Question: Did a man or a state called Adam HaRishon, the first man, ever exist? Did he suddenly feel the tree of knowledge of good and evil within him?
Answer: Yes. The tree represents states that one can aspire to and grow.
By tasting the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he sees that it is detrimental because he begins to receive from this life in his egoistic desires instead of rising above them, and at the same time, he completely loses the whole upper world.
We exist in a certain space that is unfamiliar to us. This space can be perceived by us in its entirety only if we reveal all our inner potential, all our desires. Then it will be called the upper world.
This same space can be perceived by us in a very limited form, in our small gray world that we now feel.
The difference between the worlds is the difference between life and death, because the existence in our world is like death. I always desire something, but can never find it. Since birth, my life is a slow death.
Question: Why was Adam suddenly compelled to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? After all, everything was so wonderful.
Answer: The Creator deliberately set him up so that he would understand the state he was really in. As created beings, we can only feel something relative to something else.
When Adam HaRishon was in a perfect state, he did not feel it as perfect. He did not yet have analysis or synthesis, doubts, desires, aspirations, or their fulfillments. He did not know that there were differences between them. Everything is understood in comparison. Everything is felt through its opposite.
But he did not have that opposite. He had to fall into our world in order to gradually rise from it to the higher attainment, to the upper world, to see what the Creator had in store for him.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #7