Answer: The will to receive pleasure is supposed to undergo all these stages and at each of them, no matter how small, to make a conscious conclusion that its current state is bad and it needs to continue the journey, add another gram of desire, and ascend one millimeter higher toward a new quality.
At each new degree, everything seems just fine, but a few moments later you lack something again, and something is wrong. Another evil unfolds, to such an extent that you can’t bear it anymore. First, everything was so great, and now it is killing me, and I have to ascend to the next step.
Thus, we climb a whole lot of steps, delighted in the beginning of each and squirming in pain in the end. Without these impressions, I don’t experience the contrast between the Light and the darkness and don’t acquire a vessel built from these opposite aspects of perception. Without the vessel, I will have nothing to turn to the Light of Infinity with.
Hence, I have to walk this entire path, climb thousands of steps, having absorbed the delight and horror of each of them. Thus we arrive at the last step on the ladder, and even now, in the state of love and bestowal, we still fall, just as Rabbi Shimon did, who turned into a “market merchant” before reaching the final correction.
What kind of state is that? Where did he fall to? At the 124th rung that precedes the last one, he discovered that it is the worst step of all, where he felt like “Shimon from the market.” And then, once he had experienced the difference with the next rung, he ascended to the final perfection.
The higher you have ascended, the worse your current degree makes you feel since it becomes a stepping stone for the next. This current degree feels so bad that you can’t bear it any longer. In the end, having gathered all your positive and negative impressions, you raise them upward. The negative makes the depth of your vessel, while the positive becomes your response to bestowal, and thereby you acquire a complete vessel.
We hope for a certain “leap,” while there aren’t any. A one-year-old child cannot make a leap and become a five-year-old. Can he really skip a slow, gradual process of growth? He would lack those lost years all his life. His perception in all areas of life would be distorted. Preparation of the vessel is necessary, and it cannot be avoided.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/13/2011, “The Freedom”