Part II: The World Was Created for Me. Chapter 5: The Actual Reality


We were as those who dream

– Psalms, 126:1


The most complicated, yet fascinating topic connected to The Book of Zohar, and indeed to life, is “the perception of reality.”

It is known that around us are numerous waves that we do not perceive. However, there is also a field of higher information called “the upper nature” or “the Creator.” We can come in contact with that field and receive everything from it—emotions, understanding, information, love, sensation of eternal life, and the sensation of wholeness that exists in that field, which fills everything around us.

The very purpose of the wisdom of Kabbalah is to teach us how to develop our own tools so we can perceive that field of higher information. This can be done only if we change within; hence, when we change, we ourselves become like that field, and thus like the Creator.

There is nothing simpler than that. The field is here, around us, yet we are blocked; we are not receiving it.

There is nothing more natural than coming into contact with one’s Maker… In fact, every creature has contact with his Maker, as it is written, “The whole earth is full of His glory,” except that one does not know and does not feel it. Actually, one who attains contact with Him attains only the awareness. It is as though one has a treasure in his pocket, and he does not know it. Along comes another who tells him what is in his pocket, and now he really has become rich.

Baal HaSulam, “Writings of the Last Generation,” Part 2

We are unaware of the Creator, of the actual reality, just as a person is dreaming, experiencing all sorts of events, believing oneself to be awake. This is how we are in this world.

In his “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Baal HaSulam compares this situation to a worm that hatched into a radish, believing that the entire world was the radish it was born in. This is how we are, living in our world, oblivious to the fact that there is a vast world around us, enlightened, expansive, and beautiful. This is where Kabbalists — those who have already awakened from the dream to reality—are found. According to them, what we now sense is called “an imaginary world,” and only when we rise above it will we be able to truly understand that previously, “We were as those who dream.”


Experience over time and the advancement of science has greatly distilled the human spirit.

The Raiah Kook, Lights of Faith, p 67


The Book of Zohar is being revealed to explain to us how to perceive reality correctly, and it is not at all a coincidence that science is also signaling that reality is far broader and richer than we can currently perceive. Scientists are saying that there is a kind of “dark energy,” that there are all kinds of white or black spots in the universe, that there are other dimensions that we cannot perceive in our senses or develop tools to perceive.

Also, when we examine other animals, we see that their perception of reality is different from ours. Bees, flies, bears, frogs, snakes, and even cats and dogs, which live near us, perceive reality differently. A dog, for instance, perceives the world primarily as patches of scent. The world image of the bee is the sum of visions received by each of the numerous units that compose its eyes

Different creatures perceive reality differently, but in the end, they are all perceiving the same reality. What reality? This is a good question. And here is another good question: If a person were to miss one of the senses, would that person perceive less of reality? And what if that person did not miss any senses, but instead had another, additional sense? Would he or she see a broader reality? Perhaps the only question is, “Which sense is that?”

With the world we perceive now, we can say that we need glasses or a hearing aid because we know what it means to see well or to hear well. However, if we did not know which additional sense we lacked, how could we acquire it? Just as we do not feel that we need a sixth finger, we cannot feel that we need a sixth sense. As a result, we are living in our world without a need to sense true reality.

Let us examine ourselves from the side for a moment. We exist in the world for several decades, yet we have no idea what happened before us or what will happen after we are gone. In truth, we have no idea what is happening during our lives. For example, do we know where our desires come from? Where our thoughts come from? It could be said that we are living in the dark, except that while we are in it, we have a false sensation that we understand and control our lives.

In previous generations, people’s lives were simple. They were concerned with food, tried to lead their lives as comfortably as they could, had children, and left for them the rewards of their work. Their children continued on the same route, generation after generation. When we lived in this way, there really was no need to know what was happening around us.

But today we are beginning to ask questions about life. These questions move us from within until we cannot be calm and continue with the flow of life as before. We are beginning to feel that without knowing what we are living for, life simply makes no sense. This is what requires us to discover the actual reality.


To move a step forward in a scientific manner here, all we need is the wisdom of Kabbalah, for all the teachings in the world are included in the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”


To better understand the news that Kabbalah introduces in regard to the perception of reality, let us briefly review how science has approached this topic over the years.

The classical approach, represented by Newton, said that the world exists independently, regardless of man, and that the shape of the world is fixed. Then came Einstein, who discovered that our perception is relative and depends on our senses. In consequence, we cannot say precisely what comprises the world outside of us, as it all depends on the observer’s perception of reality.

The contemporary approach to our perception of reality is based on quantum physics, and holds that the observer affects the world, and thus affects the picture one perceives. The picture of reality is a kind of “average” between the qualities of the observer and the qualities of the object or phenomenon being observed.

