In his article "Exile and Redemption," Baal HaSulam writes that Israel (a person who searches for the Creator) will find no rest among the “other nations” (desires of this world) until the following takes place within him: “And from there you shall crave the Creator, and you shall find Him, for you shall look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Until you have reached such a request, you have no chance of escaping Egypt for it is only with a ripe desire that you will gain your freedom. Your own desires to remain in Egypt are the guards that are keeping you there.
This is why the 10 Egyptian plagues are necessary. In order to be born, one must come to feel a great yearning for the next degree, that is, to desire what’s on the outside while still remaining on the inside.
It’s as though there are two totally opposite desires inside of you. They cannot be reconciled, but you come to a point where they almost connect, and that is when the breakthrough happens. The force of the Upper One expels you and hurls you onto the next degree in accordance with the principle, “I labored and I found” (Igati ve Matsati).
Indeed, you have achieved the point of near-contact between your desire in your current state and your subsequent state. In nature it is impossible for the desire to receive to make contact with the desire to bestow. Therefore, when this transition takes place inside you, the Creator completes the work (the serpent’s bite), and you are born on the next degree!
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/2/10, “Exile and Redemption”