The Zohar, Introduction, Article “Two Points,” Item 121: This is why the forces of separation are called “locks,” since they block the gates of approaching and drive us away from the Creator. But if we overcome them so they do not affect us, cooling His love from our hearts, the locks become doors, the darkness becomes light, and the bitter becomes sweet.
Question: What does it mean, “cooling His love from our hearts?”
Answer: If a person initially prepares himself for the fact that he plans to acquire love for the Creator, meaning for the quality of bestowal to become loved, accepted, and desirable to him so that he will feel the quality of bestowal that comes to him as a great value and reward for all the efforts he made, that means he prepares himself for the right actions.
Then by virtue of the right preparation, he looks differently at all the disturbances that seem to come in order to cool him down, to push him away from love for the Creator, from coming closer to the quality of bestowal. He views them as help because precisely by overcoming them he becomes stronger, more understanding, braver, and more learned, and through the greater understanding, sensations, and strength he ascends to the quality of bestowal.
For example, if I want to be physically strong, then all of my work with weights, jumping, and running is training for me that will enable me to become stronger. Everything depends on the preparation. If I don’t desire to be strong, if this does not worry me, then any obstacle that arises on my path will deprive me of the desire to advance. I will circumvent it and not be happy that it has come.
Do I see the obstacles as help sent to me from Above in order to make me grow and raise me to the Creator’s level, or not? This depends on my aspiration, preparation, and the support from the environment. This is the only way that we can advance.
Everything depends on the preparation. Before I open up a book, come to the group, start studying or thinking about anything, I have to ask the question, “Why am I doing this? And what should I be thinking about?” The only thing I should think about is how to make a calculation according to the analysis “true versus false,” rather than the sensations, “sweet versus bitter.” Then I immediately try to build my discernments based on the analysis, “true versus false.” And if that is so, then I at least know that I am not there, I don’t want it, and so on. Yet I nevertheless discern the truth: Who am I right now, and what is happening inside of me and outside of me?
This is necessary! In this regard everything depends on the environment, or the preparation from the surrounding environment. A grain cannot grow unless the environment provides it with everything it needs to grow. By itself it will simply dry up. There has to be an environment that awakens a person and works on him.
Imagine that you are in an environment where everyone aspires to be physically strong. Then you learn from them and together with them participate in all of the training. They jump and lift weights from morning until night! Why? Because that is their goal. And you start doing the same thing whether you want it or not because you receive the importance of the goal from them. You see every obstacle, every weight that you have to lift, every exercise you have to make as an opportunity given to you for growth. That’s all. There is no other opportunity.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/25/11, The Zohar