Baal HaSulam, “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 125: To avoid having the scale of merit of the entire world lacking, when one is qualified to sentence them to a scale of merit, one has no other tactic but to always pain himself with the troubles of the public, just as he suffers with his own troubles.
Kabbalists tell us about the states we will have to go through on the spiritual path. They tell us so that we will yearn to move forward, by using all the means we have.
If we don’t demand, don’t “push”, we will not summon the Reforming Light. After all, everything is fulfilled by it. There is no other force except for the force of the Light. We should try harder to draw it.
The inner “spring” manages the actions of the Light, as if it were wound and set free, and thus the creation began until the whole process ends. At a certain point we have the chance to influence our own fate, because from that moment on we have to grow consciously.
But if we don’t want to grow according to the opportunities we are given, we are pushed forward by the “stick.” Eventually we will grow wise and understand and feel what is going on, and will take part in it consciously. But in this manner, every step will be accompanied by great suffering. One way or another, you cannot change the stages on your way. You will have to go through all the states and the levels, but each of them will start from a blow: “Oh! I understand there is no other way. Well, what can I do, maybe it’s worth it. Oh, it isn’t bad. Wow, it’s absolutely great!” And then again it’s the same story; once again you don’t want to do anything until the blows move you.
But we can manage without the detours that throw us off our feet. Instead of falling into troubles, we just lose the importance of the goal a little and by that acquire an incentive for a new ascent.
This is the whole difference, and it is very simple: Do you want to bring the Creator contentment or not? His only pleasure is that the created beings will want to come to Him by themselves. The point is not the sufferings, although you judge according to them. You even surrender in advance when they come, out of laziness. But you can rise: “Yes, I am lazy, I don’t want anything, and still, perhaps I could try to respect Him and to make Him happy?” This is the calculation you make, and so you hasten time. But if we rely on self-benefit, there will be no hastening of time.
The only chance is to feel that you are a guest and to bring contentment to the host. Otherwise, it is as if you are saying: “I will drop by when I need something. First let me build up an appetite, and then I’ll come. In the meantime sit by the table and wait for me.” But you can act differently: You smell the delicacies that He has prepared for you, you appreciate Him, you ask Him questions, and the main thing for you is to taste the meal in order to bring Him contentment. Only then do you approach the table.
It is great work that is totally aimed at bringing the Creator contentment, and not in order to shorten the time of the exile. You interpret “exile” differently: You are in an exile not away from pleasures, but from bestowal upon the host.
This isn’t a small part at the end of along path that takes months to make. This is all our work. This is phase four that is formed after the pervious phases. It is very dense, and works on very high frequency, at a “mad” rate. If the phases of our evolution lasted millions of years in the past, today it is all condensed into several years. We hardly approach the real work and the world is already losing direction and losing the feeling of time. Soon time and distance will actually disappear from our perception. People will cease to feel these limitations.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/28/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”