My Answer: Baal HaSulam explains this through the example of a guest and a host in “The Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah.” The guest comes to the host. The host sets the table for the guest because he loves the guest with selfless love, without any calculations, and the host really wants to give pleasure to the guest.
The guest feels how much the host loves and wants to give pleasure to him. The host knows ahead of time and prepares exactly the dishes the guest likes in precisely the proportions the guest would like. He has done everything exactly according to the guest’s desires – in quantity and in quality. Realizing this, the guest feels shame. What is he to do?
The guest refuses to accept the food, saying “I don’t wish to be a receiver! I wish to be a giver like you! You have shown me your love, and I feel it. How can I give the same in return to you?” The guest continues to think and recognizes, “But if I don’t receive anything, I am disregarding the host. Is this my response to his love?! What can I do?”
Accordingly, he finds the solution: “I will receive only for the sake of the host. Since the host has a desire to give, and he wants me to receive, I first need to enter his desire, so that this will become the goal for me. If I enter his desire, feel how much he loves me, how much he wants me to receive, and how much he suffers from the fact that I don’t accept his refreshments; I can work with his desire and think only about how to fulfill him. While I am inside his desire, striving to fulfill only him, I discover an opportunity to do this in me – by accepting the food and receiving pleasure from it. After all, I can bring delight to the host only through the pleasure that I feel. I must receive delight immeasurably, since I feel how I can fulfill him through this.”
In this manner everyone works with the desires of the other. The host thinks about how the guest will receive from him and experience pleasure. And the guest thinks about how he will receive and experience pleasure in order to fulfill the host’s desire to give him pleasure. Each uses his desires to fulfill the other’s desires. Meanwhile, each gains double, and even more than that; each comes out of himself, and in doing so, he feels infinite and boundless pleasure.
This patent seems very simple. However, if we begin to think about it, it appears difficult to achieve. Yet ideally if we understand it, we see this is our only opportunity to fulfill ourselves with infinite pleasure, since I use the desires of others outside of myself.
The Creator is an infinite desire, and I am merely a little point. However, if I begin to adjoin and connect to Him, I thereby acquire an infinite desire which I can fulfill. I begin to feel how I fulfill Him, and I feel how this desire is experiencing pleasure. It turns out that by treating Him with love, I receive infinite desires, an infinite life, eternity, and perfection. This happens if I treat the Creator as the goal which I must fulfill. Therefore, the science of Kabbalah is truly a science of reception (the word “Kabbalah” in Hebrew means “reception”), a science of how to receive and how to delight without limitation.