Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot“: However, when troubles and torments accumulate to a great extent, it causes a double concealment, which the books name “concealment within concealment.” It means that even His posterior is unseen.
A person is a desire to receive. If he finds the power to ascend above his egoism, he becomes equivalent to the Creator and then according to the extent of the equivalence of form, the Creator is revealed to him as the good and the benevolent, as the one who bestows. This is because a person who ascends above his desire also becomes good and benevolent. First His Providence is revealed to him based on reward and punishment and later it is revealed to him as the eternal Providence.
But if a person cannot keep himself above the egoistic desire in equivalence to the Creator, if he doesn’t have a strong enough Masach (screen), he cannot cope with the pleasure that appears before him, and it immediately turns into darkness for him. This is how a person feels the concealment. It isn’t emptiness, and it isn’t lack of knowledge, but rather a feeling of something that is hidden: There is someone out there, and I can distinguish it from my own corrupted qualities. After all, they are opposite to Him, and this is why I feel that He is concealed.
So the concealment is a kind of revelation. It is divided into two parts: double concealment and single concealment, but in any case it isn’t total detachment, like in our case. Here everything depends on the Masach, on my persistence in trying to keep myself above my egoistic desire to resist pleasures from the bestowal, and to relate not to the pleasures of bestowal but to the attribute of bestowal. I have to relate to the source, to the Creator, not because I am fulfilled by Him but because of His quality.
But if there are states with which I cannot cope, I enter concealment and this brings me great suffering. Yet these are spiritual sufferings. After all, the concealment refers to spiritual perception. This doesn’t refer to our “unconscious” world with its “beastly” needs, but rather spiritual sufferings when I cannot please the Creator. Great voids appear in me which cause me great pain and suffering, but I know from what and and why I suffer.
Thus in concealment, we discover vessels that gradually advance us to revelation. During this preparation period in concealment, we should always try to scrutinize: “What do I lack and why? Why don’t I resemble the Creator? Why don’t I succeed? What else should I do? What means and tricks should I use in order to succeed?” I have to make great efforts that are unpleasant on one hand, but pleasant on the other. It all depends on the strength of faith, on the Light of Hassadim, on how much I want to resemble the one who bestows.
In general, it is important to respect the concealment and to see it as a vital phase in our development. We won’t reach revelation before we study the concealment in depth in every possible way. The concealment, the feeling of darkness, the night, is the time to build the vessels. Then the day comes, which is the revelation of the Lights inside those vessels.
After all, the Light doesn’t come from the outside. It is the concealment that bears it. In other words, I reach such a correction that the previous concealment becomes the Light for me. First I feel the concealment in my desire because I am subordinated to the egoistic intention. Then I began to work and to acquire Masachim (screens) until I acquire the attribute of bestowal. Then I immediately stop feeing the concealment, the restriction, and instead I feel the attribute of bestowal inside me: I become the one who bestows and I am filled with pleasure by resembling the Creator. This is the Light. It comes to me not from somewhere on the outside, but is revealed inside me and so I feel my corrected attribute.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/19/12, “The Study of the Ten Sefirot”