A question I received: When a spiritual descent comes, I can immediately understand that I have to go through it and submerge myself in it, can I?
My Answer: You are yearning for the corrected state, and only then you fall. Otherwise, if you are trying your best to attain a good state, you won’t be able to discover your egoistical downfall.
A downfall is not an error on the path, but uncovering in oneself an additional new egoism. It is as if you picked up a barbell, gathered all your strength to lift it; lifted 200 pounds; and suddenly it fell! What happened? You suddenly realized that they had added another 2 weights to it, 10 pounds each. This why you faltered and fell; you felt their heaviness.
Now that you experienced the additional weight, you know what you need the strength to overcome. This analogy in spirituality translates to your knowing what you need to rise above, knowing what to ask the force of correction for. You fell with the weight of these added desires, the additional 20 pounds. You felt the weight and heaviness of the additional desires that were revealed to you that opposed your will. Now, you have these new Kelim (spiritual vessels, instruments). If you now ask for additional strength for them, you will be able to lift the 240 pounds.
This means you will not be able to receive the burdening of the heart until you succeed! Only when you succeed, can you receive additional egoistic desire. Of course you will fall. This, however, is a sign of your success! Now you have managed to receive additional strength for correction.
You might ask: So, when do I succeed if every time I get up I am immediately thrown right back down? Why not let me spend a little time enjoying my achievements? Why don’t I receive the medal I deserve? Then I can continue. That isn’t possible. This is done on purpose, so that you learn to enjoy the work itself and see a reward in the fact that you were given a chance to give a little more.
From the Evening Zohar Lesson 5/26/10
The Light acts on our will that is similar to Him. This measure of congruence of the will to the Light is called faith. If I read Kabbalistic sources with a purely egoistical desire and purpose, they will not affect me.
The point in the heart is a broken point; it draws a person to spirituality but only because he feels bad. He isn’t yearning, yet, for the “Good that does Good,” for bestowal and love. So far, he merely isn’t satisfied with earthly life: The future is dark and life has no purpose. These simply provide an egoistic motivation for seeking spirituality. But the Light cannot affect such desire even from afar. It acts on the will according to the measure of faith in it, that is, it acts only on one’s yearning for bestowal.
Faith is tested by a person’s devotion to the path and purpose. One must check the purity of his intention to attain the quality of bestowal. Faith itself, the attribute of bestowal, is received from Above as a reward for efforts made. When one is deserving, then the “night” will end and he will see “the light of day.”
If a person uses Torah for his own egoistical fulfillment, it becomes the potion of death for him. This means he is not only “spiritually dead,” but also he is “drugged” by death because he thinks that it is spiritual life! He raises his egoism even higher and cannot believe that he is living in deception.
Exit into the truth: If we do everything together, if everyone receives from all others such forces that one can easily demand the Surrounding Light (Ohr Makif) to act on him, then the path becomes a wonderful adventure. Just cling on to each other!
If you stay alone, there immediately grows a wall before you. If you unite with the others in order to walk together, the wall immediately falls and spreads itself into a wide highway. There is either a wall or the highway. The choice is to be among friends each moment or not. Everything is done by the Upper Light; we must obey only this one condition.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/27/10, Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot
We are created from matter which cannot receive Light. Therefore, the only way for us to exist is to enter Bina, the Creator. Bina works on us and raises us up to Her. Her lower part (AHP) descends to us and seems as darkness, which feels undesirable to us. She shines on us with the Light of Bestowal and Mercy (Hassadim), but since we don’t wish to bestow, we perceive it as darkness.
We prepare ourselves to view bestowal as desirable with the help of the Surrounding Light when we work together. Gradually we begin to recognize that there is the Upper One within us. We realize that He is truly the Upper One and we begin to value the quality of bestowal as spiritual. Then, we are prepared to unite with Him and annul ourselves. We are willing to forget about our egoistic desires and attach ourselves to the Upper One like a drop of semen in a mother’s womb.
Then, the Upper One can bring us up; can raise our desires that are ready to adhere to Him. Up where? In the spiritual world is there some other place, higher or lower? No; it is here within us where He begins to cultivate the qualities of bestowal more and more.
This means He is raising us up because we view the quality of bestowal as ascension. Every step we complete results from our more closely uniting with one another and building a system from ourselves that we can present to the Upper One for correction. In this way, we ascend to Bina, and the Light contained in Her expands downward to this world.
Thus, the desires that attach to the Upper One are now not only able to annul themselves, but also to receive and realize the quality of bestowal, to absorb and use it. Obviously, the will remains as receiving, but it changes its intent. So does our world, which is created from the will to receive pleasure; it also begins to gradually receive Effulgence from Above—since the will to bestow appears in it.
From the 2nd Part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/10, “The Preface to the Sulam Commentary”