Answer: To do this we gradually transition from the egoistic intention to the altruistic one. Every person wants to be loved the way he is. In other words, love is above all calculations. Someone appears handsome to me and someone else appears ugly. Someone appears good in my eyes and someone bad. Yet, if I love someone, then I love them as I would my own child, no matter what he is like.
It’s just that we love our children naturally, whereas here we need love that towers above our nature. It is written, “Every person denies others according to his own defect.” If you see a defect in someone, it means that defect is inside of you.
However, we are initially incapable of attaining unconditional love because by our nature we hate one another. I always look for flaws in others because this makes me feel better and higher than them, which is already pleasant by itself. When searching for self-gratification, I have to see flaws in others that put them beneath me at least in some regard. If someone appears higher than me and I cannot justify it, then I fall into depression.
So how can we attain love? First of all, “loving” means being imbued with the desires of the neighbor and being ready to fulfill them. Right now I am ready to use and exploit the neighbor, but I am told, “Use yourself in order to fulfill him.” Yet this is completely opposite to my nature. I can never climb up that wall.
That is why Hillel the sage made the challenge easier by putting it this way, “Don’t do to another what you yourself hate.” Be neutral, give up hate and love for the neighbor. By carrying out this condition, you will overcome the first half of the path.
You will thereby detach from your egoism, from the previous desires. You will give up the ill-intended plans and intentions. From now on you no longer want to harm your neighbor, either by mistake or deliberately. You don’t want to use him because it always harms him. And even though you still think that you can profiteer off your neighbor, you already begin to understand that you will end up a loser yourself. What’s good for him is good for you, and what’s bad for him is bad for you. You already see that both of you are connected together by a global network which is becoming revealed in the world today. That is why you have no other choice but not to harm one another, at the very least.
This is the first phase: You turn off your Malchut and raise it to Bina, to the small state, Katnut, Hafetz Hesed. And then you have to continue on the path to love.
All of these phases are actualized on the condition that you advance “from Lo Lishma to Lishma,” if in your egoism you nevertheless aspire to the altruistic goal. “It’s worthwhile for me to treat my neighbor well,” you reason. “After all, we are interconnected and there is no other choice….” And eventually, as you tread this path, you evoke the Light that reforms, which corrects your mind and feeling.
And then you understand, “I have to love others, but not because I will feel good and not because we are in one system, no matter how global and integral it may be.” That is not what matters. You are simply enchanted by the quality of bestowal in and of itself. You don’t know what makes it so good, but you feel that besides bestowal, you don’t want anything else. You do not fulfill yourself and do not anticipate pleasure. You bestow out of awe, reverence, greatness, out of recognizing bestowal as such in the pure form. Now it is everything to you.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/27/11, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”