Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 14: Thus, we have thoroughly clarified that the worlds, the generation, the changes, and the number of degrees, and so on were said only with respect to the Kelim (vessels) that give to the souls, conceal, and measure for them so they can gradually receive from the Light of Ein Sof in them. But they do not affect the Light of Ein Sof itself in any way since no coverings affect the one who is covered, but only the other, who wishes to feel it and receive from it, as said in the allegory.
Baal HaSulam explains also in “Preface to The Book of Zohar” that the entire perception of reality occurs only relatively to the receiver, person, observer. Everything is relative; it all depends on a person’s properties, and according to them, he or she perceives everything as if existing outside of him or her.
Is there reality outside of man? We don’t know that. It’s known from the wisdom of Kabbalah that the simple Surrounding Light exists outside of us. We don’t have any possibility of sensing it from the outside. We are sensible creatures, meaning that we sense what is perceived inside of us. If I sense that something exists outside, I perceive it in all my senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch). However, I perceive it inside my sense organ, and if deprived of it, I don’t perceive what exists outside of me.
Our aggregate sense organ is called the “will to enjoy.” It’s divided into five parts, according to the levels of Aviut (thickness) of desire. These levels (Shoresh, Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet or 0,1,2,3,4 accordingly) can be called spiritual or earthly sense organs: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.
That is, our desire consists of five parts or five forms of perception: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch as in our world. I perceive something that within me acquires the form of desire, vessel.
This is like “manna” that nourished the people of Israel in the desert. I take this “manna” and taste “barbecue”; the other tastes fish, the third salad, the fourth chicken or cereal. Each receives according to his desires. However, all this is called “manna.”
What is “manna”? It’s something from the sky that has no properties. Who perceives these properties? The receiver does. As soon as I absorb this “manna,” desiring to taste steak, I taste steak. I want tea and taste tea. I want saltier food, and the food becomes saltier instantly. I want it spicier, and it becomes spicier. It’s good, isn’t it? “Make your desire like His,” and then “He will make your desire like His.”
The upper Light existing outside us doesn’t have any form; it has only the desire to bestow. If you want to derive pleasure from it the correct way, He will give you this sensation at once, without problems. Therefore, everything depends on the creature. The form of reality depends on our desires, vessels of perception. That is why we have nobody to pray to, nobody to ask, nobody to turn to, but only to ourselves, to the extent of our corruptness and the ability to become a little bit more corrected.
We’ll feel better to the extent we correct ourselves. In essence, this is the entire process we experience.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/13/2011, “Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”