Gimel: Camel, Synthesis, Journeying, and the number 3.
In an ongoing study with companions in a cycle of the netivot, we share an array of ideas and contemplations from scripture and Sophian tradition regarding this particularly rich letter Gimel. While its same consonants with different vowels mean 'camel', its position in the Christian Tree of Life and its gematria of 3 imply many, many more indirect possibilities for contemplation.
From camels, we understand a capacity to journey over stretches of land completely lethal to humans merely on foot. Also, camels in ancient desert cultures allow for not only the exchange of goods, and ideas, but travel and contact otherwise impossible. As the ark moved upon the waters of the flood, so a camel traverses a trackless waste. The contemplation of what preserves over a great and perilous distance to transmit itself is present then in ג.
The sefirot ג links in our Christian Tree of Life are Keter and Tifaret. The expanse between these sefirot is the same expanse separating Hesed from Binah, as well as the entire Supernal Triad (Keter, Hokmah, and Binah) from the Seven Sefirot of Construction (Hesed to Malkut) known as the Abyss. What is the Abyss? Our tradition introduces this in many ways and contexts. Here, let us imagine the Abyss as that of reality manifest as we expect. Whether waking, dreaming, or dying, our experience of the radiance of our mind unfolds from what we consciously and unconsciously expect. Where and how this Abyss is present microcosmically in our soul and macrocosmically in the metaphysical structure of Elohim's great Creation is another discussion thoroughly detailed throughout this forum by Tau Malachi. Here, understand the role ג serves across a great expanse of expectations in our all states of our experience, conscious and unconscious: the Abyss, or throughout scripture, 'the deep' or 'the wilderness'.
A final possible entrance into ג is by way of its number, 3, which is also suggests synthesis, integration, mediation, and balance between opposites. If there's a thesis or proposition of any kind, then inevitably there's its mutually defining antithesis. Beyond these two apparently contradicting polarities or dualities is a third, synthesizing point. Below for example, Jewish tradition teaches that any apparent contradiction between two points in scripture is resolved by a third, 'higher' point. Above in creation, we'll recall the Third Day when:
And God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. (Genesis 1:9-13)
Of this third day, it is called 'good' twice, for this day reconciles and synthesizes the antagonism of the First Day's thesis with the Second Day's antithesis. The Third Day as a sefirah is Tifaret, the emanation of the Holy One by which all other sefirot, merciful and severe, are integrated, harmonized, and held together by a core and heart. The knowledge of this synthesis, mediation, integration in our experience was well-spoken as an process; how we know and are sure of the Holy One with us, even in confusing or lonely times, is a process found from within and behind mental being; going within and living from within synthesizes opposites internal and external by the very process represented by ג.
These opening contemplations surely invite many more of your own. As we search in scripture for instances of journeying, of the Deep, of wilderness, reconciliation, and any pattern of three, we're sure to celebrate and bring forth Elohim's blessings of ג. In the words of the Living Yeshua recorded by St. Thomas v. 48:
"May two make peace with each other in a single house and say to the mountain, 'Move from here!' and watch it move."