Answer: The ups and downs aren’t measured in of itself, but by feelings. Baal HaSulam says that a coarse person can steal openly before everyone, believing it is acceptable since “everyone steals.” A more refined person will stealthily take something he’s not entitled to and feel “it’s no big deal.” An even more sensitive individual is unable to possess something undeserved.
So, you check and determine the magnitude of the descent yourself. It doesn’t have to be a blow, after which you can barely recover. It is enough to simply feel somewhat detached from the excitement we felt at the convention, and with this decrease in enthusiasm you already see it as a descent.
It is the same on spiritual levels: You receive a slight blow, but it is felt as real pain. “Who gave me this blow? Why and what for?” The quantity turns into quality; otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to withstand it. We always advance with the help of qualitative additions.
So try to raise your sensitivity of the current state in order experience it as the worst. Then you will begin to ascend: “Why do I feel good? Everything is fine and nothing hurts. Okay, so am I checking myself according to beastly feelings? Am I connected to the friends just as I was during the convention? But I don’t care. So does it mean that I’ve become indifferent and have waved the convention goodbye?”
Start checking yourself and you’ll see that you are in a state far worse than previous descents: “Last time I felt awful and was ready to explode. And now I’m in a descent and feel fine. Then I was sick and wanted to get well, to get up. Even if I cursed everyone, I still wanted something. Today I am satisfied, as if retired and free of all obligations. I am a living corpse.”
This is the deepest descent. Awakening such forces will cause pain no less than the pain felt previously. It is very difficult, and you’ll feel that you cannot raise yourself by your own powers. This means that you have to turn to the group so that the friends will start working on you and inspire you toward the importance of the goal. When you touch their unity and love, you feel your lowness.
In general, our state following the convention is indeed different from what we are accustomed to. It isn’t the same bad feeling that many felt in the past. Today a qualitative examination is required. A person can feel good, and he sees no reason for advancement. But don’t be fooled—work.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/2011, “The Peace”