Continuing now into the second section of the Bahir, called the Aleph-Beth. Herein is a discussion of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These letters are all symbols of thoughts that have come before. With this in mind we analyze their meanings and the pointers to hidden understandings given here.
17. Rabbi Amorai sat and expounded: Why is the letter Aleph at the beginning? Because it was before everything, even the Torah.
Aleph comes even before the Torah. Literally this makes sense since the Torah is written with the letters that are described. Deeper still there is the understanding of the timeless moment which comes before any action takes place, before even our thoughts are engaged and before any manifestation appears. Looking around at the beginning the Aleph takes on a mystical meaning. It is symbolized by the ox, bearer of the goods which go from place to place. It is telling us that Aleph carries our thoughts into being. It is the initiation and the driving force behind thought itself. It is indeed how thought came to be the first place. It is also the inspiration for thought including the very next thought which is described by Bet.
"18. Why does Bet follow it? Because it was first. Why does it have a tail? To point to the place from which it came. Some say, from there the world is sustained."
Bet becomes the home therefore of thought. It is the organization of thought. It is the nexus that thought makes up in order to proliferate, mutate,and correlate one to the other in making thought personal for each of us. This tail leads to the next thought and provides the basis for where that thought came from,in this case Aleph which has driven thought into being. The world is sustained by the action of Aleph the initiator of thought and thought which now is housed in Bet is the basis for the continuation of this world or any other we may be a part of.
Note: When considering the basic structure of any language it is helpful to study the eastern or mid eastern languages because of their tie ins to the deep symbolic references of each letter. The letters themselves are pictograms of what meanings are conveyed by their joining together as in a word or words. The first languages must have consisted of scatches in the sand to show meanings which could not be conveyed by grunts so to speak. The key then to understanding these languages is to relate them to the inner meanings which by meditation we can arrive at. This will be the process then that is used in sorting through the meanings seen to come in the ensuing verses of the Bahir.
"19. Why is Gimel third? It has three parts, teaching us that it bestows (gomel) kindness. But did Rabbi Akiba not say that Gimel has three parts because it bestows, grows, and sustains. It is thus written (Genesis 21:8), "The lad grew and was bestowed." He said: He says the same as I do. He grew and bestowed kindness to his neighbours and to those entrusted to him. "
Here we have the first references to the Tree of Life, most notably the Sephirot Binah. Binah takes the influx of initiation that is transformed through Chokmah into the sending forth of the multitudes. These multitudes are the many thoughts that are generated. Their flowing into form is passing through this influence of Binah. Notice how it is described here. Three parts of which kindness is mentioned first. This kindness is the allowing of our thoughts to assume their own design without hesitation and definitely without judgement or second guessing. It is life which speaks to life in this case following the natural order of things. In it's bestowing it send forth our thoughts of our heart's desire, the thing itself,that which we require according to our will which focuses our attention on the thinking process and the letting go of thoughts into form. Once the imprint of our nature is upon these thoughts they of themselves imbued with the all power of life kindle into the representations first and then the actual things themselves that our thoughts have symbolically send forward into being. Transformations take place in these thoughts and their energy is sustained by the life force inherit in them. the bestowing comes from the Wisdom of knowing that we through our attention carry forward our own lives into manifestation. We are the result or the sum total of the thoughts that we are thinking. The growth of these thoughts comes when through Binah, Understanding,that we allow now hindrance to this flow of life energy which is bound for manifestation. In other words our mind is set upon the good that we are promoting. Then once we let go these thoughts transform into the life situations that we encounter each day. The lad in this case from Gen 21:8 that grew and was bestowed is Issac. The first born or the original thought which comes from our recognized intention. Interestingly enough the JPS translation has 'And the child grew, and was weaned' which gives us an even further description of this process of becoming. Weaned of mother's milk. The mother's milk here is the energy of Binah, the Great Mother. This means that going forward the first born is a life unto itself and becomes the thing itself while being sustained by the original intention and indeed embodied by this original intention. One more thing. This energy of life can know only one purpose. That purpose is connection which is why what is next said illustrates this point. He grew and bestowed kindness yes to all that were a part of him, his neighbors and all that came from him, those that were entrusted to him.
This exercise illustrates maintaining the kernel of an idea and following it through so that the seed thought within shines. Such in my opinion is the very heart and soul of the Bahir seen through the eyes of Modern Kabbalah.
'20. And why is there a tail at the bottom of the Gimel? He said: The Gimel has a head on top, and is like a pipe. Just like a pipe, the Gimel draws from above through its head, and disperses through its tail. This is the Gimel.'
Here the concept of connection is completed. The head and the tail and the pipe in between are the life force and its connection to itself. Taken in this light we are reminded that Binah represents an energy center of thought and that it is something that we build within upon ourselves. These concepts presented here are for this purpose of building within a place of eternal transformation. While there is a building being erected, in another sense perhaps more clear there is a building being discovered and uncovered. Resident all along as a part of you this energy center is of prime important in the work you do in seeing your world as you do each day. The simple fact of knowing of the existence of this energy center and how it works will go a long way in uncovering the things in life that you are seeking. This applies to everything be it spiritual or material. The distinction is not given here between the two. We are witnesses to our own creation and our successful connection to all that is. As a witness we may seek and yes find everything we are in body mind and soul.