Connectedness – 4. Intellection in Connectedness


Intellection: The action or process of understanding.Pillar0Geburah

“The key to good judgment is understanding.”
– Stephen Covey

Examining the left pillar of the Tree of Life (over to the right of this page) we can see Covey’s quote was spot-on. Judgment/Gevurah emanates from Understanding/Binah.

Looking back, we made a “one-dimensional connection” of sorts in the previous section, by liking a couple of ideas together into a “line,” then showing how each end of the line was ‘infinite’ in terms of ‘past and future.’ With this section we will push our understanding into the world of “two-dimensions’ by adding in more examples (points) and forming a ‘plane.’

One of the interesting things I found when researching the “StrengthsFinder” assessment, is that nowhere are the four listed in a specific sequence for a particular reason.

As Rod Serling would say, ‘submitted for your approval,’ I’d like to suggest they have a definite order to them as follows:



 1.  Influence

2. Strategic Thinking

3. Relationship Building

4. Executing

Why this order? We’re going to take the idea of these things being ‘eternal principles’ and suggest there is an “eternal order” to them as well.


First, we have a story to tell …

Here’s our friend. We’ll call him “Ben.”

He does not realize it yet, but Ben is about to go through this ‘eternal order’ regarding an idea he is about to have and see through to its fulfillment.

The idea has not ‘popped into’ Ben’s mind yet. Where ideas “exist” before we “connect” with them is a topic for another day and not on Ben’s mind at the moment.

Ben decides one day to go for a nature walk. He heads deep into the woods and up a mountain and onto a cliff.Picture12

Sitting at the end of the cliff, he looks over a sight that is so overwhelmingly beautiful, every other thought in his mind simply vanishes.

Where there was a lot of stress and clutter before, there is now space – space to allow for something new to enter.

BAM! Out of nowhere, into his mind comes the thought, “I’m going to build my own house!”

A single point. No details yet. Just the simple idea of building his own house.

Almost immediately, as if attached to this single thought, details begin to emerge in his mind.

Picture11I wonder what kind of house I should build?

How big?

How many rooms?

Made of what?

Located where?

He feels the exhilaration of a thousand ideas creating something mind. This is great!Picture13

But will it last? A lot of great ideas never go further than this stage.

No “connection” is made between the idea what it takes to form it “into reality.”

But Ben does not let this happen. He gets back to the office (after he shaves!) and meets with a teams of experts, contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc.

Great synergy begins as everyone exchanges their thoughts and works on the blueprint. The idea is ‘on its way.’

Picture14All that’s left is the ‘physical aspect’ of everything that came before it. The actual making of the house.


  1. There was a single thought that ‘came out of nowhere.’
  2. From that single point, many creative details emerged.
  3. The ideas were brought town from the realm of mind into that of relating it to other people and the blueprint was formed.
  4. The physical materials then assembled, workforce engaged and the house was made.

And voila! (Ben is a very creative thinker.)


So what just happened? We’ll call it the “Formation and Communication of an Idea.”


We’ve already seen it with “Ben.” It breaks down into four stages:

1. Contraction (core idea)

2. Expansion of the initial concept (details)

3. Extension (conveying, making connection)

4. Expansion (disseminating the idea, application)

Let’s take this concept and look back at StrengthFinder and 7 habits. We’ll place then next to each, in the suggested sequence, to compare:

Picture4                      Picture4a                     Picture4b
Picture99a    Picture99b     Picture99f

Looking horizontally across, we see great similarity.

  1. Across the top row we have the things that are present ‘behind the scenes,’ that come together with clarity in the emanation of a single idea
  2. We then get into the ‘thinking stage’ where the single idea is broken down into its components
  3. This ‘thought process’ is then ‘brought down’ toward its completion stage, via connecting through relationships and emotional connections
  4. Finally we reach the execution stage; the expansion of the idea into the physical world.

By adding another ‘point,’ we’ve gone from a 1-dimensional line to a 2-dimentional plane. But as our line was really opposite rays with no past or present, so our plane will also extend infinitely in all directions.


Before author Stephen R. Covey wrote his best-selling 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he wrote another widely read book. The one to the right.

In this earlier work, he wrote:

“The roots of the problems we face in the world, in our national life and in our family and personal lives, are spiritual. The symptomatic manifestations (branches) of these problems are social, economic and political, but the roots are moral and spiritual.”
– Stephen R. Covey

Let’s connect this back to the earlier quote from his “7 Habits Book”:

“Solutions to the problems are and always will be based upon universal, timeless, self-evident, principles.”

With this being true, a realization of such ‘spiritual principles’ should be found in an of a number of places.

Even in some unusual places …


“We think reality is what we can apportion
through the limited instruments of the five senses.
But reality is of course far beyond that. Spiritual data …
We don’t have the correct instruments to receive it …
And we live primarily in the realm of the senses.”

– Russell Brand

For some, quoting Russell Brand on ‘spiritual matters’ may seem a stretch. But then, what exactly is ‘spiritual?’

  • There are those who would say it’s the teachings and practices of a specific faith system – Christianity, Judaism, etc.
  • To others, it’ the belief in the existence of a spiritual realm and/or general belief there is a supreme power, but not more ‘specific’ than that.
  • Some associate ‘spiritual’ with the idea of ‘eternal truths,’ like the Cloud Atlas quote we saw earlier:
    These forces that often remake time and space, that can shape and alter who we imagine ourselves to be, begin long before we are born and continue after we perish.”
  • Finally, there’s the experience of unity or connectivity – as our friend “Ben” discovered sitting on the mountain ledge in the previous section.

All these perspectives share one thing in common – ‘spiritual’ involves that beyond our regular day-to-day physical experience. So what we are discussing relates to all human beings.


Picture22Let’s look at an interesting example of spiritual connectivity.

It’s called the “Four Levels of Existence,” which is a well-known kabbalistic concept.

This calls for an old black and white etching! Some may recognize this scene from the Torah. It’s a depiction of Jacob’s dream of the ladder reaching from earth to heaven, with “G-d above.”

“Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it …”
Genesis 28:12,13

The four levels of existence depicted here (from the bottom up) with their Hebrew terms are:

  • Asiyah (Making) – ‘on the earth’
  • Yetzirah (Formation) – ‘a ladder … angels of G-d ascending and descending on it”
  • Beriah (Creation) – ‘heaven’
  • Atzilut (Nearness) – ‘the Lord stood above it.’

Let’s add a fourth point to our plane and join it to what we’ve covered, to compare:

Picture4               Picture4a                   Picture4b             Picture23

Picture99aPicture99b Picture99f       Picture23

Looking horizontally across again, we can see how the background and initial contraction creating the ‘single idea’ is associated with “pre-Creation” (the image of G-d “above” creation in Jacob’s dream). Following this is the actual ‘Creation,’ corresponding to the expansion of the idea into its various components. The angelic ladder is the connecting piece. Lastly, we have ‘the earth,’ where everything comes into the reality we live in.

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