The descents show me that I will never realize the importance of the Creator alone; I will never come out of my egoism or find the strength within. However, every descent teaches me in its own way, revealing different weaknesses, properties, and degrees in me. Descents are followed by ascents, but at the end, one way or another, I always discover how powerless I am.
At first, I want to satisfy my egoism, which is referred to as discovering the number of angels in the skies. Then I switch over to the Creator, I want to “catch” Him and see the spiritual world. It appears to me as if the door of change needs to open before me and not within me.
Finally, I begin to understand that changes need to happen within me. I catch a thread of an answer to my question: Liberation must come from the outside because alone I am certainly incapable of it.
This work is done through descents and ascents until man comes to the threshold of truth, and then he understands that everything depends on him, on a change in his perception. The Light gives him the strength to do this; this strength cannot be found within. His demand is egoistic, but he lowers his head before the upper force allowing it to change him, agreeing slightly with the fact that everything comes from Above.
On the next degree, man begins to understand that he needs to acquire the property of bestowal instead of the property of reception. His demand is still egoistic, yet it’s a step forward.
Then he works with the environment in order to evoke the Light that lifts him to spiritual wealth. As he works on figuring out the notion of the group, he makes himself dependent on it, hoping that this will benefit him, as it did before.
And then the Light actually reforms a person because he has properly arranged everything. There is only one change that still remains: the intention, the final outcome, who is he trying to benefit?
By turning to the Creator, through the group, with the correct appeal, we shorten the path.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/5/11, “What Are the Misfortunes that Come to the Wicked Which Start From the Righteous in Work”