A person thinks that when his life is over, he will receive a reward in the world to come for having behaved well and being faithful, as well as for having carried out all that was demanded of him by his religion. But what can he receive if he did not prepare his desires for it?
His desires are for the pleasures of this world – pleasures that don’t exist in the spiritual world! A person’s primitive imagination made him decide to collect as much “stuff” as possible from this world in order to take it all with him to the grave.
If we think of the Creator as a king-like character for whom we must work, then we are like the religious people. The Creator is within us; He is the quality of bestowal and love which we have to acquire here and now.
Therefore, we have to work on ourselves in order to correct ourselves, rather than to be rewarded or punished by some contrived powerful ruler. This is Kabbalah’s difference from religion, and the reason why we need the force of correction – the force of Kabbalah, or the Torah. It’s because its Light returns us to the Source – the Creator.