Verses 43, 45a, 47a: “If your hand is your undoing, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life maimed than to keep both hands and go to hell and the unquenchable fire….And if your foot is your undoing, cut it off….And if it is your eye, tear it out.”
From a symbolic standpoint, this Scripture instructs us that the ways we reach (hand), we move (foot), and we see (eye) have to be “cut off” if they are “our undoing” and lead to “hell and the unquenchable fire.”
What does this mean? Psychologically, we can think of hell as separation from the Self/God Within. The unquenchable fire represents primitive rage we feel (often unconsciously) when we live in ways disconnected from our true nature—the Self/God Within.
Disconnection and rage lead to our “undoing” as they prompt emotions and actions incongruous to the whole of the Self. The undoing may show up in feelings of being off-center, low-grade anxiety, self-doubts, fears, behavior that conflicts with our values, self-destructive patterns such as overeating and overdrinking, inability to move as we desire, dissociation between the body and the head, etc. Whatever the form, we are left in a state of “hell”!
The image of The Tree of Life from the Kabbalah (the esoteric Judeo-Christian tradition) shows ten energies as emanations of the Divine into the world soul and the soul of humanity. The fifth sphere is Gevurah, which means Strength and Severity. This emanation gives courage and energy when used in service of our Self/God Within. When the energy acts separately from the Self/God Within, the consequence is destruction of our life force.
The energy of Gevurah is known as the “Celestial Surgeon.” The state of consciousness it represents has the ability to cut off whatever is our undoing. We need to consciously know this energy and call on it when we see ourselves moving, grasping, or viewing situations, relationships, or ourselves in ways that separate us from the Self/God Within.
When our relationship to the energies of Gevurah is conscious and in alignment with the Self/God Within, we have courage and energy to act as led by the Self. Our life force can move us in harmonious and life-giving ways.
Consider how you are reaching and grasping for your needs and wants. How are you moving towards them in life-giving ways and life-destroying ways? What are the viewpoints and ways of looking that give life or destroy life?
Ask the Celestial Surgeon to act on your behalf and cut off whatever is blocking the flow of your Inner Divine Spirit at this time. Let the courage and energy of the Divine move you however you need.