A crucial principle of the spiritual work is that all of it is done against our will, unlike egoistic work in our world. When I am forced to work in our world, I thoroughly weigh whether it’s worth it in the first place. Or, I like the work itself, and then it cannot be called work, but rather an adventure, a journey, when I enjoy the process itself. Alternatively, it may be some hard labor but I enjoy its result, when I get a reward, a payment for it.
I always have to see benefit from my work, which my mind and heart can grasp. Everything depends only on how much I value the anticipated reward, and according to that I am willing to exert effort.
But on the spiritual path, we work against our nature and nothing supports us. Therefore, we don’t have any motivation, the “fuel,” to take action that seems to be pointless.
And it’s obvious that we advance little by little, from “Lo Lishma” (for oneself) coming to “Lishma” (for bestowal). In the words of Rambam, for “women, children, and slaves,” meaning us, who for now are at these levels, secrets (the true purpose) are revealed gradually. They are regarded as secrets because so far, a person can’t imagine where to get the energy and motivation to work.
It is as impossible as for me to start flying! It is above my nature! And hence, we undergo such a lengthy way of development, going from state to state and gradually acquiring some understanding, a sensation that comes to us by way of the Light that Reforms.
It doesn’t occur naturally, in a rational way; on the contrary, the more effort I put in, the further I go from the purpose—that’s how I evaluate it in my perceptions! And only in certain rare moments do I occasionally discover that it only seemed in my egoistic perception as though I was walking backwards, while from the point of view of the bestowing desires I was actually advancing. This is how we move forth.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/2011, Shamati No. 86