“An old allegory depicts the world as a small island in the middle of the sea, inhabited by birds.
To provide them with sustenance, the kingdom has arranged an intricate network of channels through which the necessary food and water flow.
So long as the birds behave as they are endowed by nature to behave, singing and soaring through the air, the flow of plenty proceeds without interruption.
But when the birds begin to play in the dirt and peck at the channels, the channels get blocked or broken and cease to function properly, and the flow from above is disrupted.
So, too, does the island that is our world depend on the proper functioning of the Sefirot.
And when they are interfered with, the system is disrupted, and the disrupting factors themselves suffer the consequences.”
From The Thirteen Petalled Rose, pp. 40–41, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz