Question: Baal HaSulam writes that in order to advance by way of the Light (“Achishena,” ahead of time) I have to take my evil properties and turn them into the properties of love. But you said that I will discover my evil qualities or the evil inclination only after I cross the Machsom (the barrier separating us from spirituality).
So at the moment, it looks like I do not advance by way of the Light, but by way of suffering (“Beito,” in its time)?
Answer: In either case, to a certain extent you already recognize your evil since you are in the preparation phase. You can exist at four levels of development:
- As all regular people in this world;
- In the preparation stage;
- In the property of “Hafetz Hesed” (wishing nothing for oneself);
- In the property of love.
“Hafetz Hesed” and love are spiritual levels; “As all regular people” and “in the preparation stage” are corporeal ones. Corporeality means the intention “for oneself”; spirituality means “in order to bestow.” The spiritual world is separated from the material one by the Machsom.
When you are in spirituality, on one hand, you have an evil inclination, the matter of creation; on the other, you have a good inclination and the Light that Reforms. Below, in the material world, they don’t exist.
But even now, being in the preparation phase, you still have some reflection of spirituality, an approximate understanding of the left and right lines, ascents and descents. This is why it is call preparation. And that’s what you are working with.
Either way, you are advancing. You have some idea about what is written in the Kabbalistic texts, although for now, just in its projection on your egoistic substance. Yet, you do understand and feel something. It is a great achievement! Is preparation time worthless? It can last for decades. So what? But you pass it and enter eternity!
Therefore, do not demean the time of preparation. You are undergoing a very intense, great, and powerful process. And you should value it! If a person doesn’t appreciate it, he is deprived of all his power. We must constantly remain in this process and each time add to it a little more by organizing conventions, more powerful ones, accompanied by deeper discernment.
Even descents become clearer, sharper, and you are able to better comprehend their causes and recognize the inner properties. And that’s what matters.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/23/10, “Peace in the World”