3rd Sephirah Binah – Understanding – The Consciousness of Holiness
Binah is the Hebrew word for supreme reason, insight, mind, intellect or cosmic intelligence. It is the third Sephirah in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life and sits on the left column of Boas—the side symbolic of power. It represents the human insight into the given and the possible: the understanding that arises from our knowledge of the divine origin, but can also see differences and gradations. Everything that enables man to judge and to distinguish between truth and falsehood is subject to Binah. This Sephirah is a high-ranking spiritual quality of knowledge that seems more abstract than Chokmah and is more calculating, paying more attention to opposites than to similarities.
She embodies the female principle in the universe. Binah stands for the analytical intelligence and the receiving spirit from which the prophetic stimulation emanates. It is the firm foundation of primordial wisdom and the foundation of all faith and stands above every form that we can grasp. Binah is the Sephirah of every idea of a form, that aspect that gives things and living beings both their outer form and their inner structure and maintains life in them. It expresses that the divine light and life is an intelligent force and that, accordingly, everything that it produces, every form and appearance, is permeated by an inner law and is designed and constructed according to a wonderful harmony and order. It is a symbol of the divine law and order that rules all that is created, every creature, every name and every form, every stone, every atom and every universe equally.
Binah is also the great sea filled with sorrow. We grieve because we have pain, the pain of separation, e.g. in a partnership or when old things have to be let go. Binah drives us to perceive the cosmic consciousness, to feel the world’s pain.
Pain is an engine for progress. Old things are often only let go when situations become unbearable. Binah represents the power of Saturn, the great depth of the mother and the great love. The ability to love really only grows in us when we experience suffering. Through suffering we become compassionate, our vessel is hollowed out to receive love and the more pain we experience, the more we can receive God’s love. Out of suffering we learn not to make the same mistakes anymore, but to make it better.
Binah is the passive divine principle of the maternal and receiving form. Law, order and divine justice are the finite expression of the one, unmanifested divine intelligence, His unchangeable being and His eternal reality in the relativity of space and time. This order and its law are an unchangeable expression of His unchangeable being.
In Binah, wisdom becomes certainty. The higher soul understands the meaning of destiny here.