The Zohar, Chapter “Miketz (At the End),” Item 34: “Joseph was sad,” sad in spirit and sad at heart, since he was imprisoned there. Since Pharaoh sent after him, it is written, “And they brought him out hastily,” meaning that he appeased him and replied to him with words of joy, words that delight the heart, since he was saddened by his being in the dungeon. First, he fell in the dungeon, but from the dungeon, he later rose to greatness.
It appears to us that the story about Joseph talks about material things and the changes they undergo. Joseph falls into a pit and then rises to greatness. We see a desert, a Pharaoh, the Pharaoh’s ministers, a prison, and so on.
However, in fact, it is Joseph, himself, who decides how to see reality. Joseph decides whether it is a pit he falls into or a king’s palace. He decides whether it is night or day. He perceives each of his conditions according to his level of revelation of the Creator, as well as what he thinks about his connection with the Creator and about the situation he is in.
In reality we are always in the state of infinite fulfillment. However, our uncorrected perception depicts pictures that are uncorrected as of yet. The scenes we see are a reflection of our attitude and judgment in regards to the Creator and His role in governing us. The situation in which we find ourselves is, in fact, our evaluation of the Creator’s attitude toward us. Therefore, we are the ones who create our own state.