The Zohar: A Spiritual Drug

escalator.jpg A question I received: What should we do in preparation for the next lesson on The Book of Zohar to make sure we won’t miss anything?

My Answer: Stay connected with what we discussed in today’s lesson; think of it all the time.

The Zohar is a window to the spiritual world; it is a world that is waiting for you and inviting you to reveal it. If you stray from the path leading to it, you will have to find that path all over again and will waste your time and energy.

That’s why you have to try to maintain the impressions from the lessons. Besides, The Book of Zohar pulls anyone studying it into itself.

Those who work on The Zohar at our center know that it draws you in and doesn’t allow you to pull away. It works like a drug: You feel bad if you move too far away from it. That’s how it works.

By simply reading The Book of Zohar and searching for what is written within yourself, by attempting to identify with its spiritual images and constructing the Upper World out of those images, you start to feel a pleasure that develops into a deeply felt need. It engages you. Reading The Book of Zohar creates a certain palette of impressions, a cloud of sensations that don’t look like clear images at first, but are felt as inspirations and impressions rather than knowledge. Later on, however, you start sensing and understanding the position of the right and left lines and how they both combine into the middle line. And you then begin to sense whether this makes you feel good or bad.

Gradually this sensation starts to interlace with the text you read; it begins to appeal to your intellect and the image of the world you construct. The same thing actually happens in our world: Even when I speak of something totally abstract, I check what I’m saying against my desires, since I don’t have anything besides them. Everything happens inside our desires.

Therefore, the impressions we get from reading The Book of Zohar must be sensory. I have to demand that the stream flowing from it will enter directly into my senses. Then my intellect will follow. When all the sensations I receive from The Zohar come to order and I begin to see connections between them, I will start to understand and analyze the correlations between them. We will all have to attain this in the near future.

We Have Entered A New Age

newage A question I received: When reading Baal HaSulam’s books, you can feel real a cry for spiritual ascent, but we don’t have this cry. Why is that?

My Answer: He cries for it because he knows and sees the real situation. When a mother knows that her child is sick, she cries within, but the child may not feel any pain yet and keep on playing in his crib. He has a fever but has no idea that it may be caused by pneumonia or a virus. The mother knows, but the child doesn’t.

Looking at us, Baal HaSulam cries indeed, but we aren’t terribly concerned. We’re kind of like a person that’s falling off a ten-story building but remains calm. “How’s it going?” Someone asks him as he passes the eight floor. “So far so good,” he answers.

And he’s right – so far so good. Therefore, we must regard the words of Baal HaSulam as seriously as we would a doctor’s opinion; however, not so they would scare us, but to prompt us to correct ourselves. Correction is the only remedy to our illness. And even though the remedy is not simple, it will not only restore our health, it will also help us attain perfection.

The science of Kabbalah is not intended to improve our situation in this world; on the contrary, we will never have peace here. The situations ahead will only get more dangerous until we understand that we must make the necessary corrections. We have entered a new age, one where all of mankind will ascend to a higher level. But there is a force prepared for us called “Mashiach,” which pulls (Moshech) us from the egoistic desire into the desire for bestowal. We must utilize this force.

A Complete Break From The Past Gives Us A New Start

Is Pride a Form of Egoism A question I received: Right now I exist on the negative side of the scale, completely opposite to bestowal. Does that mean that in order to cross to the other side of the scale, I must first pass through the zero point?

My Answer: That is correct. At some point along the path, we have to make a “restriction on our desires” (Tzimtzum Aleph), temporarily stopping the use of the desire to enjoy. Later we will turn it in the opposite direction by attaching a vector of bestowal to it.

For example, say I’ve gained some weight and now I realize that it’s time to get back in shape. So I fast for one whole day and after that I am able to restrict myself to a different eating pattern. Moderating myself is difficult, but if I break off with the past completely, it becomes possible to come back to it in a new way.

The same is true for spiritual progress: In order to ascend to a new degree, I must completely disconnect from my present one. Restriction must always come first, followed by a reassessment. That is how you will be successful. A complete break eliminates the need to suppress yourself; instead you can begins a new life.

This is the process whereby a new state is born between the spiritual degrees, and we must learn from this example.