You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Michael Laitman / Books / Unlocking The Zohar / Part I: The Wisdom of The Zohar. Chapter 2: Nature and Us / The Zohar—a Book of Many Layers
Michael Laitman, PhD

The Zohar—a Book of Many Layers

Studying The Zohar builds worlds.

Rabbi Shalom Ben Moshe Buzzaglo, The King’s Throne [1]


Ten Kabbalists, headed by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi), joined together at the highest spiritual degree. From their union, they wrote The Zohar for us. The Zohar is not merely a book. It is a closed system, from our level to the highest level of reality. It is a system designed to launch us into experiencing unbounded existence, both in understanding and feeling the whole of Nature.

The book is built in a very special way. It speaks of things that seemingly happen in our world: stories about people, animals, trees and flowers, mountains and hills. However, in truth, it tells us about the soul and the higher forces.

Thousands of years after the writing of The Zohar, the greatest Kabbalist of the 20th century, Baal HaSulam, wrote the Sulam [Ladder] commentary on The Zohar, where he explained The Zohar in the language of Kabbalah. The language of Kabbalah helps us put the pieces together and understand what is really being said in The Zohar.

When you read The Zohar with the Sulam commentary, even without first understanding how everything unfolds, The Zohar begins to change our perception into an opposite perception. It changes our attitude toward the world. The Zohar provides examples that connect us to our next state, a more evolved state in giving.

It is similar to the way we rear our children. We continue to show them examples of a slightly more advanced state in order to develop them. Thus, we gradually bring them to more evolved states. The Zohar affects us similarly, unveiling the next degree that awaits us.

The world we currently experience is the lowest and worst state that exists in reality. We have been deliberately brought down to it through 125 degrees from the highest state of the overall power of reality.

In our initial state, our current one, the next degree is right before us: me+1. Then comes the next degree: me+2, then me+3, and so forth. There are 125 before us, each containing a piece of information that defines the way we should be. In the language of Kabbalah, this piece is called Reshimo [recollection]. We will elaborate on it further in the book because it has a crucial impact on our lives.

The connection between our current selves and the self of our next degree is formed using The Book of Zohar. Just like a parent, The Zohar elevates us from one world to another. A “world” means the current state we are in, and a “higher world” or “upper world” means our higher state.

It is important to understand that in the course of our spiritual development, we do not “vanish” from this world. We do not stop working or functioning as usual. Rather, a sensation of the force that actually operates in reality is added to our lives. We come to a state where the whole of reality appears as a single entity, a single system. We feel that there is one force operating here—eternal, whole, beyond time, space, and motion. This is what The Book of Zohar helps us to discover.


All the conducts of Creation, in its every corner, inlet, and outlet, are completely prearranged for the purpose of nurturing the human species from its midst, to improve its qualities until we can sense Godliness as one feels one’s friend.

Baal HaSulam “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”


[1] Rabbi Shalom Ben Moshe Buzzaglo, The King’s Throne, Tikkun [Correction] 43, Item 60

Back to top
Site location tree