The Great Property of Bina

Dr. Michael Laitman A question I received: Why does Bina’s desire to bestow position itself on the left or receiving side?

My Answer: Really, Bina is the same as Hesed (mercy, bestowal), at the same time, it’s Gevura (overcoming, prevailing, surpassing) and a place where Klipot (impure desires) are accumulated. Bestowal and Hochma are the same. Hochma radiates the Light of warmth, fulfillment and pleasure. Bina stands for creation’s desire to bestow. This is the quality that allows the creation to sense whether it possesses properties of bestowal. It is split into two parts: pure sacred desires (the vessel which the Light is able to fill) and impure desires (the vessel into which the Light cannot enter). Only when we start to go through the process of bestowal do we begin to distinguish these and realize whether we belong there or not.

Bina is the next stage in the development of the level named Hochma. Abraham gave birth to Isaac (the right line created the left line). The desire to receive pleasure grows bigger in Bina as compared to Hochma. Bina’s desire, which didn’t exist at the stage of Hochma and was only in potential at that step becomes deeper, which brings it to a higher level of self-awareness.

However, when Bina reveals itself, it becomes clear that not all desires are of a receiving nature. There are some “purely receiving” desires that don’t “care” about the Creator, such as desires called “Esau” and “Pharaoh.” These desires to receive root from Hochma, but they don’t have a chance to manifest themselves at the stage of Hochma with some rare exceptions such as Lavan (the Light of Hochma). When Lavan integrates with the impure uncorrected desires, it changes its name to “Lavan the Sinner.” In other words, the division into impurity and sanctity (white and black) happens only when we start working to attain bestowal. Before that, there is no such thing as “sinners” or “righteous men.”

Hence, in its upper part, Bina constitutes the pure power of bestowal that makes it similar to Keter. Gevurot (powers of limitations), the left line, Klipa, and the “big sinners of the Torah” stem from Bina’s lower part. The same applies to Keter; the Torah and its highest Light can turn into life’s elixir or into deadly poison. It all depends on the way we use it.

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