There is nothing in the universe besides two forces: the Creator and creation. The force of bestowal is the Creator, while the force of reception is creation. These two forces are combined together inside of creation in order to enable creation to attain the Creator’s degree.
In other words, creation has a desire to egoistically fulfill itself and an altruistic desire to bestow. The only question is: What is primary, the desire to bestow in order to receive fulfillment for itself, or the desire to receive pleasure for the sake of bestowal? Everything depends on what we use reception or bestowal for.
When a person is at the beginning of the path of his correction, he is unable to hear about anything other than how to earn something for himself. Until he passes the Machsom, until he performs a restriction (Tzimtzum) on his desires, he sees everything only as an opportunity to extract benefit for himself. He simply cannot operate in any other way.
Therefore, all of his advancement takes place by the principle of “bestowal for the sake of reception.” He works in the group, comes to lessons, works on dissemination, and he is sure that he will be able to receive the whole world in reward. That is how a person advances, and this is called that he uses the force of the “woman” in him.
Gradually, if a person carries out the teacher’s advice, then inner changes take place inside him under the influence of the Light that Reforms. His progress is accompanied by alternating ascents and descents, states of uncertainty and confusion.
That is how he gradually comes to understand the value of the quality of bestowal in and of itself, rather than in order to extract benefit from it. Yet for now this only happens from time to time. The Upper Light brings him the sensation that bestowal is a great quality by itself.
Then he starts thinking less about himself when making all his actions and attributes greater importance to the group and the Creator. He thinks more about the state of the world and shifts from caring for himself to caring for the common good. This is called that the “man” in him, the force of overcoming (in Hebrew “man,” “Gever,” comes from the word “Hitgabrut,” overcoming) rises above the “woman” in him.
That is how a person gradually goes from Lo Lishma (actions for his own sake) to Lishma (for the sake of bestowal). This revolution happens drastically and suddenly, but the path to it is very slow and gradual.
When a person completely replaces the “woman” in him with a “man,” which now determines the path of his spiritual development, advancement towards bestowal for the sake of bestowal and then to reception for the sake of bestowal, then he is already working with the male force.
In the meantime, the “woman” is inside of him. She can either be his helper or help against him. Everything depends on his state. Then the right combination of the male and female forces occurs within him.
From the lesson on 2/11/11 on Writings of Rabash