As mentioned above, Chochmah (Wisdom) is the flash of intuitional insight which seems to appear from nowhere. On the other hand, Binah (Understanding) is when this wisdom is comprehended in a way of tangible grasp. For this reason Chochmah is called Ein (Nothingness) whereas Binah is called Yesh (Something). These two sefirot, Chochmah and Binah, are called “the two lovers who never separate” (Trein re’in d’lo mitparshin). This is because the one cannot function without the other. This is to say that in order for the mind to comprehend, there must be a seminal concept to grasp through analysis. On the other hand, the concept cannot exist in a vacuum. There must be a vessel to contain it and develop it. This vessel is the comprehension ofBinah. For this reason these two sefirot are always found together. When one is thinking, he must think about something.
The creation of “something from nothing” is when the flash of intuition (Chochmah) breaks through like a lightning bolt, to the level of understanding (Binah) from that which is above intellect (Keter). This comes from the source of intellect which is called “Koach HaMaskil” (Chochmah of Arich). Koach HaMaskil is the ability to bring out new insights into the intellect.
We may now understand the meaning of the statement in Etz Chaim that Abba (Chochmah) receives from the eighth mazalwhich is called Notzer and that Imma (Binah) receives from the thirteenth mazal which is called VeNakeh.
The eighth mazal, Notzer, is the ability to reveal new insights. It is the source and potential for intellectual insight as it exists in the desire (Arich). This “Potential for intellectual insight” (Koach HaMaskil) is the “Insight on the level of desire”. This is indicated by the fact that the letters of the word Notzer may be rearranged to make up the word Tzinor (Pipe), meaning that insight flows down from there.
The thirteenth mazal, VeNakeh, is the ability to develop the insight so that it “develops and grows”. It is the source of the intellectual comprehension of the insight as it exists on the level of the desire (Arich). This is “Comprehension on the level of desire”. This is indicated by the fact that the Hebrew word Nakeh has the same etymological root as the word Yenikah which means “to suckle”. This is analogous to a child who suckles his mother’s milk, which causes him to develop and grow.
As mentioned above, in order for there to be a flash of insight (Chochmah) into a subject, there must be the unification ofChochmah and Binah. This comes about through the act of analysis (Hitbonenut). So too, higher than the intellect, within the very source of Chochmah and Binah, which is Arich (Desire), there must also be a unification of the two mazalot. This is in order to give birth to new insights and to develop them. If the ability to bring out new insights alone exists, but not the ability to grasp and develop them, new insight will not come about. The opposite is also true. If there is only the ability to develop insight but there is no insight to develop, the power to grasp and comprehend remains barren. The unification of both of these powers ofArich (desire) is no less essential than the unification of Chochmah and Binah.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, Chesed of Atik (kindness of pleasure) is enclothed in Keter of Arich (desire of desire). In other words, great pleasure is what gives rise to great desire. This means that the great desire (Keter of Arich) is, in turn, the source of the two mazalot, as mentioned above. We, therefore, see that in order to have a flash of insight into a subject, one must have great pleasure and desire in delving into the subject. For example, a person who becomes a doctor out of a desire for wealth rather than a desire to heal will most likely not come up with great insights into medicine. This is because his pleasure is into the financial benefits rather than the subject of medicine. Likewise, a person who goes into computer science because he wants to make a fortune, most likely will not come up with great innovations in computer science. If he goes to college and studies he will become a computer scientist, but it is unlikely that he will discover any new innovation and bring it out “something out of nothing”.
From this we see that the power of innovation is specifically rooted in the desire (Arich) and even higher, in the pleasure (Atik).
The examples above illustrate that pleasure (Atik) and desire (Arich) is the source of the flash of insight (Chochmah). However, these examples themselves actually fit later on in the chaining down of the worlds. Rather, they were used here for lack of better examples. This is because the subject we are occupied with here, is the matter of the two mazalot and that which results from their unification. However, in the examples, the thought and innovation is directed outward, towards something outside of one’s self. That level of thought comes about from Netzach, Hod, and Yesod of Arich (The gut emotions of the desire), as will be explained later. On the other hand, the flash of intuition we are dealing with here is an intuitional insight that goes up, into the self itself, rather than down, outside of the self, and represents deep introspection. This is like an intuitive flash of insight into the true nature of reality. In other words, the analysis is not into externalities, such as making a better computer, or discovering a medical breakthrough. Rather, the analysis is inward, into the essential self. For example, the analysis is to understand the desire, purpose and intent behind all of Creation. Therefore, this flash of intuition comes from Keter of Arich (Desire of Desire)within which Atik Yomin (Emotions of Pleasure) is enclothed, which, as mentioned before, is still part and parcel of the Self. In truth, it can actually reach even higher, into the original simple desire and intent in the essence of the Self itself (RatzonHaPashoot B’Atzmooto).