Studying the Concealed Torah Is Preferable to the Revealed Torah
Indeed, if we examine his [Rav Chaim Vital’s] words they will clarify before us as pure heavenly stars. The text, “he is better off leaving his hand off it [off the Talmud], once he has tested his luck in this [revealed] wisdom,” does not refer to luck of wit and erudition [knowledge for the sake of knowledge]. Rather, it is as we have explained above in the explanation, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created for it the spice of Torah.”
It means that one has delved and exerted in the revealed Torah [not for the sake of getting knowledge, but rather for correcting the evil inclination, egoism], and still the evil inclination is in power and has not melted at all. This is because he is still not saved from thoughts of transgression [understanding that he studies not to correct evil, but rather for the sake of getting a reward], as Rashi writes above in the explanation, “I have created for it the spice of Torah.”
Hence, he advises him to leave his hands off it [off Talmud] and engage in the wisdom of truth [Kabbalah], for it is easier to draw the light in the Torah while practicing and laboring in the wisdom of truth than in laboring in the literal Torah.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 22