much it continues to influence sacred and secular culture nowadays.

Devin said...

Justin, Above the Norm,
Alex and Xdell--theanks so very very very very much for your kind and thoughtful comments and links !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will check out the links very soon-perhaps this eve Justin- after I hopefully finish "Keter" for posting this eve/am
I might continue with this series for a bit- but wonder if I should have an outline for it?

I am also kind of "renewing" my interest in this subject-which I had a great deal of interest in in the late 80s - the interest with Kabbalah started with me because I thought that it very probable that if there were a Creation at all- that it would have proceeded in stages from the Godhead.

I hope all of you are doing beautifully and will try to get by your places also this eve/am -
thanks again so very much for your comments and I did indeed have a wonderful day with my parents yesterday !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I may do a very small movie review about a movie we watched yesterday-it was awesome and I think people that come to MFM would enjoy it too!!!!
all the best to ya'll!!!!!!!!!!