My Answer: Absolutely not! While reading The Zohar, I forget about this world; I don’t see or feel it. I am entering the system of Upper Governance and Supervision, reading about, studying, and trying to perceive it, meaning to connect to it in my sensations and mind.
I am trying, to the best of my ability, to use all the names and appellations written in The Zohar. Essentially, the entire Zohar talks about Yeshsut, Zeir Anpin, Malchut, and the souls. Everything takes place between Zeir Anpin and Malchut, but The Zohar expresses it in thousands of names and situations.
Therefore, while reading The Zohar, I am trying to enter these spiritual states, but not draw them into our material world. Why do I need it? I must find myself in the spiritual one, sense how I clothe in ZON of the World Atzilut, identify myself, and merge with it in all my desires and thoughts.
I need to try to always see all that is happening in a singular body of the common soul, because it is all my qualities: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joseph, Aaron, David, and all actions that the Zohar is talking about, Klipa and holiness, the steps of ZON of the World Atzilut.
But this world doesn’t exist for me, as it were. I don’t understand or feel it; I don’t need this imaginary world. It is written that we must rise to the level of the Upper World, and from it, after getting some understanding of the spiritual roots, we are able to study their lower branches in our world.
There is no need to be in the branches “just because.” In fact, it is prohibited to attach the Upper roots to the lower ones. It is called idolatry when you take the names and actions from the Upper World and try to see their effects in this world in the precise congruence of one to the other. It is banned because it is wrong. What does it mean “prohibited”? It doesn’t exist. It means to “make an idol for oneself.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/10/10, The Zohar
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“Preface to the Sulam Commentary,” Item.61. “A Great Rule in Time and Place,” Know that everything in the wisdom of Kabbalah that expresses time and place do not refer to the imaginary time and place in corporeality, since everything in spirituality is above time and above space. Rather, “before” and “after” refer to cause and consequence. We refer to the cause as “before” and to the consequence as “after,” since every cause precedes its consequence…Аlso “above and below” and “ascent and descent” are measures of coarseness and purity of the desire because “ascent” means purification of the desire, and “descent” means the coarsening.
And when we say that a lower degree rose, it means that the lower one has been purified and became as pure as the Higher Degree. Hence, it is considered to have clung to it because equivalence of form attaches the spirituals to one another…Study them in this manner, that is, in spiritual meanings, according to the issue.“
Kabbalah uses the language of roots and branches, which uses words from our world to describe what takes place in the spiritual one, the Upper World. In the spiritual world, meanings of our world such as time, motion, space, distance, and direction don’t exist. But the very same names that we use to identify some objects and actions in our world signify, in the spiritual world, forces, qualities, and their actions.
Therefore, we need to do our best to try to imagine spiritual actions behind these words. Such efforts are very useful because they create a request (MAN), the desire, the need to understand and perceive the Upper world, and begin living in it. Through such actions we help ourselves to enter it.
Thus, in Baal HaSulam’s article “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155, it is written that even though we don’t understand what we are studying, due to our strong desire and will to understand the studied material, we draw the light that surrounds our souls. As a result, it brings to us qualities that we need in order to perceive the spiritual world.
It doesn’t mean that some new external picture is revealed to us. But our desire brings about a change in our perception, in our inner qualities, in which we begin to see what we are reading.
It’s all right if you don’t know what purification and coarsening of the desire means or what the ascent and descent of the screen is, but you must try to imagine this in the form of desires and intentions. This is all there is: a desire, its intention, and the Light which works on them. This is how I should connect these words with what I know and how I should be impressed by what is written.
This is already enough to connect with this system. Let it be incorrect; it doesn’t matter! What matters is my effort, my desire to enter this system however artificial it is. Granted, I don’t feel a sensory connection, but it’s natural, and Above, nothing more is expected of me.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/10/10, “Preface to the Sulam Commentary”
My Answer: "Bestowing in order to receive" is a more advanced degree, a more intricate reception. Obviously, one can gain more and cause greater harm to others with its help. Yet egoistic bestowal lets a person understand that bestowal is a valuable quality that helps him gain.
Direct reception is limited in its possibilities, while bestowal can provide greater opportunities and benefit. Humanity would not have developed if people had not opened businesses where they gave to others by selling their services in order to profit. People would have simply withdrawn into themselves, like animals that can only receive egoistically. Only man with his developed egoism understands how to give for his own benefit, meaning in order to have a much greater return at a later time.
However, Kabbalah only speaks about the unity among us, and for this reason even the first degree, egoistic reception, speaks about relations among friends and not about everyday life. All of these degrees pertain to my connection with the other souls and the revelation of the Creator within this connection.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/9/10, Article, “Could Anything Negative Come Down from the Sky?”
A question I received: Under which condition does the Light that Reforms begin to influence a person?
My Answer: The Light acts upon a person only if he wants it. Everything depends on desire. The Light is in a state of complete rest; we only need to acquire the desire for the action that the Light has to perform on us.
There are a multitude of actions that follow one another at various levels and in various forms, such as actions of clarification, recognition of evil, correction, and fulfillment. We have to clarify which actions the Light has to perform on us and prepare ourselves for them. As soon as our desire becomes equal to that of the Light, it will come to fruition.
We, ourselves, open the way to the Light and let it act upon us. If we can’t achieve the required desire, then we don’t merit the action of the Light and nothing happens. However, then, the Light that needed to reveal itself affects us via its reverse side causing us to suffer. Ultimately, this suffering pushes us to create the desire, the vessel for the Light, so that we become worthy of correction. Therefore, we only need desire.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/9/10, The Zohar