Kabbalah and Healing: The Healing of Body and Soul – Part 3 – Three Times Three

From our above analysis, we see that the powers of the soul are divided into three general levels of consciousness–intellect, emotion, and behavioral characteristics–each of which further divides into three (right, left, and middle).

Above the intellect is the super-conscious keter, which in Kabbalah is considered an adjunct to the intellect. Intellect is understood to refer to any state of direct perception of reality (in contrast to the emotions, which are subjective reactions to or experiences of reality). All of the levels inherent to keter are indeed super-rational levels of intellect, which, by Divine service may be drawn into the direct perception of the soul’s consciousness (as Divine inspiration). Often, in Kabbalah, the intellectual triplet itself–connoted “the initial three”–is considered as composed of the three sefirot of keterchochmah, and binah (not counting da’at).

The final sefirahmalchut, is always considered an adjunct to the behavioral characteristics of the soul, which are often considered, when including malchut, to be four–netzachhod,yesod, and malchut. As a behavioral characteristic, malchut is one’s natural manner or style of speech. By one’s speech, one relates to and “leads” the behavior of others. Thus,malchut serves as a bridge between one’s own manner of behavior and that of others.

The basic division of the powers of the soul into three, and three into three, is mirrored in the human body in several manners. We will here describe two of these, in short:

1. In Kabbalah, we are taught that the human body as a whole and each of its limbs divides into three segments or joints.

With regard to the complete stature of the human being, these are the head, the body, and the feet. Clearly, these mirror the three general levels of the soul: intellect, emotions, and behavioral characteristics.

Each of these further subdivides into three: three lobes of the brain; two arms and the torso; and two legs and the procreative organ (considered in Kabbalah to be a “third leg”).

And so with respect to each one of the limbs in particular: each arm, each leg, and even each finger is divided into three segments or joints. And so it is with regard to smaller and smaller parts of the body.

In Kabbalah, this general phenomenon is understood to indicate that each part of the body possesses a beginning, middle, and end, a head, a body, and feet. This phenomenon is one of the most important indications of the intrinsic holism of the human body.

Spiritually, this means that every limb possesses intellect (head), emotion (body), and innate behavioral characteristics (feet).

2. If we visualize the human head as a sphere, three great circles are apparent, each defining a circular plane of the sphere and a dynamic of circular motion around the axis running through the plane. The three planes of the head continue to reflect themselves in lower parts of the body.

Motion–life’s most basic dynamic–is first and foremost a property of the eyes, which define the first and highest of the three planes of the head. As the three planes descend in the body (ultimately to reach the plane of the legs), physical motion becomes more pronounced.

In the head, the eyes define the horizontal plane; the ears define the vertical plane from right to left; and the nose and the mouth define the vertical plane from front to back.

In general, these three planes correspond to the three sefirot of the intellect: chochmahbinah, and da’at. The eyes, through which is manifest the sense of sight, correspond tochochmah–the inner wisdom of the soul is spiritual sight. The ears, through which is manifest the sense of hearing, correspond to binah–the inner understanding of the soul is spiritual hearing. The nose and the mouth, through which are manifest the senses of smell and taste, correspond to da’at–the inner knowledge of the soul is spiritual smell and taste.

These three circular planes are manifest in another two places in the human body.

In the mouth, the teeth define the horizontal plane, the plane of wisdom; the lips–visualize the circle formed by open lips–define the vertical plane from right to left, the plane of understanding; the tongue–visualize the circle formed by the turn of the tongue into the throat–defines the vertical plane from front to back, the plane of knowledge.

In the body itself, the torso–rotating around its axis–defines the horizontal plane, the plane of wisdom; the arms–raised up and down–define the vertical plane from right to left, the plane of understanding; the legs–walking or bicycling–define the vertical plane from front to back, the plane of knowledge.


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