The following maamar, comprising chapters 16-20 (i.e., Part IV) of the series of discourses with the general title of Basi LeGani, was released in advance for study on Beis Nissan 5710 (1950), in honor of the yahrzeit of the Previos Rebbe's father, the Rebbe RaShaB of Saintly memory

Two very different levels of G‑d's infinite light are represented in the above-quoted teaching of Tikkunei Zohar: " G‑d's infinite light extends upward without bounds and downward without end."

The light that "extends upward without bounds" is a hidden and sealed light that transcends — and will never enter — the realm of descent into worldly revelation.

This is the light referred to in the classic statement: "You are exalted above all the exalted ones, hidden from all the hidden ones."

This light is by nature sealed.

The kind of light that "extends downward without end" can come within the realm of revelation and is related to the worlds.

In general terms, it is a light that is revealed to G‑d Himself (to His Atzmus): within His Essence it is revealed to Himself, so to speak. In this it differs from the former kind of light, which is not revealed even within His Essence, but remains sealed.

These two kinds of light represent two kinds of G‑d's transcendent light (or makkif; lit., "encompassing light"): the transcendent spiritual influence known as or yashar (lit., "direct light"), and the transcendent spiritual influence known as or chozer (lit., "reflected light").

[The term "transcendent" or "encompassing" describes a light too intense to be internalized within a limited recipient; "direct light" signifies light enclothed within creation; "reflected light" signifies light that cannot be enclothed and hence is "reflected" back to its source.]

The makkif of "direct light" is known as the "near makkif," inasmuch as it can become revealed; the makkif of "reflected light" is known as the "distant makkif," because it cannot be revealed.

An analogy from intellectual influence: When a teacher communicates an idea to his student, those [limited] aspects of the idea and their underlying rationale that the student can receive and soundly integrate may be called or pnimi, an internalized light. The profundity that now remains beyond his reach may be described as a light that "encompasses" his mind, impinging upon it in subtle and unseen ways.

Nevertheless, this profundity is close to him: there will come a time when it will become accessible.

In the words of our Sages, "No man understands his Rebbe's teachings in all their depth until the passage of forty years."

His time will come.

Another analogy for this kind of potential closeness: If a person sees or senses that a profound idea lies hidden, still quite unknown, in the subject of his study, then despite his temporary ignorance that idea may be said to be close to him. His wisdom too will ripen one day.

These analogies describe the encompassing light of or yashar: though it encompasses [the limitations of its recipients] it is still close to their inner selves [because it is ultimately accessible]. For a glimmer of it is already perceptible, and that which is hidden will eventually be revealed.

However, there are also concepts that are so profound that they are by definition hidden: no glimmer of them is revealed. Shlomo HaMelech, for example, was granted a sublime understanding that utterly surpasses the grasp of created beings. As it is written, "And G‑d gave wisdom to Shlomo as He had promised him." No aspect of this wisdom was revealed or will ever be revealed.

Wisdom of this order is presented by means of garments that hide it, such as parables and riddles whose apparent superficiality is deceptive.

This is true of the parables of Shlomo HaMelech, the depth of which can be gauged in limited measure through the study of the Midrash, i.e., only insofar as it was revealed to our Sages through Ruach HaKodesh, divine inspiration. In the parables themselves, however, one does not detect the light of intellect.

Similarly, the narratives of the Torah embody secrets and sublime mysteries to a higher degree than do the Torah's laws. However, they are not at all recognizable, for the essence of their light is a sealed secret, and is revealed only [as with parables] by means of concealment. Since by nature this light stands apart, even when revealed it remains separate and obscure, something closed off and hidden even from its mashpia, its [intellectual or spiritual] fountainhead. As a rule, intellectual exertion elicits an increase in the revelation of light. But when, in the case of this kind of light, its mashpia applies his intellect to it, though he will in fact experience an enhanced illumination, it will become hidden in his inner essence.

By contrast, in the case of intellectual light which is appropriate to a recipient, even when its mashpia delves deeply into it [without considering how to communicate it], it may be said to be close to the recipient.

Though he will catch only a glimpse of the fresh insights that his teacher has unlocked (and even that glimpse will be attenuated to his measure), light of this kind is by definition close and accessible; it can be drawn downward. Since it is characterized by a thrust towards descent and revelation, the more that is revealed to the mashpia, no matter how deep his independent thinking may be, the more will be drawn down and revealed.

By contrast, the natural thrust of the deeper concepts that are innately sealed from any relation to a recipient, is towards self-concealment.

In the case of such concepts, even when the mashpia applies his intellect to them and masters them, their light remains separate, and becomes hidden in his inner essence.