Yearning For Sanctity In The Dark
When I read in The Book of Zohar, I must yearn to feel that it is speaking about me. It tells me in a very unusual, kind of strange way about what occurs inside of me, and inside of me only. I have a liver, lungs, kidneys, a spleen, a digestive system etc., and apart from those systems, inside of me there is also a feeling and this book is speaking only about that. In that feeling exist numerous desires, qualities, thoughts, all kinds of urges. I must ask myself: Except for the flesh that is on me, who is the person in me? And I take this sort of special knife, open myself up, and look inside.
And what do I see? Exactly what the authors of the Zohar describe to us here. You must make efforts to identify and see it. Inside the "person" in me there are qualities called Jacob and Esau, bull and donkey, birds and trees, Adam ha Rishon, and Noah's Ark. "Tree," is a unique desire in me, a special quality. The Ark is a unique quality that I can hide in, that can protect me.
I must start working with this. What does it give me? The truth is that it does not give me anything, nothing. By making efforts to identify those things, a force called "the Light that Reforms" comes to you, and for that you must yearn. Let us assume that you leave the lesson and tell yourself: "I made it! I felt that I understood today who Jacob is, who Esau is, who Israel is etc.. " And, so what? It does not mean a thing. Next time you leave, you will say to yourself: "I didn't understand a thing, everything is dry, I couldn't concentrate. I succeeded in making an effort to find it within me for a few minutes only out of the whole lesson." And precisely those few minutes are your gain.
This is "the concealment." Only he who invests himself, and honors those times, the feeling of tastelessness, lack of clarification, and wants to advance over it toward "the bestowal" only by that gains.
I am telling you from experience─sometimes it is necessary to deal with the Zohar for two or three hours, without getting up, until you break this unreceptiveness, and enter a state in which you begin to work with these forces.
But the corrections that you make during these three or four hours, is the most important thing. Not in vain does Baal HaSulam write in "Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot" ("Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot"), that precisely the states of concealment, are the states in which you can toil, and demonstrate that you are truly yearning to become close to Godliness. There is no doubt that this is completely reversed from everything we are used to in this world, where we judge everything according to our egoistic feeling.
Therefore he who works in the dark, and feels that there is no meaning, needs to realize that those states are very beneficial for advancement toward bestowal, to such an extent that with time he will not desire other states at all, but rather will understand that the exertion is the reward. Those moments given to you to toil without receiving something to revive your ego with, your evil inclination, the pride, the understanding, the mind, and the feeling─you nonetheless have the option to press a little bit and make great efforts─ those are the best states. The ability to reach this point of contact with sanctity in the dark, is the reward. In such states it is clear that you are not biased to your will to receive.
Therefore we must be happy in states where there is no meaning. Through them the person grows. Of course the group's support is very important here and the impression and overall excitement, which includes all of our friends across the world. When you do not receive support from the Creator (even though it does come from Him), you can yearn for support from the group─and this is the best thing. Here there is room for prayer of many, for the truly correct effort.