The Zohar: In Gehenom (hell) there are sections upon sections: the second, third and so on until the seventh (seven Sefirot–Klipot). Happy are the righteous (those who bestow) who guard themselves from the deeds of the sinners (those who act for their own sake), who steered clear of criminal ways (ways that are opposite to the Creator, to love and bestowal) and did not defile themselves with sin (reception).
But this is not so with those who have defiled themselves. When they die (when they part with the Light of Life) and go to the world of truth (when they realize the truth), they descend to the lowest section of Gehenom (in order to fully realize the nature of reception and bestowal).
Two sections of hell (egoistic qualities in man) adjoining one another are called Sheol and Avadon. Those who descend into Sheol are judged there (they judge themselves) and receive a punishment (which helps them become corrected). They are then elevated one section higher. And so they ascend degree by degree until they come out of there. However, those who descend to Avadon never ascend from there (because this quality cannot be corrected). That is why it is called Avadon, for he who finds himself there is lost (“Avud” in Hebrew) forever. This quality will only be corrected when all the souls reach the final correction. Every soul must undergo all the corrections, and no one is free from these two egoistic qualities.
This is all talking about inner discernments that a person must make within. Not a word of it speaks about this world, but only about one’s inner world. After all, a person is a small world.
I must delve into myself and there discover which inner quality each word alludes to. There are actually just two qualities within me: reception and bestowal; there is nothing else. So start digging inside yourself and look for these qualities that The Zohar names, as though you’re in the dark with nothing but a candle. Gradually, a new dimension will start opening up inside of you and you will begin to see all kinds of qualities of reception and bestowal. All the words of The Zohar will then find their places there. Just as a child gradually begins to perceive his environment, so this new inner world will gradually begin to form within you. And then you’ll begin to understand that your familiar world is also perceived within.
This is how The Zohar changes us when we search for what is written inside of us, instead of trying to judge it with our minds as if it were something external.