VERY DIFFERENT INTELLECTS

It is written: “Just as all of the holy partzufim [‘groups of sefirot’]” have intellect; the same is true with all of the impure partzufim, both masculine and feminine. However, the difference is this: the evil masculine and feminine partzufim only have two mochin/brains [chochmah and binah], while the masculine holy partzufim have three: chochmah, binah and da’at. The feminine holy partzufim also have only two mochin [chochmah and binah], because as we are taught, ‘The da’at from women is light’ [Talmud, Shabbat 33b]” (the Ari”zal, Etz Chayim 48:2). Chochmah is the flash of insight that penetrates through the veil of the subconscious in the conscious mind. It is an ephemeral experience, since by its own nature, the insight is foreign to the mental structure in which it is introduced. As a foreign entity, if it is not integrated in the mind in some manner, it simply vanishes and it is forgotten. Hence, it is the job of binah (the rational mind) to integrate this new insight in the mental structures and thinking patterns that the individual already has. This is a process of “translation and evaluation”: translating the insight in familiar terms and evaluating the existing mental structures and ideas in terms of the new insight. This new insight confirms or contradicts that which the person already knows and believes, and if there is a “confirmation”, what is its extension? And so forth and so on. As such, binah “distinguishes” (from the Hebrew bein, the root of binah) between reality as it is now reflected in the insight and how it was conceived before the insight; thus rebuilding (from the Hebrew boneh) the person’s mentality in the “dawn of the insight”. Even so, all is mental abstract activity. It is the third intellectual component’s function, da’at, to bring relevance and significance to this new mental construct of reality in the person’s daily understanding: Now that I understand reality in a new and more elevated manner, what can this understanding say about the way in which I have lived my life? How should I live it thereafter? Now we can begin to see the essential difference between good and evil, or more precisely, holiness and the mundane. The drive of the holy intellect is a focus on seeking the insight’s relevance, comprehension and knowledge. The evil intellect does not possess this drive. It is completely content to focus solely in the insight’s experience – in the “wow” or “momentary dazzling”, without being “polluted” with its moral preoccupations or relevance. For this kind of intellect, life is just a progression of sterile experiences, exciting in it of itself, but that do not produce any durable fruit or changes in the person’s life or society. This is the reason, thousands study Torah, in particular Kabbalah, and yet nothing truly significant happens, to wit, there is no real transformation, implying on a needed growth in halachic observance. This is what matter if the individual wishes to calibrate himself to Hashem. What happens is that all is mostly treated as a new form of entertainment, and the mindless “wow” experience from listening to the lofty concepts. There are further conclusions, for another time and place.