“Love your friend as yourself; this is a great rule (also collective) in the Torah.”
The word “collective” points to a sum of elements that, when put together, form that collective. Hence, if we say about the verse, “Love your friend as yourself,” that “it is a great rule (collective) in the Torah,” we must understand that all other 612 corrections of the will to receive are the details of the correction, “Love your friend as yourself.”
No correction in all 612 corrections of the desires exceeds the correction of “Love your friend as yourself,” since they interpret and enable us to keep the love of others. After all, the whole of the Kabbalah is but a commentary on this rule.
The Creator’s goal in creating man is to be revealed to man. This disclosure provides man with a pleasant fulfillment that elevates him to know and to cling to the Creator. Therefore, the purpose of creation is that, through corrections, man will evolve to the point of adhesion with (similarity to) the Creator.
Why didn’t the Creator make us in adhesion with Him to begin with? Why must we correct ourselves? It is so because a receiver feels degraded. For this reason, we have been granted the possibility of correction by which we gain the reward by ourselves. In that state, all the pleasures that come from the Creator—included in the adhesion—are our own, and we can receive them in full.
The sublimity and the adhesion that is promised us by correcting ourselves lies in equalizing our form with the Creator’s. At that time, all the pleasures and perfection naturally extend to us and spread within us. This is because equivalence with our Root is experienced as pleasure, and what is not in our Root is intolerable to us.
A person is born with so much inherent self-love that all of one’s movements are only for oneself, without any bestowal upon another. This is what makes us remote from the Creator, who is entirely about bestowal. This is why man is in lowliness.
Yet, through the natural power in the study of Kabbalah, we evolve until we lose all of our self-love and acquire the intention to only bestow, until even what we must receive is received only so we will be able to give.
There is work between man and God, and work between man and man. However, both are intended to bring us to the goal—adhesion. In fact, the two are one: if a person acts with the intention to give, without drawing self-benefit, he will feel no difference between working to love one’s friend and working to love the Creator.
It is a natural law that any movement one makes, even towards loving others, is supported by the reward that’s to be received. Thus, one cannot do even a single act of love toward another without a reward that will return to him. This is why such actions are not considered “love of man.” Only if a person uses the Light to correct himself to being a giver does he gradually exit his nature and acquires the nature of love of others.
However, prior to the corrections of bestowal, one will necessarily feel any act toward another as an empty thing, whether it is toward the Creator or toward another person.
The best means to bring one to the goal is an act of giving to one’s friend. This is so because man’s actions toward the Creator are fixed, and place no demands. However, acts among friends are inconstant and are always demanding. This is why these actions are the safest way to achieving the goal of bestowal.
In summation: the heart of corrections is in love of others. All of man’s corrected desires unite towards the final goal—“Love your friend as yourself”—after which one is immediately awarded adhesion with the Creator.
This is an abbreviated version of the article “The Revelation of Godliness (Matan Torah)” by Baal HaSulam