On The Waves Of Spiritual Attainment
What does knowledge give us if while reading The Zohar we can't remember anything a moment later?
Knowledge does not give us anything. Today I know something, but tomorrow I forget all about it. Why do I forget? If my desires (Kelim) change, then tomorrow, within my new desires, I won't remember what I knew before because I am no longer inside my previous desires.
I can convey knowledge from one level to another only through sensation. Our states include a wave-like process: knowledge-sensation-knowledge-sensation. Suppose I have just corrected my desires on some level. According to this level of correcting my desires, I acquire some knowledge and sensation of reality, a realization of where I am, on what level and in what world.
Then a new desire comes. The previous level disappears and I am immersed in darkness. What remains with me? Everyone knows that when the sensation of darkness comes to you, then all the previous sensations disappear and you can no longer work with them. However, if you begin working with this new level, this new darkness, then your efforts evoke a new Light that comes and corrects you. You then go on to a new state where you have a deeper understanding of the previous knowledge based on the new, higher knowledge.
Therefore, you should never take knowledge into account. It will always be there and it will always enter the corrected desire. The most important thing is to correct the desire. Then whatever needs to be revealed in it will be revealed, but there's no point worrying about that.
This is why the people who study correctly leave the lesson without remembering anything. They just go away with a general impression. This impression is recorded in their senses rather than their understanding. It remains in the sensory, not the mental, memory.
I don't look down on reason at all. In fact, I am drawn to knowledge and serious study. However, when a person studies through the point in the heart, he does not remember or understand what he studies until his sensations develop sufficiently and he starts to understand with his feelings. He then understands "what he is feeling."
It turns out that what you study for years disappears and the "results of the study" are not apparent. The results should not show in your knowledge, but in the correction of your qualities by the Light of Correction (Ohr Makif), meaning in your qualities.
This is very different from studying at a university, where a person studies for four to six years and then becomes an expert in some field, and then writes a dissertation for another several years. Where is the clear knowledge of a person who studied Kabbalah for ten years? What has he gained? It seems like he has nothing to show for it. That's because every day he is born anew, in new qualities, until he attains revelation.
When he attains revelation, then it is recorded on his level. Then, in states of ascent he really has mastery of the material and possesses knowledge. But in states of descent, he is in the dark and only his experience holds him up. (See Baal HaSulam's article, "What Is Support in the Torah, in the Work.")
One has to understand that until we reach the Final Correction, the states vary a great deal, and we should only consider the height or level of correction. Knowledge will always accompany a person according to his degree.