Question: If it is so important to know the exact meaning of Kabbalistic terms (so much so that we are supposed to write them down on the index cards and learn them by heart), why did you used to say that we study TES (The Study of the Ten Sefirot) not in order to understand it intellectually, but rather to draw the Surrounding Light that works as a “miraculous,” hidden force?
Answer: We study Kabbalistic terms not in order to grasp them intellectually, but to get closer to the authentic meaning of the text.
When I am reading about what is “higher” or “lower” in the spiritual world and compare it with what is considered “higher and lower” in the corporeal sense, it supplies me with an impression of how far I still am from the truth. It leads me to the recognition of my evil, of my mistake. And this feeling reforms my qualities, awakens my desire to change and to draw the upper force that will reform me.
After all, if with my external mind I understand that my definitions of what is described in the book are incorrect (for instance, “the Light,” “the Creator,” “the sun,” “a circle”), the bitterness caused by the gap between me and the truth grows. And this pain becomes a prayer. This kind of studying is not meant for the intellect.
We measure not by the mind, but by our properties. The correct learning of the definitions leads to the desire to be present in them, instead of understanding them in abstract terms!
This means that I myself desire to be transformed so that these terms would describe me, so that they would become my model and my language. I want to hear “higher-lower” and understand that it is higher or lower in terms of the importance with regards to bestowal, whereas the “right and left” refers to the Light of Hochma (Wisdom) or the Light of Hassadim (Mercy).
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/20/2011, Talmud Eser Sefirot