The Zohar, “Ki Tissa [When You Take],” Item 31: “As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” The Creator wished to make Israel similar to what is above, so there would be one lily in the earth [in Israel] that is like the lily above, Malchut. And the fragrant lily, better than all the lilies in the world is only one who has grown among the thorns. This one smells as it should.
Thorns become revealed to a person to the degree he is able to overcome them. If he correctly prepares all of the inclinations, all the forces present and operating between him and the environment, if he can continually awaken and raise the importance of the Creator, unity, and love for the neighbor as himself above everything that surfaces in his thoughts and desires, then he makes the right analysis and “blunts the teeth” of the evil inclination.
Rabash writes, “When you answer egoism, ‘blunt its teeth.’” This means that you shouldn’t argue with it, but should use force and overcome it. I reveal the environment, which lies between myself and others, egoistically, looking for a chance to use my connection with it, to get as much as I can out of them.
Looking at reality from a material perspective, I see everything outside of me, instead of inside myself. I do not think that I am the one responsible for the distance, the hatred, and the repulsion that become revealed. All of this appears external to me and not my own. I don’t think that these are my Kelim, my perception of realty, my vision, or the revelation of the upper reality inside of me.
Therefore, I must give myself “a blow to the teeth” over and over again in order to correct my attitude to the picture that is depicted before my eyes. In this picture I am separated from the neighbor by a distance that does not seem like my own corrupted desires (Kelim) to me. Instead if seems like something foreign, something I have to reject.
But I act on the contrary: I blunt the force of this illusion with my analysis since I understand that everything becoming revealed to me is myself. And I do not correct my soul unless I attribute to myself the whole world, all of reality, all of the people, all of the souls, and all the levels in general—the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking degrees. I have to treat them all as an inseparable part of me.
Then I see that the perception of reality, love for the creatures, and the revelation of the Creator lie in the same thoughts and desires that determine my attitude to the neighbor, to that which is outside. In reality there is nothing beyond desire. And when I feel that this desire comes out of me toward others, I have to “strike it in the teeth” the right way. That is how I turn it into a connecting link between myself and the other part of me. The neighbor will become a part of me and the Creator will become mine. That is how I will include all of reality inside of me, and thereby the breaking will be corrected.
Then, in that same place, in the same desires and thoughts that stood between myself and the neighbor, I will begin to feel the Light’s presence, the quality of bestowal and love.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/16/11, Writings of Rabash