Question: Should I remember the diagrams from Talmud Eser Sefirot (The Study of The Ten Sefirot) by heart, or should I make an effort to experience them within me, without any understanding?
Answer: If you check our archive, you will see Rabash’s diagrams. If you open the texts written by other Kabbalists, even The Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzira) or the ARI’s manuscripts, you will see diagrams there as well. If you open The Book of Zohar, there aren’t any drawings in it, but you will find various charts.
Kabbalah is a science. We are exploring a new world full of various forces, and we want to know the formula by which these forces are mutually intertwined in each state, each place. If we learn about these combinations of forces, we will be able to achieve the same state by obtaining the screen.
Suppose I have a screen, the force or the strength of desire to ask for the force, then I’ll receive the knowledge, strength, and an example from the upper Partzuf. I need all three components: the knowledge, strength, and an example. In front of me, the lower Partzuf, is the upper one. This upper Partzuf demonstrates an example for me by bringing the lower part of its Partzuf down to me (Raglaim, lower extremities).
As Rabash’s article “Inclusion of the Attributes of Mercy and Judgment” describes, the upper Partzuf brings me darkness, but it allows me to clearly define what I must add in order for it to start illuminating as Light. This is how we work.
We reside in a cosmos of forces that act according to certain laws, and we must perform our work with absolute precision and knowledge of how much to take from one side or the other, how to ascend and descend, and how to establish a connection with which properties. And all of this is accompanied by extremely powerful experiences, impressions, discoveries, but at the same time, with clear and accurate knowledge.
In our world, I can appreciate and enjoy music, but it is impossible to compare my impression with that of a musician, who experiences the music in his emotions and mind, feeling it much deeper than I am able to do. If people approach this correctly and try not to egoistically demean another’s work, they become more proficient in the subject. Consequently, they bring their mind closer to their feelings, and the mind enhances the feelings. But in our world, the mind usually overrides feelings because its roots are in the ego, and we desire to belittle each other.
Yet, it is different in spirituality. We may get impressions while looking at the diagrams, but a diagram gives me a chance to understand the relationship between spiritual forces and its properties; it does not reflect the object itself.
If I look at the diagram where Abba ve Ima is clothed from Peh up to Chazeh of Arich Anpin, I don’t receive this impression. But it does give me an opportunity to feel impressed by if I know what Arich Anpin is, what its properties from Peh to Chazeh are (since I experience them), and what are the attributes of Abba ve Ima, what they can receive from Arich Anpin by becoming clothed in it, how they react, and so forth.
A diagram is similar to an inanimate formula since it is just letters. It all depends on what you bring into these letters, what essence. Therefore, we have to know the basic diagrams.
Baal HaSulam writes that we can’t exist in this world without a basic knowledge of the processes taking place in it. Similarly, we can’t exist in the spiritual world without a basic knowledge of it.
In the corporeal world we have to finish school in order to interact with the world and people correctly; only in the same way can we enter the spiritual world and navigate within it. There is no other way. Everyone must have a minimum amount of fundamental knowledge. It gives a person an admission slip to enter spirituality.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/15/10, Talmud Eser Sefirot
Despair, But Don’t Give Up
The Sky Is Not The Limit
Establishing A New Coordinate Axis