After the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) and the creature’s decision to only receive the Light through an anti-egoistic screen, we begin to exist in a different nature of reality. The simple law of reception in accordance with the size of desire is not the only law that operates there, the way it was in Malchut of Infinity before the restriction.
After the restriction, it becomes impossible to receive anything in an open desire. This law operates above us, and if there is a desire to receive pleasure below Malchut of Infinity, the Light cannot shine in it because it needs to go through this law, this condition that is imbedded in nature.
Besides, it is not enough to simply do a restriction. The question is what do you want after the restriction and on? To the extent that you desire to become like the Creator in your action, to bestow just like Him, you receive Light, a small pleasure called “the Light of Hassadim (Mercy)” that fills you.
This Light of Hassadim also contains NRNHY, all the levels of Bina, until you attain a degree when all your desires begin to be filled with the Light of Hassadim because your intention is to be Hafetz Hesed: “I do not want anything for myself! I receive pleasure from being like the Creator by not receiving anything.”
This is the level of the righteous. He sees that the Creator does not receive, so he also does not want to receive. In other words, he is looking at His action, not the intention. The Creator does not receive, and I only want to have the strength to stop desiring fulfillment.
And then the Light comes to me and gives me an ability that enables me to not receive, regardless of how much I am being given. But the very next moment I am given an even bigger desire to receive pleasure from Above.
The Light develops this desire in me and I will want to receive once again. And again I ask: “Give me the strength to stop receiving,” and the strength is given to me. And then I become filled with pleasure called “Hassadim,” and I am content with being like the Creator by not receiving.
And every time, my empty desire to receive pleasure is increased in me in this way, but instead of asking for it to become fulfilled, I overcome it and ask for the strength to want to be like the Creator instead of wanting to be fulfilled. I want to be content with Hassadim, like GAR of Bina.
Attaining GAR of Bina means that I have acquired the desire to bestow. Now I am Hafetz Hesed, I have completed the “repentance from fear.” What does “from fear” mean? It means to not receive anything for yourself, and to be like the Creator by not receiving.
This does not make me absolutely equal to the Creator, but it makes us similar according to our Kelim (vessels). He does not have desires to receive, and I do, but I have corrected them so they no longer bother me. I have acquired such strength that even though I have an infinite Kli (desire) to receive pleasure, it is completely filled with the Light of Hassadim, and I do not want anything but it. Why? The Creator’s greatness shines at me, I want to be just like Him, and I enjoy being similar to Him.
After this, a new empty desire naturally becomes revealed to me. Until then I do not understand what it is, much like in the four phases of the Direct Light, when after not receiving anything in GAR of phase Bet (two), I begin to understand: “The Creator gives, He is the Giver, so how can I give in my actions, like Him?”
Now also, as I develop from below upward, I begin to understand that if I am able to receive for the sake of bestowal, I will become completely like Him. This is my goal, and the means are to receive for the sake of bestowal.
How can I do this? I demand additional strength from the Light so it will correct me, enabling me to receive in these Kelim so that the pleasure that I feel will be completely for the sake of bestowing to the Host. I feel this pleasure, I enjoy all its flavors, as it is written: “Taste and see that the Creator is good.” I draw enormous pleasure from this, and nothing I feel confuses me. I am making sure that all this pleasure can only be felt under the condition that I give this pleasure to Him.
Then I feel how much I have given Him and how much He enjoys it. This makes my Kelim grow even more because I understand Who it is that I am pleasing. Now I become like Him, and even bigger than Him because I am giving Him pleasure!
My Kelim expand even more beyond the limits of the desire to receive pleasure that was created by the Creator in me. Just as once having connected with the group I become the owner of seven billion spiritual sparks instead of just one spark, I now connect with the Creator and become the owner of an enormous Kli, as big as the Creator to Whom I bestow.
