Q: How did R’ Nachman write Likutey Moharan? Was it through prophecy, or based on the teachings of the Zohar, or something else?
A: Rebbe Nachman’s teachings are based on the Written Torah (TaNaKh) and Oral Torah (Talmud, Midrash, Zohar), both the revealed and esoteric (Zohar, Kabbalah).
The combination of Rebbe Nachman’s genius and tremendous purity (kedushah v’taharah) is so powerful and astounding, that is does often seem that the Rebbe’s writings are prophetic. In fact, many of us Breslovers often feel that the Rebbe’s teachings are “personal letters” written just for us. I will be so bold as to say, that I, personally, think that Rebbe Nachman’s teachings were written with ruach hakodesh, a low-grade form of Divine communication, somewhat akin to prophecy. (I will also say, any genuine chassid will say the same of his rebbe’s teachings!)