Answer: We describe it as if there is Adam before and after the sin. Eve, the snake, the apple, the Tree of Life, the Garden of Eden: In truth, none of them exist.
A system descends from Above and it arranges spiritual degrees by diminishing the Lights in the vessels (Kelim). By employing free will, we acquire a new Kli, wherein various phenomena occur. Until then, there is nothing but the Creator, Elokim.
And indeed, who can perceive Adam in spirituality? If we don’t exist in the spiritual world, nothing does, except some abstract idea we can say nothing about. Everything exists solely in relation to a person.
How then do Kabbalists know about the system’s descent from Above downward? They can do so based on their authentic attainment from below upward. But can one talk about something which had existed before he did? A Kabbalist attains the events of the spiritual world and describes them; afterward, I, too, comprehend what he has written. For me, he is part of the very same system of Adam.
Any Kabbalist passing the knowledge of a spiritual reality to me is a system rather than a person. We should also view the friends and the whole world in this way. We are a system. By working in it correctly, we manifest the correct results. But if we act incorrectly, the results will be erroneous as well.
Kabbalists attain the roots within themselves, in their Kelim. Nothing can exist outside of my Kli. Having created a Kli, something immediately manifests in it within me. I realize that its roots are in the world of Infinity (Ein Sof) and it undergoes degrees of reduction while it travels down to me.
However, if I don’t have a string of connection with Infinity, then there are no worlds between us either. They exist only if I awaken them to life, if I want to tap into the Creator. Then, a connection is immediately established between us, and it, in fact, is the system of the worlds.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/22/10, Beit Shaar HaKavanot