Desire gives taste to fulfillment. Every sip of water is agonizingly sweet when I am dying of thirst. The fulfillment may be only partial, but the desire is great, and the discrepancy between them creates a sensation of life.
Hence, life can be measured not by desire or the pleasure as such, but by the struggle between them. The higher the tension or the interval between them, the more life and energy I possess.
The trouble begins when my vessel is empty or when it’s filled, either way. The key is to bring the empty vessel to being filled and catch the moment of their contact.
How do I hold on to this moment? After all, even the greatest pleasures from food, sex, and recognition, having reached their peak, diminish and die. I live from instant to instant. My life barely twinkles, breaking away from the void and sinking back into it.
As the song says, “Only an instant separates the past and the future,” an instant between the Light that flashed before my eyes and the dark void that is about to consume it. Before the current pleasure expires, I must seek the next one already so that I don’t lose the feeling of being alive.
However, desires constantly grow, and desperation overtakes the world. The promise of future pleasures is no longer there, “transient” rewards do not dissipate the pressuring darkness, and life becomes pointless.
Our life diminishes because we cannot hold on to the brief experience of pleasure. This needs to be learned. That is, we have to learn to live above our egoism, to work against it. Then, a person undergoes ten “Egyptian plagues,” leaves his desires below, and steps out to “Mount Sinai,” the Light that can give him a screen.
Spiritual attainment is built in a special vessel (Kli) that allows you to hold yourself above desire, in bestowal. Having arranged a Kli of bestowal, a person acquires an opportunity to constantly be in contact with pleasure, and, at the same time, to not put the desire out since it isn’t the desire which is being filled, but the intention for bestowal that rises above it.
A person obtains perfection when he bestows, when he steps out of himself and lives in the pleasure that he returns to the others. His life, eternal life, lies not in his personal desire, but in the Reflected Light that fills their desires and delights the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/24/10, “Perfection in Life”