Our attitude to the neighbor, to the environment in the world where we were born, which we feel inside of our egoism, is called the preparation period. When we go from love for the environment or love for friends to love for the Creator, this is already the time of the real work, when we acquire the qualities of bestowal.
As a result of acquiring these altruistic qualities and going through the degree of bestowal for the sake of bestowal, we finally attain love. But since this path leads to the attainment of love for the Creator, that is how the entire path is called.
And even though today we are working in our realm, in our world, with egoistic qualities, this is still considered work on love for friends, for the neighbor, even though all of it is very far from real love.
Love for the Creator, love for the creatures, and love for friends are the same thing because it is directly opposite to love for oneself. That is why it requires so many qualitative changes inside of a person. But the value of love for friends is very high because it allows us to acquire additional desires and sensations, to reveal the true reality we are in, meaning the Creator.
To the extent that a person values the Creator and the final goal, that is how important he considers the means leading to it, such as the exercises in the group, with the friends, and the studies because without these means he could never attain the goal.
On one hand, this entire world is imaginary and there is no one around me: not the still or the vegetative levels, nor animals or people. All of these are my own desires, which divided into these parts and therefore present the Upper Light to me in this way.
This is also how I must treat the group – as if nothing exists besides me. And everyone I feel around me: the environment, the group, the teacher, and even the Creator, are inside of me, in my sensation. I received this illusion that everything is outside so I could learn what the sensation of the neighbor means: so I could feel him, have relationships with him, and attain bestowal and love.
If a person perceives all of reality this way, then he does not err. Clearly, he still has to discern new details all the time and supplement the common picture with them, but he is already on the right path.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/11, Writings of Rabash