Answer: This is called “Lo Lishma.” You think of others because without them you can achieve nothing. It is an egoistic intention since you pray for everybody else only because you can’t manage without them. So, this means that you are really praying for yourself, “Lo Lishma.”
Does it have anything in common with actual bestowal? No, it doesn’t. It’s a lie, but with good intention. So far, we sense that concealment is given to us from Above to make us think of various spiritual concepts as if we were little children. A child looks at each garbage truck with delight thinking that it’s God’s chariot that descended from the skies; he regards its driver as an angel and envies him.
The deceit is organized by nature so that a child learns to respect anything that is higher than him and thus learns to strive and achieve an upper level, otherwise he won’t grow. The same scenario works with all of us: We have to worship the group because only with its help can we achieve the spiritual world and attain bestowal.
We regard bestowal as a process of giving to us, rather than our giving to others! This is how we view bestowal; if not for that, we would have run away a long time ago. However, the force Above overturns the deceit completely and presents it to us in a totally opposite way, thus making us wait for a present. Sweet treats stimulate our growth.
Therefore, our current concepts are wrong; they are the reverse side of reality. That’s why our world is called “opposite” and deceitful. When we advance towards spirituality, we become opposite to it. But those who lead regular lives are not considered opposite to spirituality whatsoever; they are simply cut from it.
We are aware of our oppositeness to spirituality since we educate ourselves. We try to be in control of our divergence as much as possible by restricting ourselves. If we can understand where actual truth is and where deception is and if we manage to expand the boundaries of sanctity by giving up on something we like, then to the extent of our efforts we will advance.
Everything depends on the degree to which we are able to give correct sensory definitions to spiritual concepts in order to start sensing bestowal, in other words to start realizing that for us it is similar to death and that there is nothing worse than that.
It’s even worse than death, since death is a complete discontinuation after which there is nothing at all, whereas here our lives are taken away from us and we become the Creator’s slaves; we can only torture ourselves from morning till night by working hard against our own will; we can neither compliment our egoism nor die.
It is opposite to such an extent that one cannot even imagine it. Oppositeness unfolds only when we acquire the property of Bina, the readiness to suffer until that suffering turns into the opposite of its opposite state: into love.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/26/12, The Zohar