Then a person is awakened from Above and begins to feel how an initial desire to discover the purpose of creation, the Creator, the meaning of his life, begins to grow within him. He begins to work on it, comes to the group, and begins to study. In the meantime, he doesn’t understand what he does. Just like a newborn baby, he doesn’t understand where he is, who he is, nor who the people around him are.
Gradually, he advances to clearer and better understood states, although just like a child, he does many foolish things, not knowing and not feeling it. He follows the advice of the “elders,” Kabbalists, and repeats what all the others do, until gradually, he begins to understand these actions.
Clearly, he doesn’t learn by performing these actions. Rather, as a result of these exercises, even if he doesn’t know what he is doing, he draws the Light upon himself. Thus, a person advances just like a baby who doesn’t need to know what makes him grow. He develops according to nature’s plan.
But gradually, he begins to understand how he should advance and on what his efforts should be focused. He begins to understand that the advancement is against our nature and that we should put our desires aside, not waiting for the body to agree to spiritual advancement. After all, the interests of the body are absolutely contrary to it.
So, we have to look for advice as to how to perform actions that our desire does not support and that do not bring pleasure to his spirit. This is intentional, and a person faces tremendous internal resistance, and he doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t understand how it is possible to advance if it repels his desire so much. Why should he work if he doesn’t fill his desire the way it has been up until now?
Even if I wish to advance against my desire, I still have to picture some abstract reward, at least something. We often act against our will at work, in sports, in filling our family duties, and so forth. Here, at least, it is clear to us what the reward is and why we should do it.
You wouldn’t even be able to lift a finger if you didn’t feel that it is rewarding. Your body simply would have no fuel to perform the action. Where do you get this fuel?
The search for fuel, the request for this external power, is called the search for the power of faith. A person doesn’t want to work on his own fuel because it will undoubtedly be egotistic, and he really needs some external energy and motivation.
This search with the support of the group brings him to the revelation of the Light that gives him the power to advance above his bodily desires. Now, he advances not in order to fill his egoism, but in the Light of faith that enables him to work above his egoistic desire.
Here, one needs to constantly overcome his desire. These steps are called “forty years of wandering in the desert,” in which a person receives the power to work without any compensation for his desires. His actions are above his desires and against them, and the result doesn’t go together with his desires either because he doesn’t see any personal benefit in it.
However, he can do it! His desires support him, although everything in them resist it, which is called by “faith above reason.” When a person can work this way, he moves on to working with the actual desires, and he can even use them in the power of faith without any egoistic benefits, but only for the sake of the Creator.
That is, the way is divided into two parts. First, we rise above our desire to receive called the “desert.” Then, we begin to work with it and enter the “land of Israel.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/2011, Writings of Rabash