Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 69: From the above we can thoroughly understand that the Torah, too, contains internality and externality, as does the entire world. Therefore, one who engages in the Torah has these two degrees, as well. When one increases one’s toil in the internality of the Torah and its secrets, to that extent, one makes the virtue of the internality of the world—which are Israel—soar high above the externality of the world, which are the Nations of the World.
A person in our world is attracted to a wisdom, to a source, to a filling that suits his nature. Everyone has his priorities: special colors, special sounds, or a special lifestyle. We acquire many of these preferences from our family. On the whole people are different and still there are certain types of characters in this spectrum.
A person can be interested in science or music, he can be calm or active, closed or outgoing, inclined to physical work or mental activity, to express himself one way or another; these are all the results of our diversity. A person chooses a suitable occupation and the means to succeed in life according to his nature.
We too are not different. Each of us has followed his own path until he decided to change his priorities at a certain point and to deal with something else. It happened because our nature changed.
For the same reason there are those who yearn for the external Torah: They study the sources and the main thing for them is to know what they say. They don’t go into the internality; they don’t try to penetrate an unfamiliar world, they don’t follow the clues that lead to the Creator, to His actions, to His revelation. No, a person reads the text and doesn’t want to imagine something higher than this world. When Kabbalists speak about a “theft” they understand that someone stole something. The egoistic desires that steal the fruit of my work remain “out of the picture.” They interpret “damage,” as actual physical damage. “Trees,” “rocks,” “the Temple,” are all concrete objects in our world.
There are those who cannot stand such a superficial approach and are attracted to the internal essence.
Eventually, everyone chooses what he wants to deal with on one level or another, on a corporeal level or on a more internal level, and the depth of the level can also differ. On the whole the external Torah is really opposite from the internal Torah.
Therefore, it is impossible to judge a person’s greatness by his attraction to the wisdom of Kabbalah. He simply feels more comfortable here; it belongs to him. In the same way people who like to draw feel comfortable in a drawing class. The internal attraction does not depend on the person himself. Accordingly, there are people who are attracted to the external Torah and it is because they are made that way.
This is why our message is different: No matter what a person is attracted to, we still explain what he should do by rising above his natural inclination. Actually Baal HaSulam emphasizes here that it is a person’s obligation to be above his natural inclination, which creates a balance between his internality and his externality.
Question: How can I be sure that I am developing my internality and not my externality?
Answer: I feel it when I begin to be considerate of others. Only I can know it. On the outside everything may remain the same. This is why the wisdom of Kabbalah is called the “Hidden Torah”…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/8/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”