The numerical value of the Hebrew letter alef is one. It represents the eternal G‑d. Its energy is timeless and beyond measure. It is the infinite.

The alef is the letter of personal integration….

The alef has three elements: the upper pointer, the lower pointer, and the diagonal connector. The alef is the letter of personal integration. It teaches us that when we are truly whole both dimensions exist in balance within our being. The diagonal transformer redirects egocentricity into a posture of positive self-worth recognition of your gifts and uniqueness. The higher-order self directs your behavior so that the gift can be conferred upon others, leading to close-knit relationships, peace, and harmony.

Look at the upper pointer. The upper pointer refers to your higher-order self called Nefesh Elo-hit (the divine component of the soul). Feel yourself inhaling the breath of G‑d. Feel your connection to the Divine Presence.

Now look at the lower portion. The lower pointer refers to your lower-order self, the Nefesh Behemit (the "animalistic" tendency latent in the soul). Once again, inhale the breath of G‑d. Meditate for a full minute on how these two strokes coexist within you.

Now look at the connecting stroke that balances the two. Meditate on the Nefesh Elokit and the Nefesh Behamit: the lower-order self representing ego and the higher-order self representing selflessness and humility.

The first time you approach this meditation you want simply to acknowledge the questions raised. You are not in competition with yourself. You are seeking to understand.

The answers will come in time:

Are your Nefesh Elokit (G‑dly soul) and Nefesh Behemit (animalistic soul) in balance? How is your Nefesh Behemit manifest? What aspects keep you out of balance? If you were in perfect synchronicity with the universe, how would you behave?

[From "Practical Kabbala"; published by Three River Press]