Aspiration separates us from the Creator, makes us similar to Him, and turns us into human beings. After all, the Creator created the desire as existence from absence and nothing else. The creature is expected to develop and add its own desire to the Light, bestowal, unity, and love, which are properties inherent to the Creator.
The desire that the creature adds to what was given to it by nature (the desire to enjoy, to know) is called aspiration (Hishtokekut). It is precisely it that we refer to as “I”: I attain my desire. My independence over my desire that was created by the Creator is measured according to this aspiration: What do I aspire to, how do I develop my aspiration, where do I get the additional desire?
In order to help the creature, the Creator broke the unified desire that He had created into many pieces, and He included His spark, His quality, which is referred to as a point in the heart, in every piece. This is why everyone has the desire to receive pleasure and a spark of aspiration toward something higher. And since both come from the Creator, we cannot say that “I” exist.
So where can I get the additional desire, according to which we exist at all? I can get it from uniting with other people, when I accept their desires and connect them to myself!
When I do this against my nature, resisting and fighting it, putting my effort into it, and overcoming obstacles, then the connected parts (the close and the far) are considered to be created by me. They strengthen my desire for the goal and are called aspiration. Only according to the volume of aspiration can we say that I exist, that I am independent, and that I can feel things because I create this desire by adding another’s deficiency to me.
This is why it is the aspiration and not just the desire that comprise the Kli of reception of pleasure and revelation of the Creator. Desire is matter created by the Creator, while aspiration in a form of matter that I add: whatever I want from this matter, on which level, and in what volume.
From Kabbalah for Beginners, “Yearning” 11/15/10
The Two-Faced “I”