While advancing toward revelation, we have to understand how to collect broken vessels (desires). Baal HaSulam writes about this in Igrot (Letters), Pg. 70: “However, because of the breaking of the vessels, all the Otiot (letters) were ejected to corporeal conducts and people. When one corrects oneself and reaches the root of one’s soul, he must collect them by himself, one-by-one, and bring them back to the root, to holiness.”
With the breakage of the vessels in the spiritual world, a coarser layer of desire was formed called “this world,” which is where we find ourselves now. Everything that happened at that time of breakage is now being revealed in our world in a corrupted form, between corporeal people.
And if a person realizes that everything happening between him and others is a result of the shattering of desires, he then takes all the connections with other people and returns them to the root, corrects them one by one. That means he “sentences himself and the entire world to a scale of merit.”
“The matter of the unification of the Creator and Divinity that one induces when he has had his fill of yearning and longing is precisely like the underside coupling, applying in the birth of a corporeal body. It too extends necessarily by cause and effect, meaning the hardening that is a certain measure of longing and yearning, called hardness in the corporeal tongue. Then, one’s seed is also blessed…” (Baal HaSulam, Igrot [Letters], Pg. 70).
A person reaches unity with the Creator only when he ardently longs for it. We possess a desire toward spiritual attainment, but it’s given to us from Above and doesn’t belong to us. Everyone was brought into a group at some point of time, and he comes to study because he is being awakened from Above. Everything he does is guided from Above; his actions are not yet his own, but the work of the Creator on him.
Apart from a desire, there is also yearning, and that is a special notion: an addition to the desire. It comes to me not from the Creator, but from the environment. When I connect with others, I receive their yearning toward spirituality. It’s an addition to the desire that I get from working with the environment. Only this yearning is counted in spiritual work, meaning only the additional desire that I gained with my own efforts, and I advance accordingly to it.
A simple desire toward spirituality can be great, and a person may be ready to study around the clock and to disseminate. But that’s not his own desire. He’s being wound up from Above like a windup toy; when you turn a key, it starts jumping. And a person can do a lot, but the question is whether this can be attributed to his own earned desire or to a desire given to him from Above.
Looking from aside, it’s impossible to know what’s the case. Only a person himself can examine and discover that. And in so doing, he won’t be able to complain about studying for so many years, learning so much, but not receiving a revelation. This is because the desire he is working with is not his, but belongs to the Creator who created it. He has to receive an addition to this desire that is called spiritual yearning.
It’s very important. However, many make the mistake of working with the original desire thinking that everything is fine: “Look at how much I do.” But only an addition that I earned with my own efforts is counted in spirituality. Everything that was given by the Creator is not counted because it existed in the world of Infinity. This is not why the development of the worlds and the breaking of Adam HaRishon took place. Everything already existed in the world of Infinity.
The only thing that didn’t exist in Infinity and that is required for us to start ascending from below upward is a spiritual yearning, pressure, and our own awakening. This is called MAN, a prayer.
We have to take this additional desire that didn’t exist in the world of Infinity from the environment. We have it thanks to the shattering! This is why I feel all the others as strangers. If they are separate from me, I can receive an impression from them. This impression is called “envy, lust, and ambition lead a person out of this world.”
I envy what others have and thereby increase my desire. This addition to my desire, which is called yearning, pressure, or perseverance with which I realize this desire, is what helps me build my spiritual vessel.
From the Arava Convention 2/25/12, Lesson 7