Answer: The only difference between corporeal and spiritual pleasure lies in which desires I experience it: egoistic or altruistic. My egoistic desires of reception are limited. They gradually reveal their own emptiness, and I am forced to seek greater pleasure. As a result, I am never satisfied.
I have tried to fill myself with pleasure but failed since pleasure is a “plus” and I am a “minus.” When I attempt to receive pleasure, I only gain temporary satisfaction which resembles a “short-circuit” as it quickly dissolves leaving me empty again, and then the feeling of emptiness is twice as great. It has doubled because the pleasure I so eagerly sought has gone, forming the sensation of emptiness in addition to the emptiness I had felt before. So it follows that I’m always at a double loss. As a result, we evolve in our world from generation to generation, augmenting our empty egoism.
Yet nowadays a new problem arises. The ego that once grew, bringing me a sensation of emptiness, stopped growing. Logically this should have made me content, but I feel that I have nothing to gain pleasure from now. This new problem is worse than the previous one since there is no hope for fulfillment. Beside that, I feel that egoism is integral, representing the sum of all seven billion individual, egoistic desires. I discover that I depend on everyone, and everyone depends on me. For this reason, I find that I don’t know what to do with it, which drives me to extreme desperation.
During this period, a person might find solace in drugs, which only postpones the realization of the total crisis for some time. Yet, even this “solution” expires for it makes a person aware that this path is false, and that to disconnect from life means to agree with death. But nature does not allow it! We are faced with the question, “What to do next?” And the answer lies in transitioning from “pleasure from reception” to “pleasure from bestowal.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/6/10, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”