A “friend” is not just any person; he is a companion who stands opposite me. I gradually acquire love for him in order to reach love of the Creator. This formula is rigid and doesn’t change. First I appeal to the Creator, and in order to connect to Him, I have to unite with my friends.
I labor in love of friends because that is the necessary condition for attaining love of the Creator. A friend and the Creator are linked because with respect to my desire to receive pleasure, they are equal. The Creator and my friend are equally distant from me, and I relate to them in the same way.
The Creator is pure bestowal. I hate my friend as much as I hate bestowal, and therefore, I reject them both. If I don’t achieve this attitude and view my friend and the Creator in the same way, then I can’t work properly. It is similar to aligning one’s eye to aim at a target. If my aim is more toward the Creator, or more toward my friend, then it is no longer precise. I must aim precisely at the target, so that he who aspires for the Creator (Isra-El – straight to the Creator) and the Creator (the Light of correction) merge into a single whole.
A Kabbalistic group is a spiritual vessel, a system of souls, while the Creator is the One who fills it. The vessel becomes just like the Light. Then I realize that it is one and the same since there is no Light without a vessel (Kli).
Everything merges into one. The group becomes the model of the Creator for me. In my attitude toward them, I learn how to relate to Him, whether to love or to hate him. Certainly the only way to relate to the Creator is with bestowal. So, I am presented with the group to test how much I can bestow. My ego is what creates the distance, the disparity of form between the Creator and the group. If it weren’t for my ego, then there would be no difference between them.
So why do I feel a difference now? It is only because I receive pleasure from the Creator and nothing from the group. That is the only difference.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/10, Article, “What does ‘Love Thyself as Thy Friend’ Give Us?”