A question I received: How does the Upper bring the lower one up the steps of the spiritual ladder?
My Answer: The Upper degree switches into his lesser state (Katnut) and descends to the lower presenting himself to the lower as smaller. We do the same thing when playing with children. We want the children to have success, so we lower ourselves and let them win the game. We lower ourselves to establish a connection with them.
This is like a mentor, who acts among children just as if he is like them; then gradually he begins to change, to model more desirable behavior, so that the children could see him as an example of a corrected child. First, the mentor displays an example as a child, not as an adult, so that the children can relate to him. We know that children learn more readily from other children than from adults.
This is because the environment impacts people only if the people in it are equal. Friends must be on equal terms; then they can serve as an example to each other. If I feel that a friend is greater than I am, he is not my friend anymore. I learn from the same level I am on.
It is the same way in the spiritual world. The Upper descends to the lower and becomes identical to the lower in everything, and by doing so, he unites with the lower. The lower doesn’t annul himself before the higher one since they are seemingly equal; hence, they unite on equal terms. After this, the Upper one can ascend and bring the lower one up with him.
In order to ascend with the Upper one, the lower one must annul his receiving desires (AHP), but remain united with the Upper one as an equal, in the bestowing desires (Galgalta ve-Eynaim). Thus, when the Upper one descends to me, I will not perceive him as higher because he has become the same as me. If a 7 foot tall adult plays with a child while matching the child’s emotions and behaviors, the child won’t perceive him as a tall adult. The child thinks that the adult is just like him. Without this similarity from the child’s perspective, there wouldn’t be any contact between them!
The truth is that I cannot unite with anyone if he isn’t on the same step with me, at the same level, in the same qualities, no more, no less. Then there can be a connection between us, but not before!
This is like in high frequency waves, if you step slightly beyond the limits of the frequency, the connection disappears. It is the same for the spiritual connection: We have to attain absolutely precise congruence, not more, not less, at the same level. Otherwise, there will be no contact; one will not penetrate the other.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/25/10, “Preface to the Sulam Commentary”
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