Writings of Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder), Article “What Is the Foundation on which Kedusha [Holiness] Is Built”: When building a building in corporeality, we see that anyone who wants to build a building must first dig the foundations, and on the foundation he builds the building. In digging the foundation, we see that we should discern between having to build a one-story building—that is, only the ground floor—or a multi-story building. Thus, the digging of the foundation into the ground should be according to the height of the building. The foundation is not dug at once. Rather, each day the foundation is built so that it will be deeper, and then one can build a higher building.
The same order applies in spirituality.… And what is digging in spirituality? It is a deficiency, when a deficiency is dug in the heart, since the heart is called “desire,” a heart is called Malchut, and a heart is called “earth” or “ground.”…In other words, before we go and build a building, we must first dig in the ground, that is, take out whatever there is in the digging site.
For the creature to learn the conditions that would allow it to become similar to the Creator and to realize the purpose of creation, it has to include in itself all the properties of the Creator, one by one. That is why all the properties of the Creator and all the properties of the creature are included into each other and intertwined in such a way that the creature is left with a “record” (impression) of what it means to be similar to the Creator. This is achieved by the breaking that extends from above down to the depth of desire, from the zero to the fourth level.
This is how a complete mutual inclusion of the properties of the Creator and those of the creature in the form opposite to the goal occurs. This form contains all the details that are absolutely opposite to the final, fully corrected state. Here, the real creature, “man,” appears, and he is called to become similar to the Creator in the future. From this state, he begins to ascend by himself and to attain the Creator, the true property of bestowal. In this way, man advances from the beginning of creation to its completion, the end of correction.
Everything is built on the desire to enjoy, on the matter of creation. The more we use it, the more we can build, meaning that primarily, we have to delve into the desire to enjoy and feel how much it’s opposite to the Creator. This means that we dig into it at a great depth and aren’t afraid to reveal its oppositeness. This is an unpleasant feeling and usually brings suffering. After all, we reveal the property opposite to goodness.
Next, we come to the necessity of correction and begin to ask the Light, the property of the Creator, to correct the property of the creature. This is called “to build a building.” However, people are not capable of building it themselves—the Light builds. We have to provide the vessel, the desire, and express our request precisely. If we understand and ask precisely for what is necessary in order to ascend one more step, one more “story,” the Light comes and builds it. Thus, we advance further.
The foundation which is used for building the spiritual structure is the desire to enjoy, the sensation of its oppositeness to the Creator. The deeper we dig, the higher we can ascend.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/13/2011, Writings of Rabash