Posts Tagged ‘Kant


The Three Triangles

In his Critique of Practical Reason, Kant wrote ‘Two things fill the mind with ever increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me”.

This encapsulates the fundamental levels of human existence which any belief system has to wrestle with – the cosmic (‘the starry heavens’, our place in the universe, why are we here? How did we come to be?); the social (Kant’s ‘moral law’, the question of how humans relate to each other) and the individual (‘the mind’, the thinking, feeling subject).

In Kabbalist terms these can be related to the ‘Three Triangles’ of the Tree of Life.  Kether (the Crown), Chockmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) constitute the Supernal or Archetypal  Triangle – which corresponds to the cosmic.

Geburah (Severity), Chesed (Mercy) and Tiphareth (Beauty) constitute the Ethical or Moral Triangle, which corresponds to the social.

Hod (Glory), Netzach (Victory) and Yesod (Foundation) constitute the Astral or Psychological Triangle, which can be equated to the individual and his/her inner life. In a more psychological  take on Kabbalah, like Ozaniec’s, Hod is associated with reason/rational thought, Netzach with the emotions and Yesod with the unconscious.

Malkuth stands outside the Triangles as the starting point for the journey through the Tree – in this schema the ground of being, the physical fact of existence that is the basis of our individual, social and cosmic life.

In daily life, most of act most of the time as if our selves are the centre, extending our awareness to friends and family, then the wider social world, then sometimes to the cosmic. Undertaken consciously, this is an aspect of the journey up the Tree. But at a deeper level, the cosmic precedes the human, just as society precedes the individual. Or put another way the social is an emanation of the cosmic, just as the individual is a an emanation of the social.

(image sourced from the Servants of the Light site)