A question I received: During The Zohar lesson I feel that I’m thrown from side to side like a boat in a storm. Sometimes I feel good about it, and other times very afraid. Is this good for me, or to the contrary?
My Answer: We have to understand that there is no connection between what we read, what we feel, or in fact, what goes on inside us. During the lesson, The Zohar works on us as if we’re pressing buttons on a device whose functions we don’t understand. It is like a child, for example, who pulls a mobile phone out of his father’s pocket, plays with the buttons, and accidentally calls someone or sends a message. Similarly, when we read The Zohar we’re pressing “buttons” without understanding what forces we induce. Therefore, the reactions we feel in response are not at all connected with our initial actions.
We may think of our friends, the whole world, and the Creator with love, and suddenly become plagued with the opposite concern, wondering, “Why am I even trying to do this?” Or it may occur the other way around where we blame the Creator, the group, and ourselves, but suddenly something good appears that we didn’t feel we deserved.
The Zohar speaks to us like a parent would speak to an infant who doesn’t understand what is being said to him. The parent knows everything about the baby, but the infant doesn’t understand anything about the parent. In spirituality we are at the level of an infant. This is why we shouldn’t draw conclusions based on our sensations, since they are not properly connected.
It may be that we’re thinking everything is a mess and feel only problems and confusions, when in fact everything is perfectly arranged. We need to be mindful that regardless of what happens, we continue with our studies until deliverance comes. We are advised to avoid worrying about something which occurs along our path, and it is written, “Do whatever you want, but don’t leave!”
We need a certain measure of persistence, devotion, and patience on our spiritual path. Baal HaSulam writes in the “Preface to Study of the Ten Sefirot,” that “Only those heroes who possess real patience manage to climb the mountain and enter the King’s palace.” Thus, we need to allow The Zohar to influence us by means of the Surrounding Light.