In order to spur us towards more advanced states, these advanced states glow in the distance for us. Something good is glowing for us in the distance. It’s like when you show a child some ice cream from a distance. It makes him feel bad rather than good because we tease him with the ice cream he doesn’t yet have.
It’s the same with us. And hence we begin to strive forward. It seems that our present state is bad, and as we aspire for a better state, we advance.
Each time a higher and more advanced spiritual level is revealed, and we have problems with it. While a child understands that he will feel good if he eats the ice cream, we are not so sure about it because our state is opposite to the spiritual advancement. This is why we experience unpleasant states, a descent. This is why we need additional means of support: the group and the study, to convince ourselves that a better future glows for us in the distance.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/26/2011, The Zohar