Pharaoh within you needs to grow. At first he is small, so what kind of a king is that really? Joseph feels that he can control his entire Egypt, his entire egoism, to his benefit. He foresees the future and knows what needs to be done. My ego flourishes; I reach the seven years of plenty.
And even when the seven years of famine begin, I do not yet feel it. I sell my reserves to Pharaoh. The misery of the Egyptians benefits me: I sell them to Pharaoh together with everything they have, while Israel does not suffer at all in my land of Goshen. There is no hunger there.
See how these states are revealed in a person in a certain order, one after another, until he begins to understand that Pharaoh is his angel of death, and there is nothing he can do about it. Then, he begins to realize that everything comes from the same source, the Creator. Pharaoh brings him closer to the Creator (to “bring closer” and to “sacrifice” are one word). He helps us “indirectly.”
I no longer receive pleasure from reception, but I do not enjoy bestowal either. So, what am I left with? I have neither! This is called: “And the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage.” I have come out of egoistic reception and I see no joy in it. These “beautiful cities” are only good for Pharaoh; they do nothing for me. This means that I have already separated myself from Pharaoh.
These cities remained poor to me because I have not received anything for them. Where is bestowal, attainment? There is nothing. This is because I want bestowal and spiritual attainment egoistically. I want to bestow for my own sake. So, how can I come to pure, unselfish bestowal?
I need to rise above these “poor cities” so I would stop expecting any kind of compensation for my actions. Only then can I become ready to rise to the degree of faith which is completely unconnected from my desire and current qualities.
I am unable to reach this state on my own, but I need the desire to touch it, to separate from thinking about myself even slightly. This is a big problem. When I finally come to this through the cities that are beautiful to Pharaoh and full of misery to Israel, I begin to understand that there is no other way to move forward than through blows that come from Above. I will never be able to separate from my egoism and forget about any consequences of my bestowal.
Next, I think about bestowal, but how do I avoid expecting to receive personal benefit from it? I need to receive real blows to do this so that I suffer together with Pharaoh from the egoistic use of my bestowal.
Then, the Egyptian plagues come, and I want to use them to rise above any personal interest, any personal consequence of my bestowal. In other words, I begin to strive to bestow for the sake of bestowal. The need to rid myself of my ego begins to form in me. These ten blows reveal the image of liberation in me because otherwise, I will not be able to go to the next state.
Exile and redemption are determined by the lack of the Creator and His presence. I need to understand what is called the Creator so that somehow He would manifest to me in my exile and I would reach redemption. Let Him manifest through His lack, but I simply want to have some kind of perception of Him.
This is why the last blows happen. I feel how a blow benefits me when it comes because a very strong revelation of evil takes place. On the other hand, these blows are very painful, and they happen directly to me in the form of inner, spiritual shocks. However, they really strengthen a person, like salt which “preserves” meat. These blows bring recovery.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/11/2011, Shamati No. 86