Answer: It is an allegorical description of those corrections of our egoism that we must go through. All of the Mitzvot, although they may seem to be disconnected from reality, worthless, useless and empty, are concerned only with correcting our egoistic nature to becoming altruistic.
Don’t think that the Tefillin are just boxes, that the Tallit (prayer shawl) is a cloth covering and that the Tzitzit are strings. These are all physical reminders, allegories, for particular spiritual characteristics. Actually we are commanded to make a correction on our desires called “Tallit,” “Tefillin,” and “Tzitzit,” and all the Mitzvot were given to us to correct the heart. The “heart” is our general egoistic desire. If we correct ourselves like this, then we will be keeping all the Mitzvot in their true form!
Question: Why is the prayer “Shema Yisrael” (Deuteronomy 6:4) inserted in the boxes of both the head and the arm that are called “Tefillin”?
Answer: This is because the Tefillin symbolize the spiritual implementation of the highest Mitzvah, which is adhesion with the Creator, meaning creating a desire that will be exactly like the Creator, and this is realized through correction of the ego on a very high level, called the “head of the world of Atzilut.” The egoistic desire of the person is built from five levels: Shoresh, Aleph, Bet, Gimel, and Dalet, and when he corrects them, then the “Kutzo shel Yod” (tip of the letter “Yod”) is gradually revealed to him, after it the letter “Yod” itself, then the letter “Hey,” then the “Vav” and finally the final “Hey”; he has received the four letter name of the Creator, which cannot be erased, cannot be washed away, and cannot be destroyed, because it is the foundation of creation, formed in Olam Ein Sof (the world of Infinity), even before the creation of our world through what are called the four Behinot (phases) of the Ohr Yashar (Direct Light).
We are implementing a correction when we need to resemble all four phases fully. This is our role. So the Mitzvot of Tefillin are so unique and high! All the Mitzvot belong to the world of Atzilut, which is derived from the word, “Etzlo” (close to Him), that is where the Creator Himself exists. So the box on the head represents one part of the Head of Arich Anpin, a block of the world of Atzilut, and the box on the arm symbolizes the second part of the Head of Arich Anpin.
The Tefillin of the arm symbolize the descent of the Ohr Hassadim (Light of Mercy), Binah, from the “head” to the “body,” which helps the body to be corrected. So the Tefillin of the arm are put on the weaker arm, the left arm. But we don’t need to dedicate that much thought to this, but simply to correct our egoistic desires in our overall connection with others. With this the entire Torah and all of the corrections will be realized.
From KabTV’s “Conversations with Michael Laitman” 25/1/16