Question: Is it possible to find one’s bearings in the upper world without knowing all these terms that The Zohar is using? Does knowing the upper world depend on understanding the terms?
Answer: It doesn’t matter in which language a person is reading The Zohar at the moment: a totally unfamiliar one, the language of branches, or any other. All these languages are not for us just yet. I don’t know what is being described.
If I am not familiar with some phenomenon, object, type of fulfillment, forces, spiritual states, or outcomes, and if I haven’t attained the spiritual state itself, you can describe it to me in thousands of words—it will not help me. What do these names and words matter to me then if I haven’t attained them?
Why then do Kabbalists write all these texts for us? They do so in order for us to not focus on the words themselves, but rather to strive to attain these spiritual states. Without attainment, none of these words has value. You may play with them as you please: It’s as if you toss them into a box, mix them up, and put them together however you wish.
If we don’t attain, all these texts are merely a Segula (a miraculous remedy) provided that you employ them as such. If not, you only entangle yourself. Therefore, we look at The Zohar’s text only inasmuch as we are able to think about its “miraculous property” during the reading. That is the key.
The Zohar does have chapters which are very difficult to focus on. I read about various faces and facial features, or palm lines, all of which really confuse me. But this is also good since I exert more effort in order to recognize spiritual properties behind these words.
Therefore, we must see in the text of The Zohar only its “miraculous force.” And the more entangled we get with it, the stronger it should encourage us to cleave to this “miraculous force” and demand the Light that Reforms so it will bring us attainment. After all, “Anything we do not attain, we do not define by a name and a word.” We won’t understand a word, and no name will ring a bell.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/6/2011, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Article “Yitro (Jethro)”