We don’t realize that we are enslaved by our egoism. It rules over us and tells us what to do. And we don’t even feel that we operate according to its orders because we are connected to it to such an extent that its desire becomes my desire, and we merge into one whole. Then a person does everything his ego wants thinking of it as his life and his own desire.
But that is an example of the opposite state that we must reach by uniting with the Creator, cleaving to him to such an extent that I stop feeling the difference between His desire and my desire. As for now I fulfill all the fancies of my egoism with devotion, which shows me where to turn, when to inhale, to act one way or another.
I feel the same way being united with the Creator by rising above my current desire and fulfilling His desires, without hesitation or any calculations, so I will become corrected. And naturally, I have to go against my desire and personal calculations by investing great efforts to reach such a correction. But in the end, my goal is to reach the same level of unity with the Creator as I have now united with my desire to receive, without feeling any difference between it and myself.
And when I’m able to break free from my egoistic desire, I begin feeling that it is my enemy, that it harms me. Sometimes I love someone, and we are great friends, but then it turns out that he uses me and harms me. It takes time before I’m able to break free from him and certain things about him become revealed to me. Only then am I able to break free from him, to see that there is no other choice but to leave him, and to start hating him.
Thus the whole world starts learning that its ego is its enemy. Every person reveals that to the extent that he works on it. As a result, we begin realizing the need for change because we feel at loss in this race against our egoism. This is a big advancement because a person becomes separated from his nature, from his initial quality that forces him to only take care of himself, and he begins to critically analyze it.
This means that he becomes separated from his evil inclination and starts listening and searching for what he can do next. Thus he finds the Torah, a means for correcting egoism. He needs a force that is able to change his attitude toward his egoistic desire and that gives him the ability to become completely separated, to no longer make any calculations of what is worth getting and when.
This transition is called Lo Lishma. A person is still inside a desire to enjoy, but he has to imagine to himself that working above it would be more beneficial, that he would gain more from that. So he already works above his desire to enjoy, not willing to follow its orders. But the result of these actions and this work is still inside egoism because otherwise a person would not have the fuel for doing it.
At this stage a person goes through various states, starting from working in order to receive pleasure in his desire to enjoy to have energy and fuel to keep on working. But in fact, he wants to be in bestowal. Thus he asks the Reforming Light to give him the power to make calculations on the desire to enjoy not in his egoistic interests, but only out of hopelessness because he is a machine that needs to be fueled.
In fact he would rather remain in the quality of bestowal, but not for the sake of receiving pleasure from it. He realizes that there is no other way, and he has to pay to be given some freedom while he is under the power of the master, the egoistic desire. He works this way until he becomes completely separated.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/14/12, Shamati #20