Baal HaSulam, Shamati #52, “A Transgression Does Not Put Out a Mitzva”: I had heard another parable that he had told of two friends, one of which became a king and the other became very poor, and he had heard that his friend became a king. The poor went to his friend the king, and told him of his bad state.
The king gave him a letter to the minister of the treasury that for two hours he would receive as much money as he wanted. The poor came to the treasury with a small box and entered and filled that small box with money.
When he came out, the minister kicked the box and all the money fell to the floor. It continued similarly time and time again, and the poor man was crying, “Why are you doing this to me?” Finally, he said, all the money that you took throughout this whole time is yours and you will take it all. You did not have the receptacles to take enough money from the treasury, and this is why that trick was played on you.
We have to be ready for the situation that the moment we fill our “box,” it will immediately be emptied. However, it’s not so that we continue to mechanically fill it and to take more and more from the treasury.
The ego feels how the box is being emptied again and again, and it itself starts training us to perceive this as something normal. And then we begin to ask why it happens this way, what’s the meaning of it, and we don’t agree with this.
We go through the same states again and again, while the Light acts upon this uncompromising repetition, and we begin to understand that we don’t need to worry about the full box, but about the work itself. The opportunity to transfer the King’s treasure from place to place gives us fulfillment, and thus we attain bestowal, “Lishma.”
We shouldn’t aim at and focus on the fulfillment that is pleasant and important to us today, but constantly think about what will be important tomorrow. We need to do that immediately, and then we will be similar to that same old man who walks bent over and is searching, as if he has lost something. He is constantly afraid of losing the importance of the goal and tries to clarify what this goal is exactly.
The goal isn’t about pleasant sensations. Pleasant sensations are needed so that I can rise above them and demand a different filling—to feel the importance of the One I am working for and to remain in concealment. I demand the revelation of the greatness of the Creator only in order to supply to myself the fuel for the work. As it is said: “Wisdom (Hochma) is for the humble” and “The reward for a commandment is a commandment.” This is what a person has to aspire to so that he is allowed to rise above one deed to the next deed, which has no relation whatsoever to the pleasure that he received.
It is as if I prepared some action by myself, executed it by myself, and received good results. And now I need to thank the Creator for executing everything from beginning to end. After all, now I understand that everything happened because He gave me desire, fuel, direction, intellect, and all the rest. He is the One who arranged everything, and I did nothing at all.
Thus I need to make a sacrifice (Kurban), to bring another part of me closer (Karov) to bestowal. I have to sacrifice the pleasure that I received thanks to “someone else’s” work and the money (Kesef) that wasn’t mine either, meaning a screen, covering (Kisuf) in this world. The Creator gave me all of that and He also gave me fulfillment. And I want to rise above all of this and to work not for this fulfillment, but for the sake of His greatness.
In this way we don’t lose the level we obtained and don’t descend. Now we determine an even higher goal for ourselves, like that old man who searches in case he has lost something.
And we indeed have lost something. For a small moment we felt how good and pleasant it is to be in unity, and now we have to rise above this pleasant feeling to the importance of the goal. And this same pleasant feeling we want to pass on to the Creator so as to bring him contentment.
It follows that this entire process he went through, all the refreshments that the guest received from the host, he now wants to return them so as not to receive them for himself. This is already a state that in some way becomes pure bestowal, “Lishma.” And this is already the correct attitude.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/27/2012, Shamati #52