It’s all about efforts: A person has to believe in the principle of “I labored and I found.” That is why Baal HaSulam writes in Item 17 of “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” that “the student pledges, prior to the study, to strengthen himself in faith,” as it is said in “Ethics of the Fathers”: “Faithful is your employer who shall pay you the reward of your labor.” And this reward will be the passing from egoistic intention, Lo Lishma (not for Her Name), into the altruistic one, Lishma (for Her Name).
Before and during the studies, a person must see himself as looking forward to this change in himself. This is where all the efforts lie. In the same “Introduction,” Baal HaSulam explains that one must not display negligence, neither in the quantity nor the quality of efforts.
As we begin to study, we, probably, want to change by way of the study and the Light present in it, but then we forget about it and get distracted, meaning we do not exert enough in the quality of efforts. The quantity may be enough, but the most important is the quality: To what degree I experience pain and, thus, cannot leave the goal, as a sick person who constantly thinks only of healing. Whatever he does, everything is meant to help him get better.
One cannot attain such a need alone. This can only be done with the help of the environment. It will oblige a person through the importance of the goal, and only in this way will he be able to move forward.
Summing up all of the means we have, we see that both the group with its traditions, and I, myself, as well as the Creator, the teacher, the lessons, and the dissemination, all of it is necessary in order to create in a person a strong need for changes, prompted by way of the study. We must arrive at precisely this point; it must be the result of all our efforts.
Then, during the lesson, a true need for the Light will arise in us, and nothing else. It will neither be a need for knowledge, nor for wisdom, nor for distinction in anything—only for inner changes. And the strength of this need will be so great that it will really bring about transformation. This will allow a person to start relating to the Torah as to a “spice” and later, as to the Torah of life, instead of the “deadly poison” which he was using before.
We discover our evil inclination with the help of the Light. This Light is called the “angel of death.” On one hand, it shows a person that he is spiritually dead, and on the other, it then helps to kill his egoistic desire. This is how we advance.
From the 1st part part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/7/2011, Writings of Rabash