We are being influenced by the Upper Light, which raises us above our egoistic desire. However, later on we will have to continue coming out of that desire on our own. When the Light elevates us, it makes it seem like we are escaping Egypt. Yet, can we really escape Egypt if it is inside us, if it is our very nature?
This brings us to the question: What does it mean that we are in the desert? It’s when Egypt returns to me and I have to come out of every part of it. This is referred to as the 40-year journey through the desert. It’s when I sequentially increase and discern my desires, like a human embryo whose organs develop in a sequence, one after another. First one part develops, then another; and the development moves in one direction followed by another, while overcoming various obstacles and problems. The process of the soul’s growth and development is similar to that of the embryo in a mother’s womb.
We have to appreciate the fact that we have The Book of Zohar because it is the means of salvation that changes us from one day to the next. However, we won’t feel the result until this means starts to act in the full measure. It works gradually, like medicine that has been prescribed to a sick person who has to take it take every day, but will only start to feel better several weeks later.
In the meantime, he continues taking the medicine every day, but feels even sicker. The same happens with our spiritual development. Therefore, we must be patient and constantly add more efforts, even though it seems like the medicine isn’t working – until our cup overflows.