One’s work must be as far from the body as possible. We can discern different stages in the work:
• First a person aspires only for fulfillment, whether in this world or in the world to come.
• Then, besides thinking about the fulfillment itself, he starts to think about “who is he dealing with,” who does this fulfillment depend on? He then begins to connect the fulfillment with the source of fulfillment, the Giver. He starts to have an attitude toward the Giver because the fulfillment depends on Him.
• At the next stage a person starts to respect the Giver for the fact that he is Giving, for His quality of being Giving, rather than for the pleasure that he receives from Him.
That is when he reaches an inner divide: On one hand he feels that fulfillment is important, but on the other he aspires to become similar to the Giver. Is the fulfillment important because it gives him energy for work, or because of the fulfillment itself? Where exactly does he get his energy and what is his goal: fulfillment or a connection with the Giver?
In this manner he gradually reaches a state of thinking only about equivalence of form between him and the Creator. However, this is also not so simple. Equivalence of form is not the same as the desire to give pleasure to the Giver. The aspiration to reach equivalence of form still involves a consideration for oneself. Even though I desire to give, to delight someone else, and to love, it is still something that I want; I am present in this consideration.
Yet, isn’t the same thing true for giving pleasure: Won’t I be giving it? Or perhaps there is someone who will do it better than me? How well can I do it without receiving anything in return?
We see that the work involves many levels. It encompasses five entire worlds where a person reassesses his entire motivation and principles: For what sake is he willing to make efforts? What fulfills him, and what is his attitude to the Giver? This is what causes his state to change and helps him rise from one world to the next.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/5/10, Writings of Rabash