On the path, we frequently err. We think that there are some other forces besides the Creator, which can help us. We suddenly immerse ourselves in our occupation or hobbies again. Having lost faith in spiritual advancement, we start relying on ourselves and the others in our circle.
We are surrounded by many obstacles that carry us away: a little religiousness, a little mysticism, and some other ways to jazz up our existence. But all of this is temporary. In the end of such quests (which could be quite lengthy), a person still finds himself in the same place. He realizes that he is faced with a wall here and that he definitely must reveal the Creator no matter what. And the problem is not in the fact that he doesn’t want it.
The upper state a person has to be brought to is a special one. I must rise above egoism not so that I may feel good. In that case, I simply choose from two states the better one, which means that I act based on the old egoistic principle. A person is expected to wish for something else.
Baal HaSulam describes it in the article “There Is None Else Besides Him”: If a person has committed a sin, he must certainly regret it and be sorry for having committed it. But here, too, we should place the pain and sorrow in the right order: Where does he place the cause of the sin for that is the point that should be regretted.
Then, one should be remorseful and say: “I committed that sin because the Creator hurled me down from holiness to a place of filth….”
The same is true for the state of ascent: A person should clearly realize that it occurs solely because the Light is elevating him at the moment.
Spiritual ascent occurs in two stages. At the first stage, a person feels completely dependent on the upper governing force. The second stage is when he realizes that everything that governs him both on the outside and on the inside is the very same force. Both good and bad are still it. There is neither reward nor punishment. And naturally, there is nothing ahead since everything is programmed and he is a mere implementing instrument in the hands of the Light.
Later on, the point in the heart awakens in a person, with the help of which he is brought to the environment. The correct environment is comprised of the teacher, the Kabbalistic texts, and the group. By making an effort to work with them based on the old rules, a person still cannot receive anything spiritual since he connects with them through his egoism.
Why do we need all these stages? And there are many more inner, much more sublime degrees on top of that. All of them are designated to demonstrate to a person that there has to be another solution: to act not so that you may feel good in your egoism, but so that you bond with the environment foreign to you, with the force that seems as external to you: the Creator.
From Lesson 4 Berlin Convention 1/29/2011