Question: Is there a difference in the efforts that I’m required to apply when I fulfill the conditions of the mutual guarantee for the first time and when it happens for the second time?
Answer: The difference is in a sensation of a lack, in that I now intend to achieve the second degree on the basis of the first. The first degree stays in me as a Reshimo (internal record, imprint), a state that I have experienced but could not preserve because of an additional desire to receive. I must now overcome this additional desire in order to attain the next degree. The previous degree helps me to reach the next one.
These are not degrees of a descent, but those of an ascent. In other words, even if I fall, I understand why I have fallen and know what I have to do. Based on my own experience I already know how I managed to reach the state of a mutual guarantee on the first degree, and now I am going to do the same on the following degree.
This is called “a person’s soul teaches him,” meaning that I have gained experience and I know what to do. It is clear to me now that my descents are not states where I simply lose myself. I realize that I am in a descent now and that I lack strength (contact with the Creator).
It is already a realization that I am in darkness, that I have lost touch with the Creator. In other words, the point of awareness of or contact with spirituality is preserved, and that is very important. Now I begin my work from that point instead of a state completely detached from spirituality.
Expressed differently, you do not lose your previous level due to a “sin”; rather, you fall from the first degree because you have been given a desire of a second, higher degree. The magnitude of the uncorrected desire of the second degree, the sin that is being revealed to you now, overshadows the corrected degree, although the first degree stays inside the second in the corrected form.
It is actually an ascent, and not a fall; you have achieved the first degree and have now revealed the second degree, its opposite side. In the AHP of the Upper One, you feel yourself as “fallen,” a “sinner.” However, it is the way you define yourself from the perspective of the corrected first degree.
It exemplifies the saying “a person’s soul teaches him” because I already have a soul. Indeed, the first degree is my soul. Afterward, I will develop a soul of a magnitude that corresponds to the second degree, then the third, and so on.
Each time higher degrees will be emerging inside me; they will conceal the previous degrees to a greater extent, but I will always have the strength, the connection to the Light in order to ascend. I always discern each subsequent degree of an ascent based on the degree which I have already achieved. It means that I will have an opportunity to correctly diagnose what is happening to me and how to draw the Light that Reforms.
My state doesn’t resemble anything more than that of an unconsciousness patient because I am constantly equipped with the force of the mutual guarantee. I already signed its conditions, I am observing them, and I’m in a state in which I do not lose it, although from a personal perspective it may still happen. And then I suddenly realize that I am “drilling a hole in the boat.”
I have not yet drilled it all the way, I have just started, but in a moment it will be complete, and at that precise instant it begins to dawn on me. This is the revelation of egoism of the next degree. However, the previous degree, the bond between friends, remains inside me and is called “one is elevated in sanctity, and never lowered in sanctity.”
Therefore, Baal HaSulam writes that the real stumbling block is attaining the first degree. Until it happens a person feels completely confused.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/11/10, “The Love of the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”