The evolution of the will to receive pleasure is a lengthy process. The whole wisdom of Kabbalah tells us about changes in the will to receive (desire). Baal HaSulam explains that in this process, desire (absence) always precedes fulfillment (existence).
First I feel a lack of something, and then I acquire what is missing; thus, one follows the other. At the same time, the lack, or will to receive (desire), is more important than the fulfillment since desire determines fulfillment.
In spirituality, this law acts exactingly, without concessions and favors, and if the creature doesn’t wish to climb the next step, it will not ascend; it won’t even come close to it. Everything depends on the preparation, based on the feeling of lack and absence of fulfillment. This is why “absence precedes existence.”
According to this law, all levels of creation are developing: from still to vegetative, animate, and speaking. Man, too, is born at the animate level, and then evolves and ascends to its designated level. The same is observed in the development of our inner world. As diverse as humanity is, so are its desires, which are also classified by four degrees: still, vegetative, animate, and speaking (within the human).
What then does a speaking level in humanity look like? They are the people or desires aimed at equivalence with the Creator, at the ascension to and adhesion with Him. In order to gain a strong desire, aspiring to this exalted goal, we must exist on both sides: sometimes rejecting the spiritual world, not comprehending, feeling, or agreeing with it, and other times, yearning for it and seeing something profound, good, and vital in it.
So absence and existence give way to one another, Light and darkness, and only thanks to both of them, the correct, wholesome desire are formed. For this reason, we enter the group with the understanding that there is no other way but in unification. Only among the friends do I grow a new desire to become equivalent to the Creator, and not just appeal to Him egoistically. In the group I absorb the value of bestowal, and at the same time, I discover how intensely I hate it.
If I am not afraid, and am willing to bear the revelation of my own evil, then this is called absence which precedes existence, the preparation to liberation. Having found himself at the mountain of his own hatred, a person demands existence, equivalence to the Creator. And then the reforming Light comes to bring him back to the Source.
From the lesson on 10/22/10, Rabash’s Articles