The Sulam Commentary isn’t simply an addition to the text of The Zohar. Baal HaSulam wrote it in a special manner so that when we read this commentary together with The Zohar, it acts like a teacher who takes the material and renders it into different forms with respect to us. In other words, The Sulam Commentary isn’t just a formal explanation using Kabbalistic terms which explains the mechanism of relationships between the spiritual worlds, Partzufim, and Sefirot. The Commentary helps The Zohar to express itself like a teacher who presents the study material to the student in a clearer, more suitable way.
When we listen to The Zohar with The Sulam Commentary, it’s like a translation with additional information which the translator adds to help us to feel the original better. It’s as if it is translated for us from Chinese, adding clarifications to the text about the country’s nature. It gives us information on attendant circumstances (similar to a list of exhibits attached to a document) in order to help us perceive the material more clearly and to feel close to the text. This explanation is built like a ladder (Sulam).
After all, The Zohar is this grand structure that contains all creation spanning from us until the very World of Infinity. In addition, we did not receive the entire Zohar; we have only a small part of it. With his Commentary, Baal HaSulam supplemented what we lack from The Zohar, in addition to organizing it like a ladder. Regardless of the order in which we read it, the Commentary passes through a certain matrix, and works by arranging within us the degrees (rungs of the ladder) which we can use to ascend upward, step by step.