The Zohar, Chapter “Yitro (Jethro),” Item 180: …We should look at the forms of people in six discernments, and to know wisdom thoroughly. Those are the hair, eyes, nose, lips, face, and hands, meaning the lines in the hands.
The science of Kabbalah explains all the spiritual qualities using earthly words. That’s because there are no words or letters in the spiritual world, but only sensation, attainment, and understanding. Therefore, we don’t have any other way to express and convey spiritual information and impressions from one person to another. That is why we take words from our world because our world, this earthly reality, is an imprint of the upper reality and everything existing in our world has roots in the spiritual world.
Therefore, when The Zohar talks about the features of a person’s face, his internal organs, or parts of the body, all of this is describing the corresponding forces acting in spiritual space, meaning between souls, inside of their connection. In this way, using “the language of branches,” we convey information about the spiritual world to one another.
This can be compared to electrical forces by which we create an image on a computer screen. Inside the computer there are electrical forces, but for us we use them to depict images we understand.
We can talk about inner electric forces using their external results: graphical terms, colors, and geometric figures. We can name these electrical forces by their graphical images, even though they are not colors, lines, or images. It’s just that in the external manifestation they create these forms for us and we use the names of these forms to name these forces.
Therefore we have to understand that the authors of The Zohar did not engage in physio-mysticism, physiology, or other such things, but wished to describe the inner structure of the soul in detail. A person who is in the spiritual world envisions everything written in The Zohar in the spiritual sense, knowing that it is talking about spirituality. He sees this because the spiritual impression is much more powerful than the earthly one. Therefore, he observes the spiritual picture before anything else.
On the other hand, a person who is only in the material world and for now perceives only the earthy reality on his screen, sees earthly images behind The Zohar’s words.
So while reading The Zohar, let’s try to go from one screen to the other, from the external screen on which earthly images are depicted for us, to the soul’s inner structure. Let us try to imagine the qualities of the soul. And even though we do not understand what The Zohar is talking about, our efforts evoke the Light that corrects us.
Baal HaSulam writes the following in “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot”: Therefore we must ask, why then, did the Kabbalists obligate each person to study the wisdom of Kabbalah? Indeed, there is a great thing in it, worthy of being publicized: There is a wonderful, invaluable remedy to those who engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Although they do not understand what they are learning, through the yearning and the great desire to understand what they are learning, they awaken upon themselves the Lights that surround their souls.
Our desire should be not to understand, but to feel this inner spiritual picture. By that very desire we attract Light from there, which corrects us. And then we enter the sensation of this inner world.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/4/11, The Zohar