Esoteric Encyclopedia

Esoteric Encyclopedia Entry of the Week: Da’at

Da’at (or Daas) is a Hebrew word that means Knowledge. In the Kabbalistic Tree of Life Da’at is the location (the mystical state) where all ten sephirot are united as one.

According to Wikipedia:

In Da’at, all sephirot exist in their perfected state of infinite sharing. The three sephirot of the left column that would receive and conceal the Divine light, instead share and reveal it. Since all sephirot radiate infinite self-giving Divine Light, it is no longer possible to distinguish one sephira from another, thus they are one.

Da’at is not always depicted in representations of the sefirot, and could in a sense be considered an “empty slot” into which the germ of any other sefirot can be placed. Properly, the Divine Light is always shining, but not all humans can see it.

The concealment or revelation of the Divine Light shining through Da’at does not actually happen in Da’at itself. It only seems that way from the human perspective within Malkuth. The perception of change can only occur in Malkuth. Humans who become self-giving (Altruism) like the Light become able to see it, and for them the benefits of Da’at’s light seem “revealed”. However, humans who remain selfish (Selfishness) cannot see it, and for them its benefits seem “hidden”.

Da’at is considered the point of creation, when the active principle of Chokhmah (wisdom), meets with the passive principle of Binah, ‘understanding’, and creates the archetypal idea of knowledge. These three are sometimes referred to as the “superconscious“.

However, this sephirot is often not shown on the tree of life, and instead there is an empty space, straddling The Abyss. In fact, there are often two trees depicted, one which shows Da’at but not Malkuth, and the other which shows Malkuth but not Da’at. These are considered as being before The Fall of Man, and after The Fall, in which the fruit of knowledge is taken from the tree, humanity loses paradise, and falls into the earthly state of suffering represented by Malkuth.

In comparison with Eastern systems, some[who?] compare Da’at to the Vishuddhachakra in the throat, concerned with creativity, and others compare it with the secretive Bindu chakra at the back of the head, closely related to Vishuddha, which among other things is concerned with the point at which the universe was created.

In some occult methods of thought, Da’at is a gateway which, upon passing through, inverts the qualities of the sephirothic spheres. The idea most likely derives from Da’at being situated upon The Abyss. Aleister Crowley described the Abyss as follows:

“This doctrine is extremely difficult to explain; but it corresponds more or less to the gap in thought between the Real, which is ideal, and the Unreal, which is actual. In the Abyss all things exist, indeed, at least in posse, but are without any possible meaning; for they lack the substratum of spiritual Reality. They are appearances without Law. They are thus Insane Delusions… Now the Abyss being thus the great storehouse of Phenomena, it is the source of all impressions.”

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