The spiritual world is hidden from us. Hence, we cannot understand how to attune our tools of perception correctly; we simply do not know what it is we must perceive. For this reason Kabbalists come to our aid and advise as to how we should position our tools of perception so we can perceive the Upper Light.
Kabbalists say that the Upper Light is abstract. However, that does not mean that any form that human beings might create will enable them to perceive anything of the Upper Light. Perception of the Upper Light is possible only when one adjusts one's Kli to one of the 125 Forms intended for just that purpose.
Thus, the spiritual ladder consists of 125 degrees. Each degree designates a more advanced form of receiving Light in one's Kli. Kabbalists describe how we can locate these forms, study them, and apply them to our Matter. They also teach us how to design our will to receive in such a way that we can "present ourselves" before the Upper Light in forms that are "suitable" for the Light.
There is a similar phenomenon that manifests itself on the corporeal level. Many researchers claim that humankind cannot perceive an external phenomenon as long as it is not present in a similar form in that person's mind.
The film, What the Bleep Do We Know?, offers a good example of that concept with a story about the Native Americans who watched Columbus' armada arrive at the shores of America. The story has it that the Indians standing at the seashore couldn't actually see the ships that anchored not far from land. The shaman, an imaginative man, was troubled by the unusual movement of the ripples without any apparent reason. For many hours he gazed at the water trying to figure out what was causing the ripples.
Through his efforts, he finally managed to discern the shape of the body that produced the ripples and thus was able to see the ships. Subsequently, he described what he saw to his tribesmen, and because they trusted him, they, too, succeeded in creating the form of the ships, until they all saw Columbus' ships.
Kabbalah asserts that nothing exists outside the human mind. Creating the model of the ship in the shaman's mind built the picture of the ship for him, which the shaman thought existed outside of him. Actually, a ship does not exist on the outside whatsoever; it is only we who are conditioned to relate to reality as independently existing in an outside reality in which we are making daily discoveries. Kabbalists, however, say that all innovations are merely new models inside our own minds.
Once we acquire a true vision of reality, we feel that the previous vision was completely fictitious, like a dream. If we want to perceive the actual reality, we must build real models within us. This is the meaning of the ascent from the fictitious world to the real world. Indeed, this is why humankind was given the wisdom of Kabbalah, and what evokes these models within us.
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