Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)” (abridged version): And you evidently find that the giving of the Torah had to be delayed until they came out of Egypt and became a nation of their own so that all their needs were provided for by themselves….
The Exodus from Egypt is not just an escape from the domination of the evil inclination, although in itself this is also a great achievement. A person must really escape from his ego like he would from fire. No matter what, he is ready to sacrifice himself to the end. “I would rather die than live.” At the same time, bestowal upon others seems worse than death.
The second condition is to become a nation. It isn’t enough to escape my own egoism, I also have to agree to connect with others and to take care of everyone. I actually serve them, and my reward is that they allow me to do so. On the way to achieving this goal no one will lack anything. This means that I stand before the level of Bina.
However, while they were still mingled with the Egyptians…permeated with self-love. Thus, the portion that is given into the hands of foreigners will not be secured for any person from Israel because his friends will not be able to provide for those needs….
This is what causes a person pain and why he escapes from it. As the prisoner of the ego (self love), which is called Egypt, he cannot take care of others and so he decides to escape.
But here it turns out that in the material sense, everything is fine. Imagine that you have all the food that you need and that you live in the most fertile place. It turns out that you can do fine in life, in your egoism. Until now you have been pushed by suffering, and here, when you must escape from that to bestowal, it’s as if you are held back from the front: “But you can manage within your ego too.”
Then you go back to work, but it’s now work on the next level. Previously, you escaped physical sufferings, and in order to get rid of them, you were even ready to connect. This is why people connect when they have no choice in times of war or disasters. At a certain point, connection seems to be good, but suddenly it isn’t seen as good anymore.
You rise to the next level and you are told: “It isn’t worth it; you will live just as well in the corporeal world too.” This resistance from the front prevents you from yearning for connection egoistically. There are plenty of societies that connect wonderfully because of personal interests, but it isn’t the same with us.
If a person resists the braking force each time and nevertheless wants to reach connection, he develops a new desire that isn’t aimed towards himself. He falls and rises again and again, continues to study, to work in the group, and to draw the reforming Light, until he completes the second degree.
Now he is ready to connect only in order to bestow upon others. A direct attitude towards bestowal is revealed in him which he places above all personal interests.
Then the third degree comes. It’s when a person is with everyone else, feels good being with them, and bestows to them, forgetting about himself and his troubles and connecting to the friends, to eternity and perfection. And then it transpires that he still needs a reward, but of a higher quality. So it turns out that he is exchanging a cow for a donkey, meaning exchanging this world for the next world. Then a new form of resistance appears: It turns out that you have to act for the sake of the Creator.
Thus a person moves on to a qualitatively higher level of self-detachment. Now he isn’t interested in himself or the group, but in the Source, in the abstract idea, abstract in the sense that he has no connection with it.
It’s impossible to hold on to bestowing to the Creator: The Creator doesn’t know about me, and I cannot reach Him. So how can I form a vessel of such high bestowal? For this there is a special system which we will talk about later.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/13/2011, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”