At the end of “The Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 156, Baal HaSulam writes that adopting the right definitions is of primary and paramount importance in the study of Kabbalah. They must be at our disposal, placed in our mind as if on book shelves so that I can pick out the right term without even thinking how I need to understand, to feel, and to picture the meaning concealed behind each word in the text.
Otherwise, I will be confusing myself and generating in myself the wrong impression and perception, which doesn’t correspond to the truth. This is a very important key to studying the wisdom of Kabbalah. If you do not correctly decipher what is written, you will become completely confused.
We are not studying for the purpose of getting to know how many angels there are in the sky and what their names are, and we are not memorizing which spiritual objects (Partzufim) exist somewhere out there. We need to apprehend that everything that has been written about is inside of us, inside our soul, which we have not revealed yet.
Let this spiritual system be concealed from us for now, but it is inside of us and not somewhere out there. We are not talking about angels in the sky, but about man’s inner forces. Everything is inside man, and there is nothing else besides him. It only seems to us that other people exist around us, but in reality, all of them are parts of myself. That is why the phrase of “love thy neighbor as thyself” seems to be speaking about another person until you come to understand that this is actually you, yourself, and everything belongs to you.
Kabbalistic terms need to be known by memory, meaning that you need to be attached to their true spiritual meaning and not to imagine it in your current perception. When I come across words like “sun,” “moon,” “up,” “down,” “entering,” and “leaving” of the Light, all of the most technical terms, and even the ones that are barely related to this world, I still need to check myself as to whether I am keeping to the right definitions. This will eliminate 99% of all confusion and mistakes.
Furthermore, I will not need a lot of long explanations if I adopt the correct definitions. That is why it is so important to study the appendices to each chapter of The Study of the Ten Sefirot: “Table of Questions and Answers for the Meaning of the Words.” This is even more important than studying the main text of the book.
Even though we cannot remember all of these definitions yet, to understand and to feel them, we at least we need to look at how these spiritual definitions differ from those inside of us because we usually already have a certain material picture about each of the words and concepts.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/20/2011, Talmud Eser Sefirot