Why Did the Creator Place the Burden of Creation Upon Us?
It turns out that the purpose of the whole Creation is that the lowly [existing in egoism and thus restricted and transient] creatures will be able, by keeping Torah and Mitzvot [revealing their egoism as the only evil and correcting it by studying Kabbalah], to rise ever upward [by acquiring increasingly bigger properties of bestowal and love instead of reception and hatred], ever developing, until they are rewarded with Dvekut [equivalence of form] with their Creator.
But here come the Kabbalists and ask, why were we not created in this high stature of adhesion to begin with? What reason did He have to burden us with this labor of Creation and the Torah and the Mitzvot? And they replied: “He who eats that which is not his, is afraid to look at his face.” This means that one who eats and enjoys the labor of one’s friend is afraid to look at his face because by doing so [receiving free of charge] he becomes increasingly humiliated [feels as though he doesn’t exist in the world’] until he loses his human [similar to the Creator] form. And because that which extends from His wholeness cannot be deficient [otherwise the Creator cannot become revealed to the created beings as being imperfect], He gave us room to earn our exaltedness [become equal to Him] by ourselves, through our work in Torah and Mitzvot [discovering our egoism and correcting it].
– Baal HaSulam, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah),” Items 6 and 7