To better understand the matter, let us look at a familiar example. A speaker stands in a spacious hall and lectures to an audience. They listen to his words through waves that come from the speakers into their ears, and through them to the eardrum. Then the waves traverse an electrochemical mechanism, followed by the brain’s examination to see if there is something similar in the memory, and accordingly, it decodes this electrochemical phenomenon.

Thus, according to the contemporary scientific approach, the picture of reality is depicted within us. We cannot say anything about what exists outside of us, since we never perceive what is outside of us. The wisdom of Kabbalah takes us one step forward. Thousands of years ago, Kabbalists discovered that the world actually has no picture whatsoever!

In his “Preface to The Book of Zohar, ”Baal HaSulam writes, “Take our sense of sight, for example: we see a wide world before us, wondrously filled. But in fact, we see all that only in our own interior. In other words, there is a sort of a photographic machine in our hindbrain, which portrays everything that appears to us and nothing outside of us.” Baal HaSulam explains that in our brain, there is “a kind of polished mirror that inverts everything seen there, so we will see it outside our brain, in front of our face.” [2]

To illustrate the issue, think of a human being as a closed box with five inlets: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hands. These organs represent the five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, through which we perceive that there is seemingly something outside of us.

All kinds of stimuli come in through those five inlets in the box, which are all processed in relation to the existing information in that person’s memory, and in relation to one’s will. The result is some picture of reality, which is then projected onto “a sc reen” in the back of the brain.

We were deliberately made in a way that our senses create for us an illusory image of a world that seems to exist outside of us. This allows us to gradually study what is the real picture on the outside.


I was looking at that eternal world, and the world stood only on those righteous that reign their hearts’ desire.

Zohar for All, VaYera [The Lord Appeared], Item 239


If we wish to advance from our present state, to expand our reality, and to know where we truly are and what for, we need only to tend to what is within us—our will. Deep inside there is the will, and it is what operates all our tools of perception, as well as our minds and our thoughts.

Sometimes, we seemingly don’t see the world. We shut ourselves within and do not pay attention to what is happening around us. But what actually happens is that our desire becomes detached, as though unconscious. Sometimes, our desire is so intense that it causes us to “devour” the whole world. And sometimes, it just quenches like a candle.

Why do people grow old? It is because they no longer want to perceive the world. It is hard for them, and as a result, their bodies stop functioning. In truth, we begin to decline, to gradually die in the middle of our lives. And yet, it is not the body, but our will that dies, losing its motivation to move onward. People who begin to evolve spiritually receive energy and the desire to advance. They are like children, always full of wishes, waking up each day with renewed vigor.

The desire is what evokes needs in us, and what determines what we see or don’t see around us. For example, a person who becomes a parent begins to notice the presence of stores for baby products around each corner. The stores were there before, but because he or she had no need for them, their existence went unnoticed.

Our will is self-centered and hence directs us to perceive only what is good for us or what is bad for us, so we can stay away from it. The more the ego develops, and with it the mind, the more we understand, perceive, and control. Accordingly, our perception of reality expands.

Yet, however expansive, in the end our perception is very limited because it depends on the five senses that give us the sensation of physical life. Our body is no different than that of any other animal; hence, this kind of perception is defined as “perception of reality on the animate level.” Perceiving the broader reality, the one that is not limited by our egos, is precisely the subject matter of The Book of Zohar—the perception of reality on the human level.

What we perceive through our will, our memory, and our five senses is called “this world.” Because our will and our memory are only our own, we are as limited as individual cells. To feel the entire reality, the higher realm of information, we must connect to the desires of others—those who are seemingly outside of us but who are actually parts of us. In other words, to perceive the true reality we must replace our will and shift from the inner, egoistic will, to the outer one.

The rule, “Love thy friend as thyself” is not a moral law that aims to force us to love other people. It is rather a means by which we connect the whole of reality to ourselves.

Usually, we love some people, are indifferent to others, and dislike others. This type of approach stems from the sensation that others are outside of us. However, when we can join those parts to us, we become whole and feel the actual reality.

Why were we created this way, detached from the true reality? It is so that we ourselves would gradually connect all these parts of ourselves. In this process, we study laws and phenomena that exist within the actual reality, and thus become equal to the Creator.

Baal HaSulam describes this in the following way:

All you need is to collect all of those limp organs that have fallen out of your soul, and join them into a single body. In that complete body, the Creator will instill His Divinity permanently, incessantly, and the fountain of great understanding and high streams of light shall be as a never ending spring. Then, each place upon which you cast your eyes shall be blessed.

