Imagine your state to be the same as when you wish to give your children something that tastes awful but is very good for them. They don’t understand it at all and are unwilling to accept it. Similarly, we must consume an extremely bitter fruit and enjoy it at the same time. But how can I enjoy such bitterness? It’s like a lemon that makes my mouth pucker just by looking at it.
There is food we eat just to accent sweetness: something very sour, salty, or bitter. We add ingredients to dilute the taste a little and then feel it through the contrast of opposites, like the “benefit of the Light from the darkness.” The Light is sweetness for our desire to receive pleasure.
But here we are talking about the transition towards unselfish love, the bitter fruit. I reject it by nature, and I am unable to feel in it any special ultimate greatness. I need to develop a desire for it so I will constantly increase and develop my aspiration towards this bitter and painfully unpleasant fruit, along with my desire for sweetness that will only keep growing. Is this really possible?
However, this is necessary to pull us out of the animate degree, where we develop under the influence of our ego, in pursuit of pleasure. In reality, animals do not really search for pleasure; they simply operate according to their instincts.
But man begins to rise above the animate degree and acquire human desires, so he invents additional pleasures. His desire to receive pleasure grows much more than the desire of a regular animal that lives its life without developing, as it is written: “A one-day-old calf is already considered to be a bull.”
But as we develop in this world, we search for greater pleasures. Our ego is always growing and keeps creating new sources of pleasure for itself. This way we grow out of the animate degree and turn into enormous beasts.
And then we transition to a completely different—human—degree. And the first thing that happens here is our loss of the drive for egoistic fulfillment. We begin to feel that this life is no longer fulfilling us: Everything becomes bland and flavorless. A person becomes depressed and starts thinking about the meaning of life.
Many people are already feeling this way today. The degree of egoistic development is coming to an end, and we no longer wish to imagine its more and more tasty and tempting fruit. We question the purpose! And this is the next degree.
And here we feel that the purpose is bitter. We discover that if we wish to see the purpose and really reveal it, we can only do this on the next degree, which is opposite to the one where I am now. I need to develop a desire for a very bitter fruit.
After all the sweets I have had: ice-cream, candy, and pastries, I must desire something that causes pain, weakness, bitterness, and soreness in my mouth. This fruit is so repulsive that my nature does not allow me to even come near it.
The only that can be done here is to raise its importance. Everyone needs to keep telling me about its benefits, even though I am repelled by it. This importance can be developed by the environment, which will convince me of the value of this bitter fruit that disgusts me so much that I cannot even look at it.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/1/2011, Writings of Rabash