The Purpose Of The Human Imagination
Kabbalists have a rule not to talk about anything except what they have actually attained, where attainment means the highest degree of understanding. In other words, until we achieve an absolutely clear realization, until the knowledge passes from the first nine Sefirot into Malchut, it is not called attainment.
Then what is the role of imagination and fantasy? Why are we given these qualities? Without imagination, advancement is impossible, and we see this from regular science. You can use your imagination, but the most important thing is not to take it for something that is really happening. However, without the imagination you would be an animal, not a human being.
Man’s entire merit over animals comes from our ability to feel the first nine Sefirot, to fantasize, and to make conjectures beyond one’s actual perception and attainment. An animal lives only inside Malchut, matter, and it feels only the forms that are clothed into it. We, however, are able to imagine an abstract form and essence, and this allows us to develop further and be called human beings.
However, we are prohibited from using our imagined knowledge until it enters our matter, just as it would with animals. This constitutes a paradox. We are always proud of being human, of having a mind that is above our animate body. However, we cannot rely on it until it acts for the benefit of the body, inside the desire.
In the spiritual Partzuf, we check our desires under a screen, and the head merely performs a calculation. Then everything occurs according to the matter that is able to take on the form of bestowal. Everything else is our external desires, and we cannot use them since we are not in control of them.
First we have to adjoin them to ourselves and accept all of the Light into them. Then the whole of reality will become unified and we will be able to use those desires. This will constitute our correction.
Until then, abstract forms only help to move us toward the full correction. With their help, we are able to connect to the Upper Level because we are able to see and check things; however, we cannot use them practically.
Our greatest problems in life come from the fact that we attribute what we desire to actuality and build plans based on fantasies, thereby separating from matter. Kabbalah advises us to fantasize in abstract form about the Upper Level and the future, but then work on ourselves in order to “pull up” our desires and matter to the level of that fantasy. Then the abstract form will clothe into matter; we will change instead of simply mistaking our fantasies for actuality.