Our world is situated below the central point of the whole universe, Malchut, directly beneath the end of the line of the Light extending from Infinity (Kav Ein Sof), which “touches and does not touch it.” In other words, it passes a tiny spark of Light to us so that we could somehow imagine the Light and exist. This spark is called “a thin candle” (Ner Dakik).
But, in fact, with respect to the spiritual world, this whole world that we currently feel does not exist! In the picture of the universe, this point is also spiritual rather than material as we imagine it now.
Furthermore, all the subsequent 125 degrees by which I ascend to the World of Infinity vanish after my ascent. However, they are not my illusion; they simply unify, rolling up like a carpet, and remain inside of me, similar to how a person’s whole childhood experience remains with him when he becomes an adult. One can remember his childhood, and therefore understands children.
How else would I be able to understand my two-year-old grandson? This is possible only because I was once a child myself. And although I don’t remember myself at two years old, a child’s state, the whole “Partzuf of two years old” is inside me. If I didn’t have this, I wouldn’t know how to approach a little child from the height of my 60 years of age. I would invite him to study The Zohar and would not realize what else he needs.
However, we are arranged this way from Above, like a computer that holds all of these programs. We operate on the basis of inherent data and images that we awaken and choose from our storage archives.
Yet the reality that appears before our eyes now is a complete illusion. After all, it is projected by our egoistic desire, while this egoistic desire itself is an illusion and doesn’t exist! There is no desire to enjoy for one’s own sake; it vanished during the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph)! And even prior to it, the egoistic intention was not real because as soon as it awoke, it was immediately restricted.
But in order to commit a transgression, you need to repeat it. The first time, you just feel the taste of the previously unknown pleasure. If during the second time you already consciously decide to go ahead with it, then it is called a sin.
Therefore, reception prior to Tzimtzum Aleph was not considered a transgression; as soon as the creature felt it, it immediately resisted it. In Kabbalah our "earth" indicates the desire to enjoy for one’s own sake (“Eretz” – earth comes from the word “Ratzon” – desire). So does the terrestrial globe exist or not? It is my desire that portrays the earth this way for me.
It doesn’t exist, but its picture exists in my desire. And since it is an egoistic desire, it doesn’t exist in the spiritual world! Therefore, this whole world is imaginary. It is given to me as an illusion so that I could begin to be born in spirituality on my own.
The Creator wants us to build ourselves exactly like Him. But where do we begin? We begin with a complete zero, just like the Creator began with “absence” (Yesh Mi Ain). In other words, I’m starting from scratch, with not being in the spiritual world.
Each new degree for me should begin here, in this imaginary world, outside of the spiritual one: the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on, until the 125th degree. (Remember how before Rabbi Shimon rose to the final degree, he felt himself as Shimon from the market.) That is, every time we rise from “this earth,” this desire.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/5/10, Beit Shaar HaKavanot