10 Heshvan 5767, November 1, 2006

Pay attention, open up and allow HaShem to speak His Words of Living Torah directly into your mind and heart...
Understanding - Binah
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2006 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

I can see it but it is still far away.  Yet, if I focus my vision I can see it more clearly, I can make its appearance more sharp.

When the light shines, its brilliance is often blinding.  Sometimes the light makes it harder to see.  Therefore, I block the glare and try to focus.  When I block out the excess light I can see with clarity.  I do not remove the light; I merely decrease its intensity.

The light of Mind is often profound, often too much to grasp all at once.  A brilliant idea is like a shining light, sometimes, one must block out the excess light in order to focus and make use of that which is received.  This is the process of absorbing intuition.  This is the act of embracing enlightenment.  This is called understanding.

Wisdom is the brilliant light of consciousness revealed from the Will.  Yet, wisdom alone is so profound and abstract that without proper consideration, its message and meaning can become lost.  Here is where the logical mind of the intellect steps in and acts as the filter to block all excess light and superfluous thought, enabling one to sift out of the light those ideas and concepts that are most beneficial and valuable for the immediate situation at hand.

With understanding, I can perceive and grasp what it is the light is revealing.  My Will is, it simply is.  My Wisdom reveals to me that I am.  Yet, it takes understanding for me to finally grasp what I am. I am what I am; this is understanding; the mother of motivation and action.

Order and definition, comprehension and clarity; these are the expressions of understanding.  These define intelligence.  Intelligence is the focused light, the lazar beam of consciousness that enables the thinking mind to grasp, comprehend and focus the nebulous light of wisdom and crystallize it into a usable form.

Understanding is intelligence.  It is rational and logical.  It takes the sublime light of wisdom and carves the natural gem into a polished diamond.  Wisdom and understanding together are the two halves of the one mind, one-half known, one-half unknown, one-half revealed, one-half concealed, one-half conscious, one-half unconscious.  Together they work in unison; together they create one whole mind.

The Mind is the faculty through which the Will becomes manifest.  First, there is revelation, and then there is comprehension.  Yet, in order to fully comprehend, one must contemplate that which is revealed by wisdom. 

One begins with rational analysis and then drifts off into contemplative imagination.  It is here that the unconscious mind, source of intuitive inner knowing, again injects a spark of the light of wisdom into the intellect.  This is enlightenment. 

Then the conscious mind again uses the talents of intellect and analysis to understand, that which was revealed.  This again leads one to contemplative imagination and the process of thought continues. 

Thus in our minds we move back and forth, from wisdom to understanding, from understanding to wisdom.  In this is the process of thought made complete. 

When thought is complete and the picture of action has been formed, then the thought needs to become manifest in action. Thought is translated into action through motivation.  Motivation is of the heart.  However, this is the topic of another essay...

Shalom, Ariel Bar Tzadok

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