“And when upon His simple will, came the desire to create the world and emanate the emanations,”
The ARI’s Tree of Life, Part 1
Four Phases of Direct Light (Dalet Behinot de Ohr Yashar, Heb.) n.
Quote from Baal HaSulam
First, the Ohr (Light) expands from the Maatzil (Emanator) as Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom), containing only the “will to receive.” This is Behina Aleph (Phase 1).
Then, the will to bestow intensifies in that Ohr, and it extends Ohr de Hassadim (Light of Mercy). This Hitgabrut (overcoming) is regarded as Behina Bet (Phase 2). Then this Ohr de Hassadim expands intensively … and this is Behina Gimel (Phase 3).
After the above three Behinot (phases, discernments) fully emerge, the force of the will to receive incorporated in Hitpashtut Aleph (the first expansion) reawakens and draws Ohr Hochma once more. This completes the permanent will to receive in the Partzuf (spiritual entity) that appears as yearning, when there weren’t Ohr Hochma in the Partzuf but Ohr de Hassadim, after Behina Gimel, when the Ne’etzal (creature) could yearn for Ohr Hochma.
It is this yearning that determines the will to receive in him, and completes his vessels of reception, which was absent in Behina Aleph. For that reason the vessels of reception are completed only in this Behina Dalet (Phase 4), also called Hitgabrut Bet (the second overcoming).
Once Behina Dalet was completed in Ein Sof (Infinity), the Tzimtzum (Restriction) occurred in her, meaning the departure of the will to receive from Behina Dalet, causing the departure of Ohr Ein Sof (the Light of Infinity) from there.
This completes the explanations of the four Behinot that must exist in every Ne’etzal.
Baal HaSulam, in Talmud Eser Sefirot (The Study of the Ten Sefirot), Part 1: Tzimtzum and Kav.
Susan from New York asks: Why do we have to learn about these different phases/discernments? What can they bring us?
Answer by Bnei Baruch Instructor Chaim Ratz: They’re you. That’s what they are. They are you; they are me; they are everybody. It’s like saying you don’t want to learn about yourself. Right now, it feels abstract, but in time, it will not. You will feel it as something more and more … as a part of you.
Chaim Ratz, Introduction to the Four Behinot. 7th lesson in the 2004 English Virtual Lesson Kabbalah Education Series. (wmv video – 60min)
In the fifth episode of Kabbalah Revealed, Anthony Kosinec introduces the four-phase template that stands at the foundation of our “I” and everything we perceive in reality.
Click here to view the lecture