Comment: Baal HaSulam writes that in order to begin to study his commentary on The Book of Zohar or The Book of Zohar itself, you must first familiarize yourself with the four prefaces written by him: “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” “Preface to the Sulam Commentary,” “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” and “Preface to The Book of Zohar. ”
Answer: Yes. It is impossible to approach reading The Book of the Zohar without a serious study of these four prefaces.
Question: In addition, Baal HaSulam writes that before proceeding with the study of The Book of Zohar, three limitations must be clarified, which cannot be violated. In spiritual attainment, there are four categories that are called: matter, form dressed in matter, abstract form and essence. The Book of Zohar does not deal with such concepts as essence and abstract form. What is this limitation?
Answer: It is impossible to deal with the essence at all since it is above our nature.
We cannot deal with the abstract form because it is not a science.
We only deal with matter, which takes some form.
For example, we study egoism, which can acquire certain egoistic or anti-egoistic, altruistic forms. We can put on these forms and examine them because we ourselves are the matter that takes on these forms.
It is impossible to explore something outside yourself, in particular, such a substance as the Creator. Only if He appears as a person and manifests itself in the form of some property: love, bestowal.
Question: The second limitation—Baal HaSulam says that The Book of Zohar considers only the worlds of Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya, that is, the concealment of the upper force from creation. Why?
Answer: We can only investigate what manifests in matter, and what is above it, abstract forms, abstract forces unclothed in matter, we cannot discuss them because they are absolutely unprovable and unrealistic.
Question: So there are five worlds and Baal HaSulam speaks only about three worlds?
Answer: Yes. He speaks only of those worlds where we exist: Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya.
Question: The third limitation—in each of the worlds BYA, there are three categories: ten Sefirot, the souls of people, and the rest of reality. The Book of Zohar explains phenomena associated only with people. What does this mean?
Answer: We should be interested only in what concerns us and what is clothed in us, and we can explore this from our practical comprehension.
We must see the limitations very clearly. A step to the left, a step to the right beyond the limits of our desire, which takes on various forms, turns us into philosophers and psychologists, but not scientists. Kabbalah is a purely a practical science.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/18/18