The prohibition against revealing the secrets of Kabbalah stems from the concern that disdain for Kabbalah may arise. Everything unknown elicits respect and is perceived as something valuable. Such is the nature of human beings: A poor person prizes a penny, but once he comes to possess a million, he prizes the million no longer, but seeks two million, and so forth.
The same pattern may be observed in science: the unknown elicits respect and is considered valuable, but once it becomes known and understood, is no longer valued. Then, new unknown objects take the place of the previous objects and become objectives to be pursued.
For this reason, the secrets of Kabbalah cannot be revealed to the masses, because once they grasp them, they will grow to disdain Kabbalah.
The Unlimited Nature of Spiritual Knowledge
But the secrets of Kabbalah may be revealed to Kabbalists because they seek to expand their knowledge, just as the scientists of this world do.
Because they do not value their knowledge, that fact in itself prompts them to pursue the understanding of that which is still unknown. Thus, the entire world is created for those who seek to grasp the mysteries of the Creator. Those who sense and grasp the Upper Light of Life that emanates from the Creator (Ohr Hochma) nevertheless do not grasp the Creator, or His Essence, in the process.
But this is not true of those who grasp higher spiritual levels. Those who perceive the spiritual levels and the Light particular to those levels not only perceive the Light, but grasp the Creator. Kabbalists cannot attain even the lowest spiritual level if they do not grasp the Creator and His qualities in relation to us that pertain to that particular spiritual level.
“Pure” and “Impure” Perception Of The Creator
In our world, we come to understand our friends according to their actions, both toward us and toward others. After we are familiar with an individual’s various qualities, such as kindness, envy, anger, willingness to compromise and so on, we can assert that we “know” that individual.
Similarly, after a Kabbalist grasps all actions and the Divine manifestation in those actions, the Creator is revealed to the Kabbalist by means of Light, in a completely comprehensible way. If the spiritual levels and the Light emanating from them do not carry with them the possibility of perceiving the Creator “Himself,” then we consider them impure. (“Himself” implies, just as in our world, that we gain an impression of one through one’s actions and do not feel the urge to find out anything else. After all, that which we cannot perceive at all does not elicit in us an interest or a need to be perceived).
Impure forces such as klipa and Sitra Achra, are the forces that dominate us, preventing us from delighting in every pleasure that comes to us to satisfy us with the little that we experience. In other words, these forces prompt us to be satisfied with the knowledge that we already possess, to be content with the peel (klipa) while leaving the actual “fruit” aside.
Therefore, our intellects cannot understand the purpose of working for the sake of the Creator, as the interference caused by impure forces does not allow us to understand the hidden meaning of Kabbalah.
Spiritual Exile Due To Egoism’s Rule
In a spiritual object, the Light that fills its top half, from the Rosh (head) to the Tabur (Navel), is called “the past,” while the light that fills its bottom half is called “the present.” The Surrounding Light that did not yet enter the object, but is still awaiting its turn to be revealed is called “the future.”
If one has fallen spiritually and the egoistic desires have increased, then the importance of the spiritual decreases in that person’s eyes.
But a spiritual decline is sent from Above for a purpose: to impart to one the understanding that one is still in spiritual exile; this should in turn prompt one to pray for redemption.
But we will not find true serenity until we elevate our preordained purpose—the spiritual liberation of ourselves and of all mankind—above all else. Exile is a spiritual concept.
Galut is not the physical enslavement that was experienced by all nations at some point in their history. Galut is the enslavement of each of us by our worst enemy—egoism.
Moreover, this enslavement is so sophisticated that we are not aware of the fact that we are constantly working for that master—that external force that has possessed us and now dictates its own wishes to us.
Only Faith above Reason Liberates Us from Egoism
We, like insane people, do not realize this and strive with all our efforts to carry out all of the ego’s demands. Truly, our state can be likened to that of the mentally ill who perceive imaginary voices either as commands or, worse yet, as true personal desires, and who carry out these commands and desires.
Our Galut is our exile from the spiritual, our inability to be in contact with the Creator and to work for Him alone. Becoming aware of being in this state is a vital precondition to our liberation from it.
At first, the ego is inclined to study Kabbalah and to put forth the effort needed to understand the spiritual, as it sees certain benefits to having spiritual knowledge. However, when we begin to realize all the implications of the real work “for the sake of the Creator,” and when we are forced to ask for our liberation, then we push away such redemption, convincing ourselves that it is impossible to succeed in such work.
Thus, once again, we become the slave of our own reason, that is, we return to the ideals of the material life. Our redemption from such a state can only be found in acting according to faith above reason.