It says in the Torah that at the foot of Mt. Sinai the Creator said to the People of Israel: “and now if you shall listen to Me, and keep My covenant, you shall be unique people of all the nations.” There is a condition here: “I shall give you the Torah, which means the method of correction, if you understand that you have to fulfill the formula of correction, the plan of the correction.”
The Creator gives everything, the instructions and their fulfillment, but you have to know where you are headed. Here a certain commitment is required on behalf of the lower, who checks himself: Does he agree to that? And if he hasn’t reached the level of agreement yet, then the exile in Egypt can reoccur and eventually we will find ourselves once again at the foot of Mt. Sinai facing the same condition.
The agreement on behalf of the lower symbolizes the need for clarification—he needs to find out that he really wants this and nothing else. Even if he weren’t given such a strict condition, he would still accept it with his heart and soul by asking for it and wanting it. The condition he was given helps him clarify what he actually has to do.
So why doesn’t a person reach the gathering at Mt Sinai with a clear demand: “I want to be corrected! Please give me the Torah and I will keep it, in order to bring You contentment…” the point is that a person reaches this as a result of the shattering. He has a deficiency but he cannot clarify things independently and so the Light has to operate first. By the Light that is revealed, a person feels darkness—his point in the heart rises to Mt. Sinai and at the same time at the foot of the mountain he builds the “golden calf.” Indeed, how can all his other desires agree to rise to the same level in which he is ready to work in bestowal, doing the work of the priests?
A person must discover the field of his future work, all the thickness of the “mountain” from the top to the bottom. Therefore, he faces this condition. He can refuse and “die,” which means to stay in the desire to receive, to return to Egypt. The people of Israel demanded this of Moses more than once during the journey in the desert. The ego constantly calls to return to Egypt since Egypt is depicted as a fertile abundant land. Everything was in abundance there, so