There are many paths for one to arrive at the question of love and unity. As a rule, the word “love” means something entirely different to us: fulfilling our egoistic desires with food, sex, family, wealth, fame, knowledge, and so on.
“I love” essentially means “I want.” When I want to receive something, it means that I love it, that I want for it to be mine, to bring it closer to me, and fill myself with it. This is what my “love” is all about. To sum up, the inner definition of the word “love” is “I want to receive it.”
This is because we exist in our world that formed after the breaking, as the wisdom of Kabbalah explains. Our entire world is completely egoistic, which is why we decode the notion of “love” as something aimed exclusively at oneself. If I love something, it means that I wish to bring it closer to myself, to feel it, and to fill myself with it. When I fulfill my desire, when I delight in something pleasant, I call it “love.”
By the same token, we have no regard for the other half, the other force existing in reality: the force of bestowal that also contains the same notion of “love.” However, there to love someone means to fulfill them, to bring to them what they want, rather than what I want. This is completely opposite to our understanding of love.
In the past, humans were close to nature and naturally felt that there exists another force in nature, the force of bestowal in which love meant that I consider others and bestow to them. Kabbalists, as do many other people endowed with high sensitivity to nature, have revealed these forces.
And there were many people besides Kabbalists who have felt and discovered for themselves in all kinds of forms that the force of bestowal is no less than the force of reception. They realized that in this other half of reality (in bestowal) the same actions exist as in the force of reception, only their interpretations are different, opposite to those we use here in our world.
We, however, exist only in one half of reality: in reception, the desire to fulfill oneself, as we are a consequence of the breaking of the desires (Kelim). And man remains largely broken, whereas the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature, as Baal HaSulam writes in “Preface to the Science of Kabbalah (Pticha),” rise and fall together with man, without any calculation concerning themselves, but only to the degree in which they have to facilitate the changes that man must undergo.
Religions and beliefs, from the moment of their inception, have also arisen from the fact that they revealed the other force existing in nature: the force of bestowal. At their core they speak of love and unity. So it was while they remained the lot of a few people. But after they’ve spread in the egoistic masses that are not as sensitive, they have become a set of ceremonies, rituals, and various other actions. At that point they started to be used egoistically: to fulfill oneself, rather than to bring people to unity, love, bestowal, and balance between the two systems.
As time went on and humanity developed throughout history, fueled by the constant growth of egoism in every person and in humanity in general, we have distanced greatly even from that natural understanding that humanity once possessed—from the understanding of bestowal and love inherent to the other half of nature.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/13/2011, Writings of Rabash