The word Kabbalah can be interpreted in different ways. One of its meanings is “passing something on,” because the language of Kabbalah can only be passed on through a connection between a student and teacher. All other languages (Tanach, Halacha and Haggadah) can be learned on your own, provided that you receive books from previous generations explaining the key concepts, and that you have someone to advise you. However, when learning these other languages, you don’t have to have a close connection with a teacher; you don’t have to learn how he thinks, feels and relates to everything. You don’t have to absorb anything from him or copy his attitude and worldview.
However, in order to attain the language of Kabbalah, you have to cling to a teacher. That’s because he is higher and you are lower. He gives you his AHP and you have to view it as something positive and wanted, in spite of the external appearance that deliberately repels you. Of course, you won’t agree with the teacher and you won’t want him. You will push him away and even hate him. However, in reality this is in order to show you how much you don’t want spirituality.
You have to receive the language or program that already operates in the teacher but still not in you. You have to try to copy the examples you are given. When there is a teacher who is next to you, in the same world and with the same senses, you can use this to help you enter spirituality. You are able to cling to the teacher’s attitude to spirituality, in spite of the external obstacles that try to block your opportunity to attain an inner connection. If it were not for these examples given to you by the Creator, you would be totally cut off from spirituality and would have no hope of ever reaching it.
It is impossible to extract spirituality from the books, because it cannot be attained with the earthly mind. A person has to nullify his egoism and destroy the barrier between him and the teacher in order to see the teacher’s inner content. Only when observing this condition does the student absorb the teacher’s inner worldview as much as he is able to.
If you are able to perceive the program of the teacher’s connection with the Creator, then you can continue onwards; otherwise, you cannot. This is exactly what the Ari meant when he said before his death that only one of his students, Chaim Vital, can continue studying Kabbalah, because he has learned the basics of the language, the program of connecting the Creator, from the Ari, while others did not.