Answer: This is because understanding happens only in reason, whereas a dedicated attitude toward unification and connection must be in the desire. However, reason and desire are two different things. I can say lots of smart and great things with my mouth. My mind would agree with all of them, but I cannot find the desire within to carry out even the simplest action.
The desire requires correction, and in order to correct it, first of all, I have to annul myself before the friends so as to receive through them the Light that Reforms, provided that we study correctly in the right group. Then, in this partially corrected desire, I’ll be able to carry out some tiny action.
From my head, I can talk about the highest possible states even now, but in order to manifest them within the desire, I need to labor hard and persistently. I still need to find the form in which to draw the Light that Reforms and how to accept and use it correctly. Words are not enough for this.
There are plenty of wise guys in this world if you only judge by words. It is said: “Believe the wisdom of the nations,” but the difference between a “nation of the world” within man and “Israel” (aimed “straight to the Creator”) is that the former only understands with reason the entire spiritual world; it doesn’t want to correct itself. However, “Israel,” aimed straight to the Creator, corrects its desires.
These two parts may contradict one another completely. A person may appear to be an angel in terms of what he says by showing thorough knowledge and a strong grasp of the theory. (Like the “Kabbalists” that Baal HaSulam once met in Jerusalem did who knew all the books by heart.)
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/26/2011, Writings of Baal HaSulam