The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Intention in the Prayer” (abridged).
“Each day a voice calls upon all people in the world, ‘This depends on you. Separate a part of yourself and devote it to the Creator.’” At some point in life, thoughts and desires to draw closer to spirituality come to every person, and it depends on us whether or not we heed that inner call.
To correct himself, man needs to receive the strength that exists outside of him, beyond the bounds of his egoism. Hence, all of man’s efforts aim to create the only true desire within him – to feel the Creator!
In spirituality (and, consequently, in corporeality) a person can be in one of three states: lying, sitting, or standing. A newborn infant in our world and a spiritually newborn person develop in the same order. Lying means that the position of the head, the legs, and the body are at the same level. In spirituality, this corresponds to the embryonic state, when all that exists in the ten Sefirot is the same. This is the lowest spiritual state.
Sitting means that the head is above the body, and the body is above the legs, but one cannot use his legs. Such a state is called Katnut (smallness) or VAK. Standing implies absolute distinction between the levels of the head, body, and legs. It is called Gadlut (big state) or GAR. Thus, according to one’s ability to ask for correction, he gradually receives strength from the Creator and grows.
The “time of desire” is an appropriate state for making requests and receiving the answer – the strength for self-correction. The King and Queen are ZA and Malchut. Each blessing constitutes a sequence of individual corrections of man’s soul.
Consequently, man ascends to a Higher spiritual level. Thus, he gradually attains Supernal Unity with the Creator.
Although Kabbalah is considered a secret teaching, it holds no secrets. It is perceived as secret only by those who are still unable to create the spiritual organs within themselves with which to perceive their surroundings. We are the only ones who conceal our surroundings from ourselves in default of the corresponding sensory organs.
As soon as the soul tears itself from egoism altogether, it completely merges with the Creator and is no longer obliged to descend into this world, clothe in a physical body, and receive an additional portion of egoistic desires. A sacrifice to the Creator signifies rejection of the body’s egoistic desires; it is called a “sacrifice,” for our body is no different from that of an animal. Therefore, the aspiration to rid oneself of the animate body and its desires is called a “sacrifice.”
All of the characters described in The Zohar are spiritual objects, Partzufim. Therefore, it is said that the wise (Hacham) sees only for himself, from himself upwards, and cannot pass the Light to others below.
It is hence said that wisdom is found within the heart, as the heart receives from below upwards; whereas he who understands (the Sefira Yesod, Tzadik, the righteous one) shines with the Light of Mercy, Ohr Hassadim, from Above downwards. He sees that he receives for himself, and shines upon the others, i.e., shines upon Malchut, as it is written: “The righteous knows his animate soul.”