In his articles Baal HaSulam usually uses the words “religious” and “secular” in a different sense than what is commonplace in our world. In the terminology of Kabbalah, “religious” is not the traditional word signifying one of the world religions such as Judaism, Christianity, or all other beliefs.
Rather, a religious person is someone who lives in this world and desires to correct himself, to ascend into the spiritual world until the World of Infinity, until equivalence with the Creator. This is the purpose of every person in this world, and Baal HaSulam explains it in the article, “The Essence of Religion and It’s Purpose.” However, sometimes he really does refer to traditional religion, wishing to explain some aspects of it. Therefore, we should always look at the context to find the right way to interpret his words.
“Secular” people are those who do not work on their correction, but do everything only for the sake of a reward in this world or the world to come. A religious person is someone who corrects himself until reaching the level of the Creator. To do this he uses the “true Torah,” meaning the science of Kabbalah. It is written, “I created the evil inclination and the Torah as a means for its correction.”
First one must reveal the egoistic inclination inside him, and only then he will need the “Torah” for correcting it because this is his only purpose. Then the Light you reveal during the right study will return you to its Source, meaning that your evil inclination will turn into a good one.
Meanwhile, the desire itself does not change. Only the intention changes from “for my own sake” to “for the benefit of the neighbor.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/3/10, “Exile and Redemption”