Baal HaSulam, Letter no. 4

The correct perception of reality is of paramount importance to us. It is not merely another theoretical topic for sophisticated discussions. What we see is only a projection of our inner qualities. The Baal Shem Tov spoke a lot about the world being a mirror of the person:

One who sees any fault in one’s friend, it is as though one is looking in the mirror. If one’s face is dirty, this is what one sees in the mirror. If one’s face is clean, one sees no faults in the mirror. As one is, so one sees. This is “Love thy friend as thyself.” [3]


It is an unbending rule for all Kabbalists that, “Anything we do not attain, we do not define by a name and a word.”

Baal HaSulam, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”


The perception of reality is a topic that clearly distinguishes the wisdom of Kabbalah from philosophy, religion, and science. Kabbalah is a practical study method that leads a person stage by stage through one’s personal development. Like any other scientific method, Kabbalah instructs the researcher what to do, identifies which results can be expected, and explains the reasons for them. It does not offer descriptions of theoretical states whatsoever—states that one cannot perform de factoand in complete awareness.

The “Preface to The Book of Zohar” [4] divides the recognition of reality into four levels: matter, form in matter, abstract form, and essence. Also, it defines the boundaries within which correct perception of reality is possible: in matter and in form in matter.

Abstract form and essence cannot be perceived clearly or in a way that can be monitored, hence The Zohar does not deal with them at all. Conversely, philosophy does discuss abstract form, and religion deals with the essence. Thus, the wisdom of Kabbalah completely differs from philosophy and religion in that it deals only with what can be realistically, scientifically perceived [1].

And what about the wisdom of Kabbalah compared to science? There are similarities and there are differences. The similarity is that a person does not imagine what comes into the desire, but studies it. The difference is the type of desire. Worldly science, the science of the corporeal world, studies what comes into the internal, egoistic desire. The wisdom of Kabbalah studies what comes into the outer desire.

In Kabbalah, research begins only after a person has bonded with the other desires. The wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the wisdom of truth” because it studies the true reality, not the imaginary one, which depends upon and is limited by our will.

In corporeal science, a person might be a cruel and mean individual, yet a great scientist. In Kabbalah, the research depends on the extent to which we change. The more we can depart from self-love toward love of others, the more we will succeed in studying what is found outside of us.

Our personal correction and the attainment of wisdom are inseparable. Only if one corrects oneself does one perceive the whole of reality. The 125 degrees of spiritual attainment are actually 125 degrees of correcting the connection between the attaining individual and all the others.

Whether one is a person who cannot read or write, or a brilliant scientist, a complete fool or a great scholar, is completely irrelevant. Only when one corrects oneself in relation to others does one actually become wise. This does not mean that Kabbalah does not require intellect. However, it is a different kind of intellect, one that comes as a result of correcting the desire.

To perceive the actual reality, the world of truth, we must come out of ourselves and begin to know what really exists. Then we will discover that life does not depend on one’s body, one’s senses, one’s inner, egoistic will, or one’s memory. Rather, life depends only on the extent to which one is connected to all that exists outside—to others’ desires.

Using The Book of Zohar, which provides us with the powers to realize the law of Nature called “love thy friend as thyself,” we transcend this fictitious reality and move towards perception of the real world. Although our corporeal body may die, it will not interrupt our ability to live in the real world. Our spiritual life continues because we will already be living in a great will, a higher one, and there is where our true self is found.


Through the secrets of Torah, the value of the power of man’s will is yet to be revealed in the world, and how crucial is its level in reality. This revelation will be the crown of the whole of science.

The Rav Raiah Kook, Sacred Lights, 3, p 80





[1] One of the Kabbalists who stressed the differences between the wisdom of Kabbalah and religion was Ramchal [Rav Mohse Chaim Luzzato]: “There is a great need for the wisdom of truth. First, I shall tell you that we must know it because so we are commanded, as it is written, “And know today and reply to your heart that the Lord He is the God.” Thus, we must know it by knowing, not merely by believing, but by things that the heart agrees with, as it is written explicitly, “And reply to your heart.” …Thus, there are two things we must know: that the only Master is the one who watches over and leads everything, whether above or below, and two—that there is none other, meaning to know the truth of His uniqueness. Those two things that we must know, you tell me, whence shall we know them? Which wisdom shall teach them to us?

We cannot understand it from the literal Torah, for what does the literal Torah revolve around? Only the commandments, how they should be done, and all their ordinances, or the narration of tales that took place, which are mentioned in it… and if you do not draw this knowledge from all those, you must still keep this commandment, and you must find a way to keep it. Thus, it is only found in this wisdom of truth” (Ramchal, Rules of the Book Moses’ Wars, “First Rule”).

[2] Baal HaSulam, “Preface to The Book of Zohar,” Item 34

[3] Presented in the name of the Baal Shem Tov in the book Light of the Eyes, beginning of the portion Hukot [ordinances]

[4] For more on this topic, see Baal HaSulam’s “Preface to The Book of Zohar”

0 raspunsuri

Lasă un răspuns

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *