The Zohar, Chapter “VaYikra (The Lord Called),” Item 80: When he reached her, he saw that she was lying in the dust. Who saw the glory of the queen at that time, and the king’s requests of her? Finally, the king held her in his arms, raised her, and brought her to his palace. And he swore to her that he would never part from her again and will never be far from her.
Every time the breaking is greater and the exiles are more real. The last exile can not even be compared to the one before. This is because the difference between them is in the revelation of evil in the thickness of the egoistic desire (Aviut) on the level of Aleph (Ego-1), Bet (Ego-2), Gimel (Ego-3), and Dalet (Ego-4).
Ego-4 was revealed during the last exile while all the previous exiles were merely preparation for this one. After all, it is Ego-4 that needs to be corrected. All the other exiles (as well as all the other levels of the ego) do not exist on their own, just like the still, vegetative, and animate levels have to exist for the sole purpose of engendering the human kind, Ego-4.
Similarly, the fourth level of the development of desire, Malchut, cannot become revealed without the levels 0, 1, 2, and 3. But it is specifically Malchut on level 4 which is the goal; all the corrections happen in it.
This is why this last exile is special, it corresponds to the “human” level within the desire to receive pleasure. It is precisely in it that the needs, aspirations, desires, and the Creator’s goals regarding all the creatures (including levels 0,1,2 and 3), what He desires of them, become revealed.
Likewise, this fourth and last exile in its turn is divided into subcategories: still, vegetative, animate, and human. It began almost 2,000 years ago, but it is only now that we are entering the fourth, human level of the fourth exile. Now is when we reveal the lack of fulfillment on the human level. We witness depression, breakdown of the family unit, crisis in education, and all that relates to the “human” level. Hunger (animate level) is no longer the main problem. Now the main issue is the inner problems of the human level which did not exist in previous states.
This is why the King sent the queen into a long exile somewhere far away. On the other hand, He needs to give her the opportunity to come out of this descent, to ensure that this exit is towards a connection with Him, on a human level. Thus, He must gradually unveil this broken state and reveal Himself in it. The queen lies in dust, while the King must reveal Himself to her in this precise state.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/16/10, The Zohar