The Creator drives our “donkey” (hamor – חמור), which means that he manages our matter (homer – חומר) (which has the same root in Hebrew), our desire, by the Light that Reforms.
Since the beginning of creation He develops the desire to receive as something from nothing through the four phases of Direct Light (the structure of the first HaVaYaH) and so on. The Light always operates everywhere, as it says, “I am the first,” and at the same time, “the end of the act is in the initial thought,” so the goal of our development is predetermined to make the created being independent.
The Creator has performed the first act, which is in fact the only act called “creation.” He took something out of Himself. This is why it is called Beria, creation in Hebrew, which means bar – outside one’s self. On the other hand, He brought the desire to perfection and this was done immediately.
In the created being’s perception, there is a whole process that he has to discover by himself: who he is, what he is, in relation to whom he exists, and why it happens this way. He has to accept it based on his nature.
The main thing is that as a result of all the feelings and clarifications he goes through, he reaches a state called adhesion; this adhesion is a result of knowing, as it says: “Know thy Lord.” Thus the created being attains the middle point, the Sefira of Keter or the Sefira of knowledge, which is the mind of the upper.
Thus we perform different actions in order to discover where we actually are and in which state. The states that we go through are divided into levels of the worlds: this world, the worlds of Assiya, Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, and the world of Ein Sof (Infinity). This is what we call the states that were prepared for us in advance during the descent from the top down until the moment that we feel that we exist and begin to ask ourselves: “What do we do now, what can we do? How can we fulfill it? What is expected? How are we managed and how can we manage ourselves.”
There comes a time when I ask myself: “Who am I?” I see a kind of a reality before me and my feeling is divided into two:
- The internality, which is the feeling of the self, my body, my desire, etc.
- Outside myself, which is the still, vegetative, and animate nature, and the speaking, the whole world, and the different feelings of the other worlds that Kabbalists talk about, which are all inside me, in my spiritual vessel, which I have to unite.
So what is that upper force? Who is the “donkey” driver?
We cannot of course speak abstractly about the Creator, about the upper Light. We have to “clothe” Him in some revealed form that we understand, and so in The Book of Zohar in the article “The Donkey Driver,” Rabbi Shimon wants to convey to us the points by which we can perceive the upper force that guides and manages matter. We, however, have to try and feel this as much as we can, both in our heart and mind, as much as we need to.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/21/13, The Book of Zohar — Introduction, “The Donkey Driver”