There are many stories in The Book of Zohar that are written in allegorical language (Midrash). They are seemingly describing people and angels (the forces of nature), animals, and plants, which is because the Book’s authors wished to explain all levels of creation to us: the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking.
Baal HaSulam prepared four introductions to The Book of Zohar:
1. “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah (Pticha)”: It is a scientific preface where he explains the structure of the worlds, Partzufim, Sefirot, and the interaction of the Lights and desires (vessels, Kelim).
2. “The Preamble to the Sulam Commentary”: It is connected to the above mentioned preface. Here, he also explains how to work in the three lines, with Lights and desires, if only in a more particular form, closer to each soul.
3. “Preface to The Book of Zohar”: In this introduction, Baal HaSulam explains the perception of reality. He describes how we transition from our ordinary, corporeal perception of reality to the spiritual one, when we start perceiving reality through this world, which becomes transparent, and see the forces working in it instead of the external picture of the world.
Similarly, when we look at the computer screen, we see a certain image. But it exists only pertaining to us since we created this screen and this method of projection on purpose. In reality though, it is merely an external manifestation of information stored inside the computer, on its hard drive. If we could read information directly from the disk, we wouldn’t need to retrieve it onto the screen and read it from it.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is the instrument that allows us to enter the internal, concealed part of reality and see not the external form presented to us at the moment, but rather the internal activity: the forces working behind the scenes of the familiar image of the world.
In this introduction, Baal HaSulam also explains that our perception of reality is divided into four components: the essence, the abstract form, the form clothed in matter, and the matter itself. Until the final correction (Gmar Tikkun), we attain only our matter (desire) and form that this desire assumes: either an egoistic or altruistic one. We cannot know the abstract form and less so the essence. Thus we advance to the final correction.
Hence, the wisdom of Kabbalah gives us a very serious warning not to indulge in fantasies, but rather to be realistic and use a scientific approach while striving to discover the spiritual world in a sound, tangible form.
4. “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”: Here, Baal HaSulam explains various problems a person faces in his or her questions about who we are, what our essence and role in this world is, why the Creator created us so flawed, low, and despicable, why we must walk this entire long path and become equivalent to Him, and so on. In the beginning of this introduction, Baal HaSulam asks these questions and answers them further on.
And in the end of the introduction, there is a very special, well-known, and widespread part where he writes about our correction in our days. There he explains that the world is divided into inner and outer parts. People who feel they belong in spiritual attainment are regarded as the inner part of the world. It is they who must unify among themselves and use The Book of Zohar to draw the Light that Reforms to themselves.
By doing so, they will become the spiritual source and the spiritual center of the world. Having the spiritual force, they will be spreading the wisdom of Kabbalah, and the whole world will get to feel that they have something exalted: knowledge, wisdom, the correct, common sense approach to what is happening in the world, and the answers to questions about it.
The world will begin to understand that these people reside at a much higher degree than all scientists and the so-called great leaders of this world since they possess the knowledge of the forces that act and transform our world in such an unpredictable way.
Then, after resistance and confrontations, the world will still begin to feel drawn to these people and recognize in them the upper force, the upper wisdom. And thus, in the end, the whole world will arrive at correction. After all, correction is basically performed between the individuals who are regarded as the inner part of the world, the ones with the point in the heart, while the rest of the world will only join in and cling to them, just like today in the world the masses live their daily lives while the world is ruled by a handful of others.
And thus, as Baal HaSulam explains in the end of the “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” the entire humanity will keep developing until the world unifies together, all become as one whole, thanks to the same Book of Zohar, and reaches the same very ten primordial Sefirot that Rabbi Shimon and his nine disciples wrote about.
From Lesson 4, WE! Convention 4/2/2011
A Ladder Into The Sky
The Commentary On All Creation
A Spiritual Ladder Anyone Can Climb