There are many problems awaiting us on the spiritual path, and that is because spiritual development happens in spite of our desire and is aimed at the state opposite to ours. We must “operate” on ourselves in a sense.
But this is completely realistic. It can be done by means of the wisdom we acquire during the study and the opportunity to attract the Light contained therein. Therefore, we have the necessary means and the instruments. That is how we advance.
Baal HaSulam writes the following in “The Nation”: All animals rely on Nature completely. They are unable to develop it in any way or influence themselves without it.
Animals advance forward instinctively to the degree they change from within according to Nature’s inner and outer commands. The still, vegetative, and animate levels have advanced forward throughout all of history. For example, over 15 billion years, even the inanimate matter underwent changes. The vegetative and animal kingdoms, which developed and altered their species, changed even more so. Man, in turn, began developing last, over the course of the last 100 to 200 thousand years. That is how nature leads the world forward.
As human society develops, it is once again going through the same levels: still, vegetative, animate, and human, but already on the human level. And man is once again moving instinctively: pushed by nature, he goes from one state to the next coercively. From looking at history we see how nations suddenly “flare up,” holding revolutions and transformations.
That is how we develop until finally, the Human grows in man. This level is appearing in humanity before our very eyes, and it differs from the previous levels by the ability to take the law of development into its own hands, to become similar to the Creator, and to rise above nature and accelerate it. Nature advances us at a specific rate until the end of the 6,000 year period using the “developmental press” on the path of suffering, while Man takes these forces into his own hands and develops faster by his own desire. He does not see the law of development as evil, but as goodness that he desires. That is how he realizes himself as a Human, one who is similar to the Creator. He takes an example from the Creator, learns what the Creator does in creation, and wishes to act the same way.
At one point people studied the process of how chicks were produced. Then they learned to make incubators and achieved development that corresponds to their needs. As a result, every day we have the necessary amount of eggs and no longer depend on the laws of a chicken’s development.
That is exactly how we have to act with ourselves. This is why Baal HaSulam continues: However, that is not so with man, who is endowed with the power of thought. By virtue of the wondrous quality of this force, he is freed from nature’s bonds and develops it. His function is to observe nature’s actions and do his work in the same way it does.
As we know, “Nature” (הטבע) has the same Gematria as the Creator (אלו-הים).
He does not hope to receive ready-made chicks from nature, waiting for a chicken to arrive and make the eggs hatch, but makes an incubator that warms the eggs and produces chicks for him, similar to a real chicken.
In addition, Baal HaSulam writes the following in the article “Peace in the World”:
There are two powers operating in the process of development:
One is the “power of the heavens,” which guarantees that everything evil and harmful will return to being good and useful, but “in its time,” meaning by a difficult and lengthy path where the “object of development” experiences pain and horrible suffering, being under the “developmental press” which crushes him with unfathomable cruelty.
The second is the “earthly power,” meaning people who have taken control over the laws of development into their own hands. Because they are able to become completely free of the bonds of time, they significantly accelerate the arrival of the end, meaning the final ripening and correction, which is the end of development.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/27/11, Writings of Rabash