Only a person that can rise above his egoistic desire attains the sensation of fear. He sees that he is unable to ascend, yet he definitely has to because the spiritual space, the realm of the Creator, perfection, is located precisely above his will to enjoy. Then he is seized by fear: Will he be able to receive help in order to ascend above himself?
This fear can be egoistic, when I am worried about whether or not I will receive the spiritual fulfillment. This kind of fear is also useful: Even though I am thinking about myself (which is called Lo Lishma), at least I am thinking about the spiritual goal, the quality of bestowal (Lishma). It’s just that for the time being I interpret it as something that will provide me with personal benefit.
However, later on we reach “perfect fear,” when we understand that the results of acquiring the quality of bestowal must also be beneficial to everyone, and through benefiting the society, they will be beneficial to the Creator. All of this is done to a person by the upper Light, and therefore this entire process is called “Torah.”
On this path we always meet “an ugly man” who lives inside of us and doesn’t want anything besides personal benefit. He always tries to twist everything in a way that makes him be above others so he can assert his own power and pride. But if I am able to stand up to this freak, even though I fear this quality inside of me, and if I can avoid killing him, and even be able to recognize him and thank him for revealing my own evil to me, then I will develop the right kind of fear that will help me acquire the desire, vessel, or Kli for revealing the Creator.
Gradually all of the concepts will take on the right definitions and I will start to realize that spirituality is above my egoistic desire. I will understand that I will be able to reveal the Creator, perfection, bestowal, love for the neighbor, and the spiritual world only once I can rise above my “self.”
Therefore, everything is based on the force of fear and worry: Am I inside of my egoism without even noticing it, or did I really ascend above it already? And once we do ascend, there are many degrees of ascending above one’s desire, which we gradually discern.
At every level I think that I have already ascended above my egoism, in which case I rejoice and thank the Creator for what He has done to me. After that, I see that that’s not so: This was also my egoism, but it was just hiding from me. And then I have to rise above it as well.
At the beginning of the next level I rejoice immensely once again because I have finally succeeded in rising above my ego and now I am entirely aimed at bestowal. But then I again gradually reveal that this is still not the end and there are still egoistic calculations left inside of me. And then I hate my state all over again and demand a greater ascent, and this process continues until the end of correction (Gmar Tikkun).
It is written, “What is garbage for the upper one is food for the lower one.” That is how we continuously ascend up the levels by virtue of the Light that reforms. This Light is called Torah. It reveals fear (Iraa) in a person. And inside of that Light a person can see (Ireh) the Creator, the quality of bestowal that rules above everything, as well as the creation’s all-enveloping will to enjoy.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/5/11, Shamati