I perceive His Kli, where He receives pleasure, as my own because I fulfill it. Can you imagine what this is?! Here we come out into another dimension. But it is impossible to speak about it… This is a gradual process of development, where every time brings understanding of what to do next.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/3/10, The Zohar
There are states that become manifested and continue only at the end of the four phases of development of the creature, when the Light causes the creature to feel shame. Once the creature attains the fourth phase (Behina Dalet), it finds itself at a degree opposite the Creator, but realizes this in an opposite manner: It perceives this contrast as shame. In this manner, two polar opposites appear in one place, and shame neutralizes the entire pleasure of the creature by negating its “I.”
In the end, the creature is ready to restrict itself as it is left with only one solution: “I must become like the Creator in my action, no matter what this will require of me.” In previous phases, the creature has already tasted both reception and bestowal; it has already been in the Creator’s place, and it has gained all the necessary impressions. Now it is following only one goal by restricting itself: to become like the Creator.
After descending below the veils of the worlds, after the breaking of the vessels and all the previous phases of our development, we are now standing before the action of ascending back towards the Light. Our generation is the first to begin the correction.
As before, this process combines direct opposites: Our egoistic desire wants to receive pleasure, and shame does not let it do this, while the rudiment of the desire to bestow is awakening within us. After the breaking of the vessels, the phases of the Direct Light, reception, and bestowal became a part of us. As a consequence, we must keep two opposites within us, and this is the most difficult part.
This is because on one hand, man develops through a growing desire, and on the other, this alienates him further from the Creator. Therefore, he needs to transform his desire with an intention to bestow. By strengthening this intention, he will grow and come closer to the Creator.
One man’s strength is his egoistic desire, and the other is his similarity to the Creator, his power to bestow. These two opposite forces take turns manifesting in us, and we need to combine them with our own efforts.
From the 1st Part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/13/10, Writings of Rabash, “The Virtue of the Little One”
The Upper Governance is extremely complex. Reshimot (spiritual records, genes) are constantly changing. However, we don’t feel that everything changes inside us, not outside us. We are not aware of that; we just feel the ever-changing world, its different attitude toward us.
Of course, it’s all been set up for us by the Creator through all the kinds of coverings of this world. However, we attribute the variable attitude to other people, or to the Creator, or sometimes to ourselves; it all depends on the level of a person. If a person links the changes only to the Creator, it’s the beginning of correction, as it is written, "There is none else besides Him,” “The Good who Does Good."
In any case, there are general Lights which work as the Surrounding Light, and there also are particular Lights which stir the Kelim (vessels or desires), encouraging them to develop. If we are not advancing on our own, then the Light comes to us in the form of ruthless, obstructive forces (Gevurot, valor or strength) that advance us harshly. However, we need to understand that we ourselves cause the Light to work in such a manner.
The Lights come in a constant form. Their permanent objective is to benefit us, to bring us to similarity of attributes with the Creator. After all, they emanate from the Source of our final, perfect state in the world of Infinity.
However, the Kli which develops in us under the influence of the Light goes through various stages of development. That’s why we feel that there is slow, sequential development, and there’s a quick, leap-like advancement in agreement with the Light or against it, seemingly good or bad.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/12/10, “A Handmaid that is Heir to Her Mistress”
The Importance of The Book of Zohar
Because Israel [any person with the desire "Israel," "Isra" – straight, "El" – to the Creator] is destined to taste from the Tree of Life, which is the holy Book of Zohar [which corrects a person and reveals an eternal, perfect world to him], through it, they will be redeemed from [spiritual] exile [egoism and, hence, the Creator’s concealment].
– Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, The Book of Zohar, Portion Naso, Item 90
The redemption of Israel [from egoism and sensing in it only this world] and the rise of Israel [in the property of loving one’s neighbor] depend on the study of The Zohar and the internality of the Torah [the wisdom of Kabbalah].
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 69
It is known that the study of The Zohar is capable indeed [to correct and reveal the upper world]. Know that the study of The Zohar creates desire [to unite, bestow, love, meaning to correct the breaking of the souls], and the sacred words [sanctity is bestowal, the property of Bina] of The Zohar strongly evoke to the work of the Creator [correction].
– Rabbi Nachman of Braslev, Sichot HaRan [Talks of Rabbi Nachman], 108