Only the Light in the Torah Reforms the Person
How one can achieve complete equivalence of form, so all one’s actions are to give to others, while man’s very essence is only to receive for oneself? By nature, we are unable to do even the smallest thing to benefit others. Instead, when we give to others, we are compelled to expect that in the end, we will receive a worthwhile reward. If one as much as doubts the reward, one will refrain from acting [since the reward compels him to perform an act to benefit oneself]. Thus, how can one’s every action be only to bestow upon others and not at all for oneself?
Indeed, I admit that this is a very difficult thing. One cannot change the nature of one’s own creation, which is only to receive for oneself, much less invert one’s nature from one extreme to the other, meaning to not receive anything for oneself, but rather act only to bestow.
Yet, this is why the Creator gave us Torah [as the method of correction so that with its help we could learn] … to bestow contentment upon the Creator. Had it not been for the engagement in Torah [for His sake]… and not to benefit ourselves, there would have been no tactic in the world that could help us invert our nature.
– Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”
Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 36
Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 35
Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 34