Every new state is born only under the condition that the former state completely exhausts itself, similar to how a grain planted in the soil needs to rot completely in order for a new stage of life to be born from its former state, which is then perceived as unneeded and useless. This is why it is written about the holiday of Purim that Zeir Anpin sleeps while Malchut becomes immersed in darkness due to this. Only from this state of darkness do we attain the greatest Light, the state called Purim, which corresponds to the End of Correction.
If Zeir Anpin does not bring Light to Malchut, we feel that we are in exile and cannot tune into Malchut and unite. However, suffering and darkenss force us to demand strength from Zeir Anpin to accomplish our unification, in order to tune into Malchut, the one common soul. This is how we give rise to our next degree.
The Zohar, Chapter “BeHaalotcha (When You Mount the Candles),”Item 142: “A person walks in this world and the Creator gives him wealth so he will be rewarded with the next world by it, and will remain with a capital of his money. The capital is money that exists forever, a place in which to bundle the soul. This is why he must keep this capital after him, and he will receive this capital after he departs this world.” Item 143: “…while the capital exists for him in that world, to be rewarded with it in the upper life, above.”
If one does not have an anti-egoistic screen, he cannot receive the Light for the sake of bestowal and thus, he has nothing with which to continue his life. Therefore, one is either forced to live like a beast and then die and return to this world once more, or move into the spiritual world, to ascend to the next degree.
After The Zohar Convention, we have received additional Surrounding Light, which has awakened additional egoism within us. This is the desire to enjoy that is now being revealed in every person. Every person is beginning to feel darkness and heaviness, loss of energy, strength, and desire. If we overcome this state with the help of the study, dissemination work, and our environment, then we will begin to attach the new desire to this Surrounding Light that shined for us during the Convention. In doing so, we will build our new degree and advance.
The Zohar, Chapter “Bo (Come Unto Pharoah),” Item 57:”And He planted that seed in one righteous, which is Yesod de Zeir Anpin, the garden’s gardener.”
I have to imagine that I have a property within me called “Yesod de Zeir Anpin,” also known as the “righteous man.” This is where my seed is, a point from which I will eventually grow.
“And He planted that seed in one righteous, which is Yesod de Zeir Anpin, the garden’s gardener. And the seed in the garden, which is Malchut, is the concealment and hiding of that light. This means that the concealment is not absence, but on the contrary, it is a seed of blessing, that the concealment itself will become light once more, like a plant that buds from the seed.”
Baal HaSulam mentions this example in his article “Freedom of Will.” We need to “implant” ourselves into a Kabbalistic group like a seed is sewed into the earth in such a way that we “reject” (diminish) ourselves before the group. If we do that we become a seed that decomposes, “rots” in the ground in order to let the tree grow.
My Answer: It’s the most direct connection there can be. All the forces of nature (on the still, vegetative, animate, and human levels) are aimed at correcting man. They are all included inside man.
Baal HaSulam writes in many articles that the still, vegetative, and animate levels are included in man, depend on him, and descend or ascend along with him. The still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature in our world are the projection of our inner levels – the still, vegetative, and animate levels inside us. Therefore, when we don’t manage and correct our inner forces of nature, we see the corresponding results on the outside.
It is written that before Adam HaRishon (the first man) sinned, the world was wonderful – a true paradise. But after the sin, it turned into hell. Thus, it is the change of man’s intention from bestowal to reception that transforms paradise to hell.
This is what we are now revealing. There are great disasters ahead of us unless we forestall them with the remedy. Let us hope that we will succeed in doing this.
My Answer: The Zohar talks about two opposite forces that descend into our world and whose expression we witness upon people and places. However, for now we don’t see the true order of development because we still haven’t achieved the implementation of the method of Kabbalah, the middle line.
When we do, we will see that everything taking place is for our own good. It comes as the correct combination of opposite forces in order to facilitate their proper realization. It is leading us to prosperity, perfection, health, safety, and universal harmony, and as a result – unity with the Creator.
However, as long as we don’t begin the correction and spread the wisdom of Kabbalah around the world, the nations won’t feel their common predestination, which is to find the middle line by virtue of the right combination with one another. Therefore, we won’t be able to justify the suffering and see why it is necessary, including the suffering that befell the nation of Israel throughout the course of its entire history and the suffering that now befell Chile, as well as other countries before that.
