A person also needs help from Above to reach absolute despair. On our own we are incapable of it. It is a great thing to feel your limit: This is—I, and this is no longer—I. Only the Creator can give this sign, this limit, the boundary between Him and me.
We do different actions with different gimmicks until we suddenly reach despair, seeing the so-called “decree of Heaven” in it, which stands for a sign from Above. Baal HaSulam writes, There is no happier state in a man’s world than when he finds himself despaired with his own powers…. After all, this state comes to him from the Creator, and there is nothing else that can be done.
We were collecting our little efforts, one at a time, and then we receive them simultaneously, already accumulated into a single whole. We do not put our efforts into some little box, they collect in a common vessel, and their result comes from the Creator. No one knows when it will happen. And this is why the exit out of Egypt is done in a rush and in darkness.
As we try to attain unity, we begin to work on it all together, and then we suddenly discover the power of despair, rejection, and powerlessness. This despair leads us to a demand: We need help to unite. And we scream. And this scream is followed by help from Above.
Thus, it is impossible to reach the Creator without first becoming despaired inside and making a concerted effort together. After all, the Creator is a force, which is specifically revealed through mutual effort, mutual work. In the individual there is no Creator. The upper Light can only exist in a vessel, corrected to a certain degree, and an individual is a “piece, broken” from the whole.
From the Arava Convention 2/25/12, Lesson #6