The Zohar: Mother Nature’s Guide to Spirituality
Mother Nature has prepared a unique path for our development. Just like parents help a baby develop in this world, The Book of Zohar teaches us how to develop in the spiritual world
A baby is born into this world tabula rasa (Latin for blank slate), without any knowledge aside from its ingrained genetic predisposition. Then he begins to instinctively acquire impressions from his surroundings and to distinguish between warm and cold, dark and light, and to recognize different sounds: mom and dad’s voices, footsteps approaching, silence, and so on. Gradually, he begins reacting to stimuli such as ambiance, sounds, colors, and light; and eventually he starts reacting to its mother’s actions with laughs or cries.
Soon, a baby begins to actively explore the world, and then he is unstoppable. He grabs everything and tastes it in his little mouth, crawls everywhere, demands to touch and feel everything, and opens his small, curious eyes trying to grasp whatever his mother tells him. A baby doesn’t understand these things, but he gazes at his mother and radiates happiness.
As the growth continues, the baby begins to differentiate various feelings in each of his senses. Although he does not have full awareness of what is happening, his naturally embedded instincts make him continually more familiar with the world. Through all these experiences a baby begins to think and to build connections between bits and pieces. He begins to understand and have greater demands.
In our world, children develop through the impressions they receive from outside influences, initially from their parents and older siblings, and then from the models of behavior that adults demonstrate and explain. Adults have always created various means of development for their children, such as games, toys, playgrounds, music, and books. Children naturally explore their small worlds by taking apart and reassembling their toys in an attempt to understand them. By engaging in these activities, the world begins to take form and make sense.
Mother Nature created an innate program for parents and society to ensure that each new generation will grow up prepared for the demands of the world we live in. We are instinctively driven to teach our children everything that we have learned.
However, unlike animals, we cannot give our children, right after birth, all the necessary information, education, and knowledge for living in our world. We cannot help them develop the entire spectrum of feelings and reactions all at once. It can only occur gradually, through a step-by-step process. Our children accumulate greater feelings, impressions, and knowledge as they slowly go through their maturation. Through the course of 20 years or longer, children develop into adults.
A similar process happens when we are born tabula rasa into a different dimension of our reality—the spiritual world. We cannot comprehend anything beyond our routine physical reality, and thus, we need the spiritual father and mother, surroundings, games, toys, teachers, education, and explanations to help us become acquainted with and develop in the spiritual world.
The great 20th century Kabbalist Baal HaSulam writes in the article “Body and Soul,” that as no person can exist without information about the world he lives in, so a soul cannot exist in the spiritual world without receiving information about it. Our spiritual advancement cannot occur without receiving various new impressions. Initially, we may not understand them; thus, we may feel as an infant, yet these sensations will “fill us up” and cause us to grow.
The Book of Zohar affects us exactly like a baby is affected by external influences; that is why this book is very special. When a person reads The Zohar, it fills him with different impressions from the unknown spiritual world regardless of his understanding it. As we study The Zohar, we gradually receive impressions from it, which permeate us and ensure our advancement. This influence happens so naturally that while reading The Zohar, all we have to do is follow the text and imagine ourselves traveling inside our inner world that the book is describing.
We can even read The Zohar without explanations, but just with a desire to attain new feelings and knowledge contained therein, like babies trying to explore the world with their wide open eyes. If we open up our feelings, hearts, and minds with the intention to absorb what the book tells us, then we will advance regardless of any mental, intellectual, or physical abilities.
Zohar is translated as “Brilliance” or “Radiance.” We only need to let its radiant Light influence us. We thus become witnesses to the exciting process of our own inner transformation.