The Zohar, Chapter “Bo (Come Unto Pharaoh),” Item 41: This monstrous crocodile comes into the source (Keter) of the Nile River and gradually strengthens in it. It swims and enters the sea, Malchut de Atzilut, where it swallows several species of fish, which are degrees within the sea that are inferior to it. He rules over them and swallows them. They are completed within him, and he returns to the still Nile.
It is so difficult for us to imagine this inside us! Where is the desire called “Nile,” and where is the “crocodile” inside me – where is all of this? We don’t know what to think of these qualities and what picture to imagine as we read about the ten Sefirot, the ten rivers (one of which is Keter, and the others are below it), and all kinds of monsters…
Yet, it doesn’t matter that we can’t put our finger on them. It’s even better that we cannot draw any picture of The Zohar. It’s better than if we were trying to imagine something we knew, things that we have some conception of already. When we read about Moses, the Ark of the Covenant, the Temple, Pharaoh, sheep, cows, and so on, we don’t know what all of it really is, and therefore we only imagine qualities.
All of these names are not important since there are spiritual qualities standing behind them of which we still have no understanding. We are trying to learn something that is impossible to cognize!
Therefore, we need to understand that our efforts will never end up successful. We should have no delusions about this. Rather, our success will come when we find ourselves facing an impenetrable wall and understanding that we don’t know what the spiritual qualities mean, even after all the efforts we have made to reveal them.
When we complete the necessary measure of effort (called “Se’a”), our cup will overflow and the spiritual world will be revealed to us, according to the rule, “I labored and found” (Higati ve Matzati).