The Zohar, Chapter “BeShalach (When Pharaoh Sent),” Item 180: For the crossing of Yam Suf [the Red Sea] and the drowning of the Egyptians, their high root in holiness, in AA, had to be cancelled first. This was not possible except by the great light of Atik, which is the root of everything.
The Upper Governance comes to us from Partzuf Arich Anpin (AA) where everything is ordered according to Tzimtzum Bet, the three lines and Bina which has come out of the bounds of Rosh of AA. That is why we are governed in such a way that we have to go by faith above reason, along three lines, acquiring the screens of Bina under the Second Restriction (Tzimtzum Bet).
Partzuf Atik is already the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) and therefore it is called Atik, which comes from the word “Neetak” – separated and detached from the World of Atzilut and all the lower worlds. Atik really is infinity. Therefore the action it performs is above the system we are in. The Light of Atik does not submit to our laws; it is above them and above our nature.
We are under Tzimtzum Bet and are a result of the World of Nekudim, the breaking and the corrections in the Worlds of Atzilut and BYA (Beria, Yetzira, Assiya). We submit to many restrictions, but they are all organized so we must first of all be on the level of Bina and only then slightly attach the receiving desires (Kelim), thereby evoking the glow of Hochma inside of the bestowing Kelim.
That is why we don’t understand how it is possible for such a tremendous correction to happen that will enable us to separate from the “Egyptians,” to come out of the will to enjoy and rise above it. We perceive only very weak Lights that come from Above gradually, step by step, as “drops of luck” (Mazalot).
That’s why our entire passage across the Machsom seems impossible until the great Light GAR de Hochma comes, which is above all of our qualities and the laws of Tzimtzum Bet. This is called the crossing of the Red Sea (Kriyat Yam Suf), the action of the Light GAR de Hochma.
Therefore, the state we will have to go through is called Egyptian darkness. When GAR de Hochma shines inside desires that aren’t yet ready, it brings them darkness so great, we cannot even fathom it. The Light standing across an uncorrected desire evokes these phenomena in it.
However, the glow of the Light GAR de Hochma that comes to us from Atik opens up this difference or this “iron wall” called “the Red Sea.” There is no Red Sea, there is no end. Rather, it is canceled by the Light that comes and then we can go through it.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/27/10, The Zohar