Answer: Baal HaSulam writes in “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 11: The sages of the Talmud have made the path of Torah easier for us than the sages of the Mishnah. This is because …they have provided us with a new means instead of the penance presented in the above-mentioned Mishnah, Avot: the “Light in the Torah.” It bears sufficient power to reform a person….”
Why did the sages of the Talmud replaced the path of asceticism (“live on bread and water, sleep on the ground, lead a meager life, and exert in the Torah”) only with the study of the Torah? It’s because they corrected the network of connection between them. This general system of souls already contains the souls that act in it, and we can avail ourselves of their help.
After the breaking, the broken souls exist in the general system of souls. And although in the diagram we depict them as if scattered in a sphere, the system has a strict hierarchy which existed in the world of Nekudim before the breaking. The souls break and fall down following the same hierarchy: each one according to its level of Aviut (the thickness of desire), meaning that the souls with a bigger Aviut fall lower.
This system contains special souls, thousands of Kabbalists who are bonded together by a special connection. This resembles a skeleton of the spiritual system.
Reading their manuscripts, we evoke the illumination from the network of connection that they have built between themselves. This illumination corrects us, and we can avoid the path of suffering and deprivation which people followed in the past, without awakening the Light, but rather subjecting themselves to suffering so that it would help them destroy their ego.
We can’t follow this path. We are weak and unable to fight our ego directly. We can do it by awakening the already existing network of connection. We as though rest in the hands of the Kabbalists of the past, as a newborn baby in the hands of a caring mother, and they look after us.
We connect with their manuscripts, especially The Book of Zohar, the texts of the ARI and Baal HaSulam, and receive from there the Light, the care of these great souls.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/17/2011, The Book of Zohar