A question I received: Naturally, every book influences people even if it’s a health-food book. When we read Rabash’s articles about the group or Baal HaSulam’s articles like “Matan Torah” (The Giving of the Torah)” and “The Arvut” (The Mutual Guarantee), it’s clear to us that these articles speak about unity. When we read The Zohar, we believe that Kabbalists wrote about unification, but this isn’t obvious to us from the text. How does this text influence people?
My Answer: There are books that affect understanding. For example, when we read an organic cookbook, we understand what this book is about and this affects our mind. However, The Zohar is written in a way that doesn’t speak to our physical mind, which is why we’re unable to understand this book. The Zohar speaks to our spiritual mind; yet, at present, we don’t have a spiritual mind. We weren’t created with it; rather, we must attain it. We can’t yet understand what the authors of The Zohar wrote about; to do so, we must rise to the level of their mind and sensations.
Sometimes we can feel these changes inside ourselves such as when we suddenly perceive things that previously we were unable to grasp. All at once, we can see that there’s an absolutely different perspective from which we can view things. This is an inner perspective that doesn’t exist in this world. In this world, so far, our vantage point is with the intention of Lo Lishma (for the sake of receiving). Consequently, once we understand the meaning of Lishma (for the sake of bestowal) and acquire the spiritual mind and senses, we will feel as if we are from another planet, not from this world.
The Zohar is written in two layers in order to bring us to this. The first layer is tales that are seemingly about this world, but are written in a very strange form such as about the Tabernacle, animals, the Sinai desert, and so on. The second layer is a more inner level written with Kabbalistic terminology such as Zeir Anpin, Malchut, the three lines, ascents and descents, Aba ve Ima, and so forth.
We have no connection with either of these planes. Essentially, however, these are not two planes, but two languages that speak about the same phenomena. I can still visualize the plane that is closer to me, the one that seemingly speaks about this world such as a tent, the Tabernacle, and people that do things. I can also visualize the second plane, somehow, of the right and the left lines, up and down, the passing of the Light, and ascents and descents of Partzufim.
A lot of effort is needed to visualize both planes as one whole and see that all of this is within me. This is about my connection with the forces of bestowal; all of this is only about the forces of bestowal. Where are the Tabernacle, the tent of gathering, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut? Everything is within me. I must treat both of these planes like they are my inner spiritual qualities. I want to bring them out from within me and feel them, which is called “Opening The Book of Zohar” or revealing it. This is why Segula (Remedy) operates here.
Cookbooks or weight-loss books brainwash us. We acquire the author’s mind, he influences us, and his opinion begins to interest us. The Zohar doesn’t “brainwash” or coerce; it doesn’t contain anything like that. The remedy in it only operates according to our desire. We need to have a very strong desire so The Zohar will really influence us so that spirituality will become revealed to us.