Only by becoming hollow (empty of self through submission to the Divine Will) can the reed-pipe sound its plaint of love as the Breath of its Maker (the Breath of Compassion, nafas rahmani) blows through it again, thereby re-creating its ac

hingly beautiful melody of love in an act of mysterious intimacy. Through such sweet surrender, faith experiences Truth as Presence and develops the existential certitude that the transcendent essence of our existence is nothing less than divine. The intellect, by contrast, is the repository of the transcendent foreknowledge of this truth (aletheia, suggesting “not forgetting” or awareness), inscribed within our hearts and recollected – by grace – in moments of tranquility. This recollection (anamnesis or “re-minding”) is the intimate access of our deepest perception into the mysterious heart of transcendence.

The relationship between faith and intellect can also be understood in terms of the relationship between communion and sacrament: the pining for mysterious intimacy through communion and the intimate recollection of mystery through sacrament. Faith proceeds from the intimate center or “heart” of our being and is rooted in communion, while the intellect is a relationship to the mysteries of revelation, interpreted by the “eye of the heart” sacramentally. At its highest level, faith functions as the intellect through its openness to the intimacy of immanence. This openness to intimacy is the source of our awareness of our communion with the Divine, that the spiritual substance of our innermost heart is itself divine and is thereby the source of our certitude and felicity. Correspondingly, at its highest level, the intellect functions as faith through its openness to the mystery of transcendence. This openness to mystery is the source of our awareness of the sacramental nature of creation as a continual revelation, that each moment and every atom is a unique and sacred radiance of the Divine, “the Truth whose theophanies are never repeated” (Nasr).

Doing the right thing is always a good thing; keeping the peace; maintaining the status quo; remaining calm, collected when everybody around you is panicking or losing their minds. A snake is a snake though; it will eventually always bite y

ou no matter what you do. In life some people are snakes. Sometimes then, doing the right thing is refusing to pick up the snake. Allowing the snake to continuously bite you, (because you are helping and forgiving the snake or person) is foolish. How is the snake to grow and learn if it is allowed to continue to bite you? How can the snake move on, grow and become more than a snake if all you are doing is allowing that person to bite you? Being the better person, parent, child, teacher and student does not always blindly mean subservience and servitude or giving. One can be giving by being harsh. Too much sugar and a child will rot its teeth. One does not allow a child to rot their teeth simply because they want to, by ingesting large quantities of candy. Allowing an abusive sociopathic personality to continuously abuse you is not the correct way. The correct way is to remove one’s self. So that the sociopath, be they parent or child..or whatever relationship so that they may stop. Without oxygen a fire will not burn. Have the Wisdom of Solomon and demonstrate that you will cut up the child; because you love your abuser, and refuse to let them abuse you. Love is submission to God, not to selfishness and self-interest.
Hesed, Gevurah, and Tiferet
Theosophical Kabbalah, part 4

The second triad in the tree of the sefirot is that of hesed, gevurah, and tiferet, or lovingkindness, judgment, and harmony. This triad is probably the easiest to understand, and I

often begin with it when teaching beginning students, though there are many subtleties within it (as within all of the sefirot) as well.

I sometimes express the dynamic relationship between hesed and gevurah in terms of human relationship. We might suppose that all we want in the world is more hesed, more lovingkindness, and a person should try to cultivate and express as much of it as possible. Often, that may be true. But imagine a relationship in which one partner is always full of hesed, doing everything for the other partner, not caring for his/her own needs, and trying, all the time, to help, nurture, feed, support, guide, provide for, and generally love the other. Quickly, such a relationship will become dysfunctional. Eventually the other partner will form a dependence on the first one, or will feel smothered, or will yearn for self-expression and some degree of self-sufficiency. A relationship in which separateness is completely lost is not a healthy relationship. So even in the case of two lovers, gevurah — restraint, holding back — is necessary.