There are two sequential corrections: 1. Return through fear and 2. Return through love. On the first phase I work against my egoism, building my attitude to the neighbor above it. No matter how great my egoism is and what pleasures are revealed in it, I am always above it.
My attitude to the neighbor is measured by my ability to ascend over a certain degree of egoism. That is why this correction is called “return through fear.” I ascend up the ladder by which my soul descended and thus I return to the World of Infinity. It happens through fear or awe because my egoistic desire rages inside me and knocks me off the path, while I build up my ascent in fear, worry, and opposition to it.
On the second phase, the return through love, my egoism no longer resists it. I don’t fight fears of falling into it, but on the contrary, I acquire the desires of my neighbor as if they were my own. This work also takes place above the desires, but they are the desires of others which I perceive as my own.
For example, you used to hate others, but now you discover that they are even closer to you than your very self, like your children for whose sake you would be willing to give up your entire life. You once again discern that it is your egoism speaking inside you, although it is now aimed at others. That’s because they are you, and even more than that.
Thus, the process of correction always takes place above the desire for pleasure. The discernment happens only with regard to the types of the desire: yours or “others.” We always work by way of faith (bestowal) above knowledge (reception).
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/7/10, “The Righteous Feels Good and the Righteous Feels Bad”