While researching nature, we study many phenomena that take place in front of us and inside of us. To bring them to a common denominator, we can say that any species and any part in nature takes care of its own existence. And the more it takes care of itself, the higher is the level of its development. That is how the vegetative level of nature originated from the still level of nature, and the animate level came from the vegetative, and man came from the animate level of nature.
We understand from the science of Kabbalah that this did not happen by itself, but by means of Reshimot, the “developmental genes” that are successively realized one after another within the framework of the initially fixed model.
All of this exists inside the aspiration for self-benefit. The program instilled in all of nature’s elements places one task before us: What should I do to feel good? Be it realization of evil, conscious progress toward goodness, force, speed, connection, feeling, or mind: According to its potential, every species aspires to goodness and detaches from evil. That is our nature.
On the still, vegetative, and animate levels this nature is a "one way street”—urging us to act directly for our own benefit. But on the human level there is one more special action. Man is able to feel the neighbor, and therefore, he is willing to give something to his neighbor with the expectation of later receiving reward and pleasure. We have learned different ways to use the neighbor which don’t exist on lower levels.
On the still, vegetative, and animate levels there is only reception. But man also knows how to bestow to the neighbor in order to receive benefit for himself. Moreover, interaction with the neighbor is meant to eventually bring him much more benefit than regular reception. Otherwise he is simply unable to receive anything directly. But one way or another, in both cases, he acts for his own sake.
In principle, direct reception is a primate method for man. As a child grows up, he receives upbringing whereby we teach him to interact with the world, and usually that means learning how to use the neighbor in a way that avoids being harmed and that enables him to receive self-benefit at the end. This is human upbringing. If things are the way they are, then it’s best to take the neighbor into account. After all, often we wish to simply take, conquer, and steal without leaving a trace behind.
That is how our world is and that is why we only perceive what we receive inside of us. Our desire is limited and eventually it brings us to feelings of emptiness and despair.
But there is also another, opposite possibility—bestowal, where the tendency is away from myself, upwards, towards the neighbor, as well as away from myself, downwards toward myself, and then upwards toward the neighbor. In the first case I bestow for the sake of bestowal (Bina, Hafetz Hesed), and in the second case I receive for the sake of bestowal (the degree of love). This is called an exactly opposite calculation and it only exists in a human being.
Thus, we have two possibilities: reception with auxiliary bestowal or bestowal with auxiliary reception.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/23/11 on Global Education