Reading The Zohar is a very special kind of reading. We are the will to receive pleasure. The Creator cultivates this desire in us and leads us to the group. We are talking about people who, according to their inner evolution, are now expected to start uncovering spirituality.
From the group, I receive additional desire called “aspiration” which I obtain thanks to my work in the group while making efforts to unify with the friends. Despite my unwillingness to become one with them, I work on it by employing all possible means to receive awakening from them.
Thereby, I receive from the group the following: 1) additional awakening or the yearning for spirituality; 2) awareness of evil, my egoistic nature, and unwillingness to unite with the others; and 3) the value of the goal of becoming identical to the Creator, achieving bestowal.
Knowing all these conditions, I undertake reading The Book of Zohar. Now, while reading The Zohar with the desire to attain bestowal, with the awareness of my existing in the will to receive pleasure, employing additional desire that I obtained from the group, I demand transformation.
However, what does it mean to “demand transformation?” If I already reside in these desires and the forces are already working on me, I will be transformed for certain since The Zohar, per se, is the Light.
What does it mean that “I draw the Light, attracting it?” My attitude toward the studies must be such that right now, while reading The Zohar, I tap into the force of Light so it may affect, transform, and correct me.
In itself, the Light doesn’t do anything. Desire grows and changes due to the constant Light that remains at absolute rest. Therefore, when I demand transformation from the Light, I don’t really ask it from the Light. I ask for my desire to change and become more powerful in demanding the Light.
While reading The Zohar, we should think in the above manner. As a result, we will realize that it is all up to us, and we stand across from the unchangeable force that is willing to assist and reform us to the better.
Therefore, I begin reading The Zohar with all my demands for correction, a greater egoistic desire that opposes the Light, the desire to be reformed, and equalize myself with the Light at least somewhat. I must feel this central demand to be reformed in my will to receive like a thorn that keeps bothering me.
This is what my approach to reading The Zohar must be. I have to feel this “thorn.” After all, if I had a splinter in my finger, then, try as I might, I wouldn’t be able to focus on studying, reading, and listening because a powerful, sharp pain would distract me.
We should feel this “sharp pain” within us while reading The Zohar such that it won’t go away. The moment I stop feeling it, I’m not studying the Torah, but some fancy science, as it is written: “Believe that the nations possess wisdom.”
“The nations” are those who don’t wish to change. If a person desires to change, it means that he is “studying the Torah” since the Light contained in it reforms and returns us to the source, the Creator. That’s where the difference is.
The very same person can be “the nations” at one moment and “Israel” (aspiring to the Creator) the next. As soon as he doesn’t wish to change, he is regarded as the “nations of the world.” Then, he is studying fancy knowledge. The moment when he wishes to change and become similar to the Creator, he is “studying the Torah,” that is, demanding the Light that Reforms.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/17/10, The Zohar