Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 41: Bear in mind that the reality of all the worlds is generally divided into five worlds called a) Adam Kadmon, b) Atzilut, c) Beria, d) Yetzira, and e) Assiya.
These “worlds” are the levels of my internal closeness to the Creator, to bestowal. It’s as if I look through their prism. At the same time, I can accept bestowal on a certain level of Aviut (thickness) from zero to four. On the whole, these are all levels of attainment until full adhesion.
Question: What do we need these worlds, these concealments, for?
Answer: So that we will gradually discover the Creator according to our equivalence of form with Him; it’s a law: Every phenomenon in reality can only be attained according to an equivalence of form. As long as I, according to my egoistic nature, am external to it and am not compatible with it, I cannot feel it. When the point in the heart awakens in me, I begin to feel my oppositeness to the Creator, and then I can grow and increase my point and my closeness to Him. But until then, I am detached from Him by my ego: He is total bestowal and I am total receiving, and I have no connection with Him. This is how the law of equivalence of form works.
Question: Can we say that the levels of equivalence reflect my sensitivity to others?
Answer: Yes. My attitude to others or to the Creator is actually the same thing. The main thing is that the direction is from me outward.
We must understand that we are in one state called the “world of Ein Sof (Infinity),” or “Malchut of Ein Sof.” But we are separated from it by five levels of opacity of the senses. Special Masachim (screens) weaken them like filters that are dressed on the perception of the world of Ein Sof, and as a result, we only feel the “external world” although everything actually takes place inside.
Reality is fixed, but it’s depicted to us in the form of this world. The only difference is in the vagueness, in the dullness of the senses.
Question: How can we sharpen our senses?
Answer: It depends on your sensitivity to others in feeling the other and whether I can feel that he is as important as I am. Therefore it says: “Love thy friend as thyself.”
– From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/14/13, “The Introduction to The Book of Zohar”