A question I received: You spoke of two types of inner searching while reading The Book of Zohar. One is more rational, where we look within ourselves for what it says. The other type of search is sensory where we attempt to feel everything it says. However, as I’m trying to sense something, I find that I don’t feel anything. I’m trying to find something within myself, but have found nothing. What should I do?
My Answer: Keep searching. You should desire to find within you all that The Zohar talks about. All of it is within you, including the Creator, man, animals, fish, the world, hills, mountains, trees, crocodiles, and it doesn’t matter what else.
There isn’t a single word that describes anything outside of you. Why is that? Every word consists of letters, with the letters being desires or vessels of reception – Kelim, which are ordered in accordance with the Lights. This is what you should desire to feel.
The desire is represented by a word, but it already exists. You should desire to know this word and feel it, to actually be within the letters, which are desires filled with Light. Each word is a model or a connection between you and the Creator, the Upper Light. You have to desire to sense this model within you and to find: where is it?
It’s similar to how when you read the word “lemon,” you might immediately start sensing the taste of lemon in your mouth. Well, you should desire to feel everything you read in The Book of Zohar the same way, without additional contemplation.
We experience feelings that are common for us all; for example, every person in the world will feel the same when he hears the word “lemon.” We can talk to scientists and they will explain why we feel the taste of lemon and what its chemical ingredients are. But when we ask Kabbalists, they will tell us what “lemon” means from the point of view of Kabbalah. If we ask a housewife, she will tell us how to make use of a lemon in preparing food. But in any case, everybody has a common understanding of what a lemon is.
Similarly, when we read The Book of Zohar, we should primarily desire to reach a common sensation. That is how we will attain a deeper, more detailed revelation as we proceed through all four stages and investigate the roots. But all of this has to be revealed naturally, meaning, by our aspiration for the Light. The Light will, in turn, influence our desire and uncover the root of our sensations, or why we feel the way we do.
After the sensations, you begin to reveal your intellect. Then you can say that when you hear the word “lemon,” the sound wave of this word reaches your ear’s membrane and goes to your brain, where it is compared to the information that is stored in your memory. This, in turn, triggers a certain signal and as a result you really sense a slice of lemon on the tip of your tongue.
In the wisdom of Kabbalah, however, understanding is the outcome of the advancement of our desires rather than the result of a learning process, as it happens in this world.