Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar“, Item 23: It turns out that once dressed in a human body, it (the soul) generates needs and desires and ideas to satisfy its desire to bestow to the fullest, meaning to bestow contentment upon its Maker, according to the size of its desire.
Question: On one hand it says that we should be guided only by what we see, but on the other hand, we have to detach from the ordinary corporeal terms”body” and “soul,” so how we can integrate the two things?
Answer: I see the corporeal world in which I live now. We study about it in universities and not in Kabbalah lessons. We, on the other hand, study about something that is above that, the spiritual reality. It is not before my eyes, and I am supposed to acquire a new sight in order to see it. I don’t need corporeal eyes for that but spiritual ones.
Kabbalists tell us that just like the corporeal body, there is also a spiritual body, and it is bestowal. The life in it is the Light that fills it. The spiritual body is actually the Returning Light (Ohr Hozer) and we feel the body according to its measure.
I am attracted to bestowal upon others according to the level of the Returning Light, and bestowal upon the other is my soul. This is exactly where it is, in others, and not in the flesh that lives and dies. We need the flesh only for the time in which I have to annul my desire to receive. Then the need for the corporeal body disappears. When I attain the first spiritual level, I understand that it has nothing to do with the body. I was simply given such conditions in which I can exist before the revelation. This state is essential in order to enter the spiritual world. It’s the area where I fulfill the preconditions.
It’s as if I stand in front of a door and I am told: “You can enter only if you have a ticket. Don’t you have a ticket? So go to work and buy a ticket and then you can enter.” So I work in this world in order to buy a ticket for the spiritual reality and during the lessons we speak about what happens behind the door.
Question: So in what way are we different from the philosophers who seem to say the same thing?
Answer: First, we are right in that we don’t wish, like them, to indulge into fantasies like they do; we understand that we must actually feel and see what we speak about firsthand. This is a healthy approach that protects against making mistakes and delivers a clear scientific framework.
Philosophers are mistaken in the fact that they speak about things which they don’t feel that are beyond their perception and is devoid of any factual basis. And they are comfortable with this situation: first, because they are being paid for it and second, because they want to have something to do with “spirituality.”
In principle, a person reaches for a certain “spiritual bridgehead” but without working on himself. This is the reason that Kabbalists hate philosophy. There is a philosopher in each of us because we would also like to enter spirituality without effort and we love to bring up different unfounded theories.
At the same time, we have to explain everything: “Although I sometimes feel like philosophizing, it is merely my ego.” The truth is that we cannot actually discuss the spiritual world before we attain it, it is said: “We cannot know by name or word anything that we don’t attain.”
We reject the philosophical approach and hate the philosophers in us although it’s impossible to do it without them, because everyone includes the whole world in him. So we only speak about what happens in our hearts.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/12/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam