Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder), “What Does It Mean that the Ladder Stands Diagonally in the Work”: A ladder must always be at an angle even in the corporeal world. When a person’s head “reaches the heavens,” he must also “be walking on earth.” Even though these are two opposite forces, they are still not that far from one another. And this means that one must walk in two lines, which is called a “diagonal.”
No matter what awakens in a person, his job is to have a correct attitude towards the faults and correct them instead of hiding them. Through this he will realize the ascent up “the diagonal” of an inclined ladder, which refers to the proper combination of two desires whereby he establishes the desire to bestow above the desire to receive.
Negative impulses awaken in us: hatred, envy, lust, vanity, and rejection. They are the consequences of the breaking, and our nature consists solely of them. All of these properties have to be transformed into factors that increase the love of created beings in our hearts. We advance specifically with their help by correcting them.
Naturally, man must correctly combine the Bina and Malchut, justice and mercy, within him. Everything has to be balanced from both the right and left sides without deviating in accordance with his own level and the level of others.
Thus, our work is examining the evil that becomes manifested without blurring it, putting it “to sleep,” and uncovering either the rejection or attraction towards those around us that it induces; otherwise, you are not doing spiritual work, you are not always trying to keep yourself in bestowal (love) over rejection (reception) of others (“neighbors”).
One must correctly combine the opposite properties within “at a diagonal,” without being afraid of them. A person is not able to do this on his own, but he demands correction, and he sees when the Creator makes this combination for him.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/6/2011, “What Does It Mean that the Ladder Stands Diagonally in the Work”