If I decide to attain bestowal, I have to begin studying and using all the resources at my disposal to attain this quality. But all of this is necessary only to help me arrive at the conclusion that I don’t want to bestow. I don’t want for the mere sake of bestowal; I can agree to study only on one condition – that I will receive something in exchange. To study only in order to bestow onto others and to connect their desires to me is not something I’m capable of.
And yet I continue to study thinking that maybe something else will come of it. Meanwhile, the Surrounding Light influences me and others around me, persuading me that bestowal and spirituality are, in fact, wonderful. I discover that spirituality is bestowal, but I still don’t want that kind of spirituality. This realization is great because it means that I have already achieved the “state of concealment” (either single or double). Thus, I am already on the path of spiritual advancement.
The first thing I need is the feeling that I don’t want to bestow and love, and that I reject spirituality. At that point two people exist within me. One says: “You must move towards the Creator, otherwise what will happen to you?” And the other one says: “Why do you need all of this? What will you get out of it?” An inner struggle ensues and I begin to sense darkness. The whole world changes depending on whether I think one way or the other, since the whole world is inside me.
The state of concealment begins when the property of bestowal is hidden from me. I am the one who desires to conceal it; I am the one who doesn’t want it. Yet, at the same time I do want it, despite the fact that it is concealed from me. In other words, I am already split in two: I strive towards bestowal and at the same time, I don’t want it. This condition is revealed to me as darkness relative to the Light, and one cannot exist without the other.
So, do I want to bestow or not? Well, I wouldn’t mind to bestow, but I don’t really have a desire for this. What can I do if this is the way I was created? This is what we call “concealment,” “imperfect work,” or the state of Lo Lishma. It is when I am ready to give something, some small part of me to the Creator or to others, but I must get something in return. Otherwise, I cannot do anything.
Concealment cannot exist without revelation, and it is a special state of being. Kabbalists write that if we only knew the value of concealment, we would appreciate this state called Lo Lishma. We think that “Lishma” is a very high state, whereas “Lo Lishma” is insignificant. But that’s not true, because Lo Lishma is also a very big and important state of being, and let us hope that all of us will reach it.