All our work is climbing up the levels, where every level is totally cut off from the previous one. Such a ladder is created during the cascading from top down, when Malchut of the upper becomes the Keter of the lower. And this is how the transition from one state to another takes place, even if it isn’t an ascent up the spiritual degrees yet.
It is a real transformation, and the change our matter goes through is so thorough and complete that we cease to understand ourselves during the transition from one state to another. This is because all these states are made of the change in the amount of the Light that evokes our desire to receive, and both, the Light and the desire, give birth to a new level, a new state.
When we are on the new level, we have nothing left of the previous state except for the Reshimot (informational genes) that brought about this new state. It is also concealed. This means that there is nothing from the previous state in the new spiritual state.
We feel that it happens this way even before entering the spiritual world; we have to agree with all the states we go through, and learn from them what the spiritual transition really is as we move from one world to another. Every level is actually a world in itself.
The problem is that there are two elements in every level: the desire to receive and the desire to bestow, which are two opposites that contradict one another—the right and left lines, each with its own shell. We have to become the middle line that connects the two in it, that controls them and that is above them.
The cascading from top down takes place in the following way: Hochma (on the right), Bina (on the left), and then Da’at (wisdom) (below, in the middle). And thus a triangle is formed with a vertex facing downwards. During the ascent from the bottom up there is Hochma (on the right) and Bina (on the left) and then Keter (on the top, in the middle), because we only want to rise. Each time it is the result of Hochma and Bina, Hassadim and Gevurot, fear and love, and always above them.
And so there is always a problem of how to combine these two components that contradict one another, until the third arrives and decides. The third component comes from Above in the form of the revelation of the Creator, after a person sees that he absolutely cannot reconcile the two.
Therefore, self-sacrifice is required both in fear and in love. In fear it is harder to attain than in love, because love also absorbs the soul and they both act in the same way. If I love someone, I am totally devoted to him and desire to connect to him. This is how it seems to us in this world, because we love what our desire to receive likes.
But in the spiritual world I love what is hated by my egoism, as it says: “love will cover all the sins.” This means that self-sacrifice is also difficult in love, but in hate it is totally impossible.
To hate and to give my soul is called to use my vessels to receive in order to bestow. So how can I unite my most hated enemies who also hate me, and to bestow upon everyone the good that I can only do to the people I love most and that are closest to me?
This can only be done for some additional goal that justifies everything else. But if the goal is the action itself, it is simply impossible. This means that a very difficult ascent is expected here, above personal accounts.
We approach it gradually, perhaps not by the Light, which is the shortest and nicest path, but on a much longer path that includes sufferings and that is called “Derech Ererz,” (the path of the earth). Eventually, however, we reach the goal, because the upper Light operates on every action that we perform and decides between the two rival sides.
Therefore, although I have to give my soul both in fear and in love, they arrive alternately, until we rise and are able to connect everything. Then you can be in a state of self-sacrifice in fear too, just like in love.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/26/12, Shamati #219