It’s hard to even imagine to what extent the initial volume of The Book of Zohar superseded that which is left available to us today. It is about 20 times smaller. The majority of the Book is gone. But Kabbalists write that we don’t need more. The remainder of the Book is designated specifically for us, in order to provide us with the necessary assistance.
It is very difficult to discuss The Book of Zohar since it is supremely exalted. Besides, it is written in a very unique manner. Baal HaSulam explains that there are two types of souls: some root in the Inner Light and the others in the Surrounding one.
We reside in the integral system of souls, and the connection between us runs both in the internal stream between the souls and also in the surrounding field. Any electrical system is designed this way, having resistors (resistance circuits), capacitors, and inductor coils. All of this works together, both electromagnetic fields and the resistors between them. Some parts of this system accumulate energy within them, while the others turn the electrical current into a magnetic field and vice versa, the field into electrical current that runs inside it.
The system of souls works in a similar manner. The authors of The Book of Zohar also had to have these two types of souls. This is why they studied in a very specific fashion. They sat in a circle. Rabbi Shimon would talk about what he was attaining, while all his disciples were listening, discussing what he would reveal, asking him questions, and receiving answers. Rabbi Aba would hear what they were saying and write it down.
All of this was occurring during the conversation. Naturally, the conversation essentially lay in the transmission of the forces and Lights between these souls that originated in both Inner and Surrounding Lights. Rabbi Shimon had a soul coming from the Inner Light, and Rabbi Aba from the Surrounding one. Hence, Rabbi Aba was able to record everything Rabbi Shimon said in a concealed form so that today any person can buy The Book of Zohar, read it, and understand nothing.
To attain this Book, a person must undergo a certain preparation in connection with the friends. They have to form the same exact model of relationships between them as the authors of The Zohar did. Organizing such a group (it is not mandatory to have only ten people in it; there could even be 10,000) and striving to unify and wishing to discover what the Book is talking about in their mutual connection, they become similar to Rabbi Shimon’s group. And then they receive the influence of Light from it.
Since some of us belong in the Inner Light and some in the Surrounding one, we begin receiving the impact like a radio receiving waves. Then we start hearing what the Book is saying, at the rung of Bina (hearing is the level of Bina) and even seeing (at the level of Hochma), depending upon our spiritual degree. And if we haven’t reached mutual connection at the level of Bina, then we are still preparing for it.
Therefore, a sign of spiritual advancement is when we, as a group, while reading The Zohar, start sensing this text as the same forces and properties The Zohar is describing. This is the essence of the Book itself. This book is an instructor, a working manual. When penetrating it, a person feels how he rises with this book and discovers spiritual degrees, as if he is ascending a ladder indeed.
I very much hope that during our lessons when we start reading The Book of Zohar, you all together will keep the right intention in order to gain as much as possible from this source.
From Lesson 4, WE! Convention 4/2/2011