Question: It often happens that I understand a lot during the lesson, but later I forget everything I thought about and understood. Is this the right way to advance?
Answer: Forgetfulness is actually the best quality a person has. Otherwise he would not be able to change his states. If one’s desire changes, then the mind serving the desire changes as well.
Memory acts mechanically and belongs only to the desire corresponding to it. Since our task is to change our desire from reception to bestowal, our memory must be cleansed in order to start serving the new qualities and desires.
Therefore, don’t worry about remembering the material you study! You should only worry about feeling it and increasing your desire to bestow. Is your desire becoming more sensitive and uniting with others? Do you understand that you do not want to unite with others? You should care only about the sensations!
Don’t worry, the mind will always develop alongside the sensation. The mind forms in order to serve the feelings. That is how we are built by nature. That is why it is written that “people do not study with the mind.” Kabbalah is not attained through the mind or by having more knowledge. There are no exams that will test who remembered or understood the most. It is the heart that understands.
If a person forgets what he heard at the lesson, does not understand it, and feels that the material disappears to the extent he advances (“I studied so much and heard about it a thousand times, and I still don’t understand it!”), then this is a sign that he is advancing correctly. It means he is demanding a change and correction of his desire, rather than trying to fulfill himself with knowledge in a purely mechanical fashion.
That is why a person must be very careful about what he demands from the study and which changes he wants to see happening within him. Perhaps he wants to become smarter and understand more, which is called “reasoning more than doing”? In that case he acquires more knowledge than correction (because action is correction), and that would be a grave mistake.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/3/10, The Zohar