Comprehension – 1:34

Before we can understand how the influence comes down from Keter (Desire) to Chochmah (Insight) and Binah (Comprehension), and their interrelationships, we must first understand what Chochmah and Binah are and how they work. In order to understand this we must examine the matter of how concepts are comprehended.

There are three dimensions to every comprehension: length, breadth and depth.

1) The breadth of a concept is that it may be explained in many different ways. There is not just one way that it may be understood. It may be examined from various different angles. This is similar to the width of a river.

2) The length of a concept is that it can be brought down through allegories and analogies, until it can even reach the level of a child. This is similar to the length of a river. It begins high in the mountains and flows down until it reaches sea level.

3) The depth of a concept is similar to the depth of a river. It is its underlying current. The depth of a concept is its underlying point. Now, according to the depth of the concept, will be its length and breadth. This too, is similar to a river. The depth and strength of the undercurrent will determine the amount of excess water that spreads from the depth to create a length and breadth. However, in the depth itself, there is no length and breadth. If there is a deep subject such as medicine, then automatically there will be a great width and length to its understanding. A short subject, such as how to play tic tac toe, is not very deep at all. Therefore, there is only one simple way to explain it. It has a narrow width and a short length because it is not deep. All this applies to the matter of comprehension, called Binah.

Now, the depth of a river reaches all the way to its source, in the spring. Likewise, the depth of a comprehended concept flows from, and reaches back, to its source in the spring of Chochmah. Chochmah is the insight and intuition which flashes into the comprehending mind of Binah, seemingly materializing from nothing to something. This corresponds to the trickle of water that flows out of the inner depth of the spring. As this water becomes revealed from its original concealment beneath the earth, it becomes the source of the river.

Now, just as there is a length, width and depth in the comprehension of Binah, likewise, there is a length, width and depth in the spring of Chochmah. Its depth is the source of the insight itself, before it spreads forth to break out as drops into the comprehension of Binah. This corresponds to the original source of the spring as it is in the aquifer, deep under the earth. The depth of the concept as it is comprehended in Binah is not at all comparable to its depth in Chochmah itself. This is because the depth of Chochmah is the source of all concepts, whereas the depth of the comprehension of Binah is just the depth of a specific subject or detail.

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