Chochma, Bina, Daat: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge


 

Every day, everywhere, especially at work perhaps, we get ideas or abstract thoughts. Some ideas quickly shape into usable form and others need more time for full translation into action. How we chance on an idea is itself worthy of much thought, investigation or analysis. Some seemingly appear from nowhere, a spark, from the depths of our subconscious; others arise from studious thought and consideration, an evolution that blends into construction and conduct. Indeed, if we want to develop the idea into a form that we, or others, can use, our mind must go through a three step process that follows the mind’s intellectual division. The three parts are Chochma, Bina, and Daat.

Chochma is the initial flash of insight one associates with the idea as spark. Initial ideas need to be developed and incorporated into the mind before they can become knowledge. Then comes Bina, the gradual development and articulation of an idea or insight. It’s the refinement or working out of an idea. It answers the question, why is this a good idea? Can this idea be rationally explained? Then comes Daat, often translated as “knowledge” but, in fact, mostly dealing more with comprehension and emotion. When an idea has developed fully, beyond its initial flash or spark, its truth or validity worked out or decided upon and it’s in a form that can be comprehended by others, it becomes “knowledge”.  Daat is also the bridge between intellect and emotion, where the idea goes from an abstract thought towards an emotional feeling, that one knows is the truth, or at least a useable theory that one can bond with and that can and will have meaning and application to actions in life.

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