Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 64: …with respect to the wisdom of the Torah, it is increasingly revealed in the latter generations. This is so for the reason we have mentioned, that the overall measure is completed specifically by the latter ones. This is why more complete Lights are extended to them, although their own essence is far worse.
This stems from the reverse order of between vessels and Lights. The purer and more refined the vessels are the less Light is in them, even though these vessels are expressed and corrected by the vessels that precede them. And conversely, the greater and deeper the “thickness” of the vessels, the more difficult it is to correct them. In contrast to this, the Lights in them are greater and are revealed by means of their correction.
These lights are specifically clothed in the finest and most refined vessels, being that the Lights are implemented in the order of NRNHY, while the order of the correction of the vessel is KHB ZON. In other words, the vessels are revealed from Keter to Malchut, from the highest to the lowest, whereas with the Lights it’s the opposite, from Nefesh to Yechida, from the smallest to the greatest. They are linked between them in such a sequence.
This principle is not simple and confuses us and it’s very difficult for our understanding of the reciprocal relationships within the system in general, in every world and between the worlds. Sometimes we simply need to accept this as a general rule, as a law, until this gradually “settles” and is integrated with new internal vessels. And only after a person feels the essence does he begin to understand it. In the beginning the feeling comes within the corrected vessels to a particular degree; after that, understanding comes. So intellect always follows feeling.
People who are not linked to the inner essence of the Torah and are guided by their external intellect don’t understand this principle and therefore don’t see the uniqueness of our time and generation. They are familiar with the process of general deterioration; yet together with this, they remove themselves from the responsibility to correct the world. They suppose: “If we have deteriorated so much already, then all that is left for us is only to hope for the coming of the Messiah.”
Yet this is not right. Our generation is the most important for the general goal. And even though we are bent under the heavy burden of our ego, it is intended that we will work on it and will not be rid of it. Through work like this, we attract very great Lights for the highest souls that are beginning to correct humanity, and these souls are Adam, Abraham, and so forth. And we receive a thin and small Light according to our place in the general system, and we advance in this way until we reach the complete ten Sefirot of the entire creation.
Then in fact, we reach attainment and understand what difficult work we have carried out. Even if we were to make a mistake and be confused, even though we don’t succeed in solving and interpreting, even though we have erred and violated, this is unimportant. Otherwise it is impossible. In the end everything will reach the right analysis, the true account, and only then, on the highest level, can we correctly evaluate our state and discern its significance. And in the meantime, it’s up to us to proceed with “faith above reason” and believe in Baal HaSulam who wrote that the first generations were significant because of their refined desires, whereas we are significant because of our “thickness.”
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/27/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam