A person who’s searching for spiritual development feels as if he is sitting in a basement, in absolute darkness, and he wants to escape from there. Yet he has nowhere to run. He has to bring the Light to the dark basement he is in.
The entire humanity is in that basement, and any attempt to escape will be punished. However, the punishment does not come immediately. It seems as though you receive an opportunity to escape, to come outside, but then a painful blow comes your way. And this goes on until you learn to see the connection between your attempts to escape and the blows.
This is not simple. We are in a global, integral, confined system, where the punishment for your offense does not come right away. In fact, the punishment seems to come from a completely different place. This happens to us so we will gradually discover that the entire universe is a single system, in which we exist eternally.
(From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson)