A Focus On The Spiritual World
While studying The Zohar, we are not trying to explain every phenomenon that we study; instead, we want to feel it. How is it even possible to explain something that a person doesn't feel or see? That's why we are talking only about the effort that a person makes when he wants to reach something he doesn't know, see or grasp, but would do anything to move closer to it.
I am teaching you how to focus on the spiritual world. When you acquire spiritual vision, you will feel, and later on you will also understand. This is the meaning of the verse, "A judge has nothing but what his eyes see." What's the point of trying to memorize names if you don't know what they refer to? We are now learning how to attain them, because attainment is when you feel something with utter clarity in all of your senses and heart. You exist in it, are completely immersed in the spiritual world, and actually become one with it.
We are talking about how to enter the sensation of a new world, like a baby that's starting to perceive this world simply and naturally. We don't explain anything to the baby from the beginning. He must first be filled with various impressions about our world, and then, by being able to differentiate between different qualities (cold vs. hot, light vs. darkness, hard vs. soft), he begins to form a mind that understands what he should aspire to and what he should move away from. He starts to discern what is pleasant and unpleasant, what is good for him and what is bad, what is true and what is false, what he likes and what he doesn't.
However, with regard to spirituality, all of this comes only after we have revealed a fragment of the Upper World in our sensations. Right now we desire to attain this revelation, and therefore we don't want to explain what is inside it; we only want to facilitate these new sensations in us.
We have to "unfocus" our vision from this world and stop seeing it in order to start seeing through a new focus, by concentrating our attention on something else. It's like those 3-D pictures that first appear like a chaotic collection of disorderly shapes. But if you change the focus of your vision and stop concentrating on the surface of the image, if you try to peer inside, not focusing on the picture itself, but deliberately penetrating inside - then you begin to see it. We have to make the same effort - but through feelings rather than vision - when reading The Book of Zohar, and then through the sensations of this world, we will feel the Upper World.
We must take the way we see this world and purposely "break this focus." Not to see this world, but rather to focus on a completely different point, to focus our undivided attention on it and to start only seeing through it. This resembles 3-dimensional pictures, which when you look at them at first you cannot see a thing. But when one does not look at the picture's surface, but looks beyond as if wanting to look inside of it, then the focus is not concentrated exactly on the image itself, but rather it is as if it penetrates in, and then one begins to see. During the study of Zohar we speak only about this effort.
The Point Of Entrance Into Spiritual Reality
Baal HaSulam writes that "There is nothing higher than the truth and nothing lower than falseness." But how can we know what the truth is and where to find it? Things only seem true in our imagination and fantasies, but we know that whatever seems true today will turn out to be a lie tomorrow. This is because our desire changes, and when it does, all the facts that we perceive, also change. Because the matter changes, the form that was present in matter yesterday is no longer visible to us today.
It turns out that today we are operating according to a form clothed in matter, and we consider this to be the truth. But tomorrow we will discard it and say that it was a lie, depending on what we see tomorrow. We always have to act based on the desire and the form in which it is clothed during the moment we are in that form. We don't care that we used to think differently a hundred years ago, and that we will think differently two hundred years from now. Everything will be new-we will have a new life, a new sky and a new earth. Nevertheless, today we have to make all decisions based on today's facts.
It follows that we have no right to judge others -those who are above or below us. How can we judge someone on a level beneath us if he is not yet corrected? After all, he is right in relation to his position.
All the mistakes, problems and punishments are given to us in order to "stuff" us into a form clothed in matter, so we won't separate from matter and engage in abstract reasoning. It is extremely important to keep this in mind while studying The Zohar. After all, The Zohar is intended to lead us into the spiritual world, and in this area we are very tempted to give in to fantasies and mysticism. Our body really desires this since it will feel less suffering that way.
We have to make efforts to keep ourselves grounded within the framework of matter. By doing so, we will be performing a correction. We have to insert the form of bestowal into our egoistic form of reception, but they don't fit one inside the other; they are absolutely opposite, and therefore our task is extremely difficult!
This is why The Zohar takes so much effort to be watchful of what is happening to us and what forms are clothing into us. After all, by separating from matter, we might imagine that we are already in the world of bestowal and Infinity.
Will My Next Level Be “Form Abstracted From Matter”?
My next level is described as the opposite of me. As I describe and feel it, it is a form abstracted from my matter. I cannot dress it, I do not want to dress it, but I treat it as a desirable thing. In corporeality I can imagine that I am already corrected, I am like this or that, but when I am in spirituality, I cannot imagine myself in my upper level, because I am repelled by it. The Elyon (Upper One) is opposite to me, He shows me how I must bestow. But I do not want to bestow, it is a form that I do not wish to receive.
Therefore in spirituality there is no danger that I will fall into my imagination, because once I grasp the upper level, I will already be in its form. The Elyon presents the upper level to me against my state, against my matter, and it appears to me as darkness. And from this moment on, I must only exert efforts within the group, in connecting additional desires. When I connect several additional desires, the Elyon no longer seems opposite to me, and then I already demand additional corrections from the Light that Reforms. I cannot rise to the next level unless I add unfamiliar desires to myself, which will be as my own, and in them I reveal the next level, the addition.