Kabbalah and Healing: The Healing of Body and Soul – Part 5 – The Ten Sefirot within the Mouth

Based upon the principle of inter-inclusion, Kabbalah sees in each one of the limbs of the body a reflection and manifestation of the entire body with all its limbs. (From this the path is clear to the now-known biological phenomenon that the genes of each cell of the body encode the entire body.)

We will now analyze several of the primary limbs of the body in this way–beginning from the mouth.

The palate corresponds to the sefirah of chochmah ("wisdom") within the mouth. Just as the inner eye of wisdom ever experiences new flashes of insight, so do the taste buds of the palate, on the inner spiritual plane, ever experience new tastes of truth. In Psalms we read, "Taste and see that God is good." The very word chochmah is read in Kabbalah as cheich-mah, "the palate of [i.e., that tastes] the sublime."

Just as the palate is the lower extension or reflection of the brain, generally identified with chochmah (in the words of the Zohar, "chochmah is the brain"), so is the throat understood to be the higher extension or reflection of the heart, generally identified with binah ("binah is the heart"). The throat is thus understood to be the binah of the mouth. In Kabbalah, we speak of the union of the palate and the throat, reflecting the supernal union of chochmah and binah (termed "father" and "mother") in the mouth.

The tongue, which in the mouth corresponds to the middle axis of the sefirot, possesses three "centers of energy," corresponding to the three sefirot along the middle axis: da'at, tiferet, and yesod.

The point where the tongue connects with the throat is the point of da'at, the power to connect, in the mouth. Of this point it is said, "if there is no da'at there is no binah; if there is nobinah there is no da'at."

The length of the tongue itself corresponds to the sefirah of tiferet in the mouth. Here lies the power of "language" or "tongue" (both in Hebrew and English). In the tongue lies the beauty of self-expression, the eloquent blend of rich vocabulary (tiferet means "beauty").

The tip of the tongue corresponds to the sefirah of yesod, the holy covenant in the mouth. Of this oral energy center it is said, "the covenant of the tongue corresponds to the covenant of the flesh [i.e., the procreative organ]."

Here, at its tip, the tongue touches, as it were, the empty cavity of the mouth itself. This cavity is indeed the essence of the mouth, for as the mouth in general corresponds to the sefirahof malchut–the empty vessel that receives the lights of all the higher sefirot–so, in the detailed analysis of the mouth, the cavity is its own particular level of malchut, the very end of the middle axis of the sefirot. The touching of the tip of the tongue to the mouth’s cavity is thus an analog to the sexual union of male and female, yesod and malchut.

The upper and lower jaws with their two rows of teeth correspond to the two sefirot of chesed and gevurah within the mouth. Chewing food is like processing an idea to make it digestible. This process depends upon the two primary emotive powers of the soul. Love, chesed, motivates the desire of the soul to "integrate" the sparks present in external reality. Might, gevurah, performs the actual grinding of the teeth, breaking the food into digestible pieces, of which is said, "malchut [in our context, the mouth] is built [i.e., made able to perform its function to eat] out of the [states of] gevurah."

Similar to the upper and lower jaws and teeth, the upper and lower lips correspond to the two sefirot of netzach and hod within the mouth. These "guard" the entrance to the mouth from the outside (in Kabbalah, netzach and hod are described as "outside the body"). In addition, the lips serve to convey an expression of the soul deeper than words–the kiss. Here, they join together with the tip of the tongue, the union of the triplet netzach-hod-yesod within the mouth. Just as "tongue" means "language," so does "lip" (safah) mean "language" in Hebrew. This alludes to the language of the kiss.

We have thus completed the analysis of the inter-inclusion of the ten sefirot within the mouth.

Sefirah

Part of Mouth

chochmah

palate

binah

throat

da’at

contact point of tongue and throat

chesed

upper jaw and teeth

gevurah

lower jaw and teeth

tiferet

length of the tongue

netzach

upper lip

hod

lower lip

yesod

tip of the tongue

malchut

cavity of the mouth


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