A question I received: When reading The Zohar, we are supposed to follow the text as though we are travelling within ourselves. However, don’t we also have to exert effort in order to demand our correction?
My Answer: The Zohar itself directs you to correction and the necessary thoughts. It will tell you what is good and what is bad depending on your specific state and what you in particular need to clarify.
The book itself will provide you with this approach. On our part, we must simply be able to adhere to it and its flow, to “swim” along with it obediently and to go wherever it wishes to bring us. We have to let our mind and heart swim smoothly along with the stream.
Everything is pre-assigned, including my desire, the Reshimot in it, and the Light which realizes the Reshimot. However, everything depends on my effort and my consent to give the Light access to the Reshimot.
I only allow the Light to act, but beyond that everything happens without my knowledge. I just witness everything that happens inside me. My effort is called “Avodat HaShem” – the work of the Creator; I am only an accomplice to it. The Creator said to Moses: “Let’s go to Pharaoh. I will do everything and you will watch how I act toward him.” This means that my point in the heart, the first spiritual Reshimo, brought me to the entrance into a new world, which I know nothing about. And now, through this point in the heart, I am hearing an explanation about this new world. To the extent that I learn about it and connect to it, I will be able to live in it.
Baal HaSulam writes that just like it is impossible for material bodies to live in this world without knowing its laws, rules, and conditions, so it is impossible for the soul to live in the spiritual world without receiving the necessary knowledge about it. Thus, right now we are trying to receive this necessary knowledge. When we receive it, we will feel that we already exist in the spiritual world, because in spirituality, knowledge and sensation is the same thing.
Right now I feel only my animate body – an illusory reality; but I also have a point in the heart which can potentially feel the Upper World. This point that I was given is a tremendous opportunity; however, it is the only thing I was given. I need to develop the rest on my own, which is why I am given The Book of Zohar, which provides an explanation for me.
I learn about the Upper World similar to how a baby learns about this world without knowing anything about it in advance. A baby cannot attain the world with his mind, by performing an analysis and a synthesis. I am the same in regard to attaining the spiritual world. I learn about it only by adhering to the book and attracting the Surrounding Light. This type of study is the most natural. We discover a new world in the same manner as we discovered this world when we were babies.
The Upper Level can never be attained with the mind, since we don’t feel, see, or understand it. However, we have to begin to feel it.