Question: We know from experience that there are ascents and descents on the spiritual path. What can help me avoid running away from the “battlefield”?
Answer: “Running away” does not mean falling off the face of the earth. Instead, you continue to sit at the lessons, you are friendly and good-natured toward your friends, you carry out all the rules of the group, take part in the duties, and pay Maaser, but in essence you have escaped to another place a long time ago with your thoughts and feelings. Or maybe the habit of being in the group has become second nature for you. This is running away.
You are in the right place physically, yet we don’t assess things by bodies, but by desires and intentions, which may have withdrawn far, far away a long time ago. And that means you are not here. In other words, you do not apply your mind and feeling, desires and thoughts during the study in order to merit the Light that Reforms. So it turns out that you have escaped.
You sit here for several years wearing out your pants, and later you ask, “So where’s my reward?” That means your egoistic notions about reward have not changed one bit.
Therefore, a person has to check: Is he escaping or not? This work has to be done ceaselessly, every moment. As Baal HaSulam writes in Item 18 of the “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot,” it’s important not to get distracted from the most important thing: the Light that Reforms, which is concealed in the Torah.
First and foremost, this has to be done during the study. Even if a person has prepared, he might be running away from the goal in his thoughts at the lesson. If you kept the intention for five minutes and then lost it, then all three hours were wasted.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/7/11, Writings of Rabash