The Zohar: Peer into the secret of the degrees, and you shall see how the colors (white, red and black) expand in all directions: to the right, to the left and to the middle, until they enter Malchut below by the secret of the twenty seven channels with gates that conceal the abyss.
If we can change our qualities and make them similar to the Light’s quality of love and bestowal, we will unite with the Light and reveal its channels. We exist in the World of Infinity even now, but it is concealed from us by five worlds. These worlds are concealments that exist within us, inside our desire, because it is opposite to the quality of the World of Infinity.
These concealments don’t exist in and of themselves, but become revealed as we establish contact with the World of Infinity. Concealment emerges between us and infinity in order to help us make the necessary revelation. However, if we are not prepared for this, infinity is concealed from us. This is called a “world” (Olam in Hebrew, which comes from the word “concealment”), which conceals and reveals at once. In the end, everything depends on how successful we are at uniting and transforming our qualities.
…Through these 27 channels the Upper Light pours into Malchut, and the gates are the channel rafts that conceal the judgments and restrictions, called abysses, that reign in Malchut.
We are the ones who build these channels inside us, and the rafts (bolts) are like valves that sometimes open the way for the Light and sometimes block and conceal the Light, depending on our desires’ similarity or contrast to the Light. Therefore, our efforts should be aimed at taking all our qualities and using them to build a likeness to spirituality. We will thereby receive a portion of Light.
The Light is revealed to the extent that our egoism is concealed by “modesty” (The Zohar even has a chapter called “Book of the Modest”), and to the extent our egoism is made similar to the Light, it receives the Light. We then reveal the Creator’s qualities and the Thought of Creation.
When we conclude this work of attaining similarity and become just like Him in every way, all the Light channels disappear and we end up in a vast ocean of endless Light. However, this is only possible due to the force of our anti-egoistic screen.
We then see that all the concealments were necessary. They helped us understand the Creator and cling to His thought by ascending above His actions. In this way we ascend to the Creator’s level and unite with Him.