We also don’t know what else nature has in store for us for the future. Things will only deteriorate if we don’t hasten to use the Upper Light in order to advance toward the Creator on our own, rather than waiting for the forces of nature to compel us to this through suffering and disasters. This is why it is necessary to disseminate the science of Kabbalah as widely as possible and to see it as the only means of advancing along the middle line. The middle line is the salvation, whereas both the right and left forces are extremely destructive. The right force acts in a concealed manner where we don’t feel its effects immediately, but it is able to bring unfortunate consequences as much as the left force.
Therefore, we have to help each other and disseminate the science of Kabbalah as widely as possible. Our fate is up to us; the dissemination of Kabbalah can salvage us from all the misfortunes. Without it, we will face disaster after disaster. The prophets wrote about horrible events that will take place in the world in our times unless we intervene in what is taking place.
Do not be surprised by the fact that even an individual person, through his or her deeds, can cause an elevation or degradation of the whole world. This is an unalterable law; the whole and its parts are as identical as two drops of water. Everything that occurs in the whole occurs in its parts as well. Furthermore, whatever happens in the parts happens in the whole, because the whole is only revealed through the manifestation of its individual parts, according to both their measure and quality.
This is how we can understand what is written in The Zohar that through the study of this book and the practice of the true wisdom, we can put an end to our state of exile and achieve a complete redemption.
— Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 68
Studying The Zohar is above everything else, because the Torah has four levels of understanding of the Pardes (direct, hinting, allegorical, and secret). Those studying a simple commentary do not even imagine that there is a hidden meaning. But those studying The Zohar know that there is a secret in it, and this really helps with the correction of his soul.
— Rav Chaim Ben Yitzchok (Chaim Volozhin), Nefesh Chaim, Chapter 7
There is no other method to remove the external apparel from the Torah and reveal it, but through the works of Rashbi (author of The Zohar).
— Rav Moshe Cordovero (Ramak), Da et Elokey Avicha, Item 16
During the spiritual ascent, it’s as if a person wakes up, inhales, and becomes full of inspiration. This is a sign of being close to spirituality. One doesn’t feel the Light yet, but it seems the dawn will break soon.
It is the time when one can discern and grasp many new things in the same study materials. One should use this time for the maximum bestowal; one should scoop it out completely without wasting a single moment. Otherwise, it’s as if he disregards what was given to him from Above.
It doesn’t matter what books a person reads during this time as long as they are close to his soul. After all, even without understanding what he reads, he exerts efforts in joining his desire and mind with the Light that comes upon him. He wants the Light to penetrate his desire, and then the collision between them advances him.
Our world, atoms, molecules—all of it does not exist. There is only the power of desire. When one’s desire is close to the Light, he should try to work with it as much as possible.
The aspiration to the goal that becomes revealed in a person’s heart is the appeal for correction. The efforts put forth during the spiritual ascent on the studies, dissemination, and work in the group, lead to the desire that deserves the revelation of the Light.
The spiritual world doesn’t have boundaries, walls, or prohibitions. The Light and the Kli exist next to each other, but they don’t intersect much like waves of different frequencies. It’s only if a person switches from the wave of receiving to the wave of giving that he tunes in to the Light and becomes fulfilled with it.
For this, a person needs a strong and whole desire which is similar to the Light at the minimal level. This desire can be very small but it should be completely focused on the goal. It is similar to how a child wants something small, but with all his might this desire seizes him completely, even if for a short time.
The minimum similarity to the Creator will immediately allow us to sense Him. The sensation of the Creator is our soul. Then, we discover the eternal and perfect life at His level and not at the level of our body. The desire to bestow corrected by the Light brings us to the Creator, to the common property of Nature, and we merge with its level and might.
The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Ve’Eleh Toldot Itzhak (These Are the Generations of Isaac),” Item 77
A spiritual charge and an aspiration toward bestowal has to be passed on, otherwise one can become sick as though from an overdose.
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Our egoistic desire filters reality to suit its purpose. In effect, there is a filter before us through which we see the world. In other words, we don’t see the world, nature, society, and people objectively the way they really are; rather, we merely see what is profitable for our ego in every object, namely by what is either beneficial or harmful to it. Thus, out of an infinite reality, we sense only its minuscule part called “this world” because our ego cannot perceive anything more than that.