If a person begins to work directly with his desire to enjoy, trying to suppress it or, vice versa, to increase it, then the process takes place within the boundaries of this world. There are many people who are willing to suppress their desires for the sake of something more important – for example, because they want to lose weight, keep a healthy lifestyle, or attain success in a sport.
In these cases, the bigger egoistic desire subjugates the smaller desires. Everything depends on one’s decision. What is more important for me?
The society and advertisements can imbue us with values that are so artificial that they will force us to act contrary to our natural, egoistic desires to enjoy life. That’s because man’s greatest desire is to merit society’s approval, as this is a desire that comes from the connection among the souls.
Many people cause their egoistic desire to grow on their own or under society’s influence: they struggle to win wealth, fame and power, without setting limits for themselves and trying to fulfill themselves directly. Both approaches are egoistic and common in our world. Even what we call “mercy” or “empathy” is also a form of reception in disguise.
If, however, a person wants to ascend to the level of true bestowal, then he has to find a way to be sure that he isn’t lying to himself, that he isn’t remaining inside the same egoism as usual. This is why he is brought to a society whose objective is to attain bestowal and unity with each other, but in addition, this is done for the sake of revealing and uniting with the Creator.
In order to do this, one needs the Upper Light, because an external force, the force of the Light, is needed to carry out the work against one’s egoism. In this case, I don’t choose which desire is more important to me, to eat well or to lose weight, but I simply decide that my egoism won’t receive anything at all. My only reward will be the quality of bestowal that I acquire.
(From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson)