Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 19: Egoistic reception of pleasure carries a drop of lethal poison, and thus we increase our debt two-fold… As a result this takes the last remaining spark of life away from a person, as if he is met by “the angel of death, bearing a drop of poison on the edge of a sword, and the person obediently opens up his mouth, swallows the drop, and dies.”
We are creatures, and we have to turn the Creator’s pleasure into our pleasure for the sake of bestowal in order to enjoy twice as much: both from the pleasure and from adhesion with the Creator. It will be sweet and true simultaneously. However, in the meantime, we are acting in the completely opposite way and are receiving pleasure from double falsehood. We are “opening up our wound” and enjoying the fact that we are bringing ourselves closer to death!
This is directly counter to true life since our inner system must work opposite to the way it currently does. We must change to receiving, but for the sake of bestowal; yet, with us everything happens in the opposite way.
It turns out that a person manages to enjoy his suffering and even to be proud of it. The power of all the impure forces is built upon this. However, spirituality begins precisely above this.
Otherwise, the angel of death eventually comes and takes the last drop of life from a person. Why does a person die? It is because he severs the connection with the Light, with bestowal, which was given to him by nature, like a small fire that, according to the plan of creation, he must develop into greater bestowal, eternal life, a great fire, Light. However, we squander this spark on egoistic life and we die instead of developing it and acquiring true life.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/18/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”