Question: Baal HaSulam’s regular texts don’t leave us room to get confused, but when we read The Zohar with his “Sulam Commentary” without your clarifications, we begin to imagine images of this world. Why is that?
My Answer: This depends on one’s training and practice. When I read the Torah, I don’t perceive it as a historical novel. The whole Torah talks only about a person’s inner world, the spiritual world that is within me. My spiritual world is formed by my desires for bestowal; they give me a perception of a new world.
Right now I also perceive all of reality within me. What I feel in my mind and feelings is called “this world.” However, since my intentions are egoistic, “this world” that I perceive is a limited, defective, and only a temporary state. If I change my intention from reception to bestowal, then I will perceive the spiritual world, which is boundless, perfect, harmonious, and an eternal state.
The Book of Zohar is meant for those who desire and are ready to change their intention from reception to bestowal. It is now being revealed to all the people in the world who feel a need for this, and the global suffering will cause everyone else to feel a need for this.
Question: Why do the authors of The Zohar, the Torah, and the Talmud confuse us by describing our world instead of the Upper World, and instead of spiritual actions, they seem to describe corporeal actions, such as jobs in the Temple and the history of the Israeli nation? Why do they use this medium to tell me about what is happening in me?
My Answer: By confusing you, they direct you to change your perception, to start perceiving through the intention to bestow instead of the intention to receive.
This world, all of history, the Temple, the laws of the Talmud, the Sefirot and the worlds do not exist. They are all parts of my desire. However, in order to change this desire from the intention to receive to the intention to bestow, you need to perceive it and the precise images in this form. You have to make efforts in order to see the world through the quality of bestowal and to transfer yourself from one type of perception to another. It is precisely the effort that brings about changes in all of us and brings us to a completely different, previously unfamiliar perception.
There is nothing artificial about the perception of this world or the spiritual worlds. All their images are created in us by the natural, direct interaction of the Light and the desire (the vessel, Kli). Nothing else exists except these two things.
Question: After all is said and done, how do we really attune ourselves to studying The Zohar?
My Answer: You have to:
1. Constantly try to feel that everything in this world and everything described in The Zohar is inside of you. Everything happens only within you.
2. Remember that everything written there is about you and your qualities.
3. Try to find the qualities inside you that are named by the words of the text of The Book of Zohar. Which of your qualities do you relate to the words “flood,” “Creator,” “creature,” “Noah,” “wicked,” “righteous,” “sons of Noah,” “animals,” “ark,” “the waters of the flood,” “skies,” “earth,” and so on.
4. Who am I? This is something I don’t know either. I have to expect to reveal myself, to reveal another world and everything filling it. Everything will be new. I need to be ready for any revelation because right now I exist in a lie and in the dark. There is a hollow space inside of me, and inside of which I build a new world from my searches and revelations, like a baby gradually pieces together a picture of our world from his impressions.
I don’t understand the words that I read. I am like a baby, wishing to reveal everything “from scratch.” Gradually I will begin to see myself and the world in another form, as it is written in The Book of Zohar: “I saw a reverse world.”