On the spiritual path a person discovers terrible egoistic desires which show him how deeply he is in receiving. Then his attitude towards others is described as mistakes. Baal HaSulam writes about this in the “Introduction to the Study of The Ten Sefirot“: “With this we understand the words of our sages: that one who repents from fear is rewarded with his sins becoming mistakes.”
First the egoistic desires are revealed to a person as sins, and now he passes them to the level of mistakes, to an easier level. On the whole, the correction is always gradual: First we raise the desire to the level of Bina, and then to the level of Keter. First, in the level of Bina, we neutralize the desire.
We cannot bestow with it yet, but at least we don’t let it cause harm. At the same time, we are in single concealment, while before we were in a double concealment: “that the sins one makes extend to him from the reception of Providence through double concealment.”
If both the face and the posterior of the Light are concealed, I am in a double concealment. Then I have to sin because I am under the control of my egoistic desire, the desire to receive in order to receive, until a Light appears from Above and corrects my desire.
But there are states in which the Light is concealed. It is present, but it doesn’t correct. This is single concealment. The presence of the Light still makes me fear to receive: it is as if it warns me, guards me, and keeps me on the level of mistakes, but not sins.
But if the Light is totally concealed and doesn’t deter me, then I lose control and am under the domination of my egoism, which does whatever it wants with me.
On the whole, I am between the force of bestowal and the force of receiving. The account is very simple: Which of the two forces pressures me more strongly? If the force of the Creator, the force of the Light, influences me more strongly, then I will undoubtedly bestow. But if the force of the Light is weaker, then I will undoubtedly carry out the orders of my egoistic desire and move on to the level of “sins.”
It is the same with us: If society, the police, or the family hold me and prevent me from doing bad deeds, then I am okay. But if there aren’t such restraining factors, I begin to “go wild.” One way or another, there is no choice: A person is under the influence of one of the forces.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/25/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”