Baal HaSulam: “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”: Because of that we are compelled to begin with Lo Lishma (for oneself). Rambam says, “our sages said: ‘One should always study the Torah, and even Lo Lishma, because from Lo Lishma one comes to the altruistic intention of Lishma.
This means that first I have to bestow upon the friends, the others, and the Creator as much as I can, thinking that thanks to this I will feel good. I don’t have the right intentions yet, but still I already perform actions of bestowal. We are used to doing favors for each other in this world as well, hoping to benefit from it. A person doesn’t help others unless he sees a personal benefit in it.
In the meantime, my fuel doesn’t come from the Light that Reforms, but from my own benefit. I receive an egoistic pay for my bestowal, and it is clear to me. But thanks to these actions I awaken the reforming Light, and it changes my reward.
The Light makes “a miracle,” something unfamiliar to me. It enables me to bestow without any reward. I am filled, but only by bestowal. This is a “one-way movement.” At the moment we can’t imagine such a filling, but when the Light will change us, we will understand what it is.
So in the meantime, I act with an egoistic intention of Lo Lishma, as if I want to reach the intention of Lishma. I bestow upon the friends, I learn in order to awaken the Light that will change me, but in the meantime, I find personal pleasure in it. Otherwise I couldn’t begin.
Later the Light that Reforms enables me to act without thinking about myself. Then I discover that I am totally outside myself, in others, or in the Creator, which is the same for me.
So the spiritual world, the altruistic intention, bestowal, is when I can act without any reward, without any personal benefit, consciously and unconsciously. Only the Light that influences us can enable us to do that, even if for now we perform egoistic actions—provided that our actions match the advice of Kabbalists perfectly.
When we study together, understand that we study about the corrected states and we want to find ourselves in them. By our great desire to know them, to connect with them, we awaken the Surrounding Lights upon ourselves.
Actually, Kabbalah books tell us how we are connected to one another, how we bestow upon each other, and turn into one corrected vessel. So if we yearn for this state, at least a little, then from there, like from a spring of water, the Light that Reforms comes and brings us closer to perfection.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/1/2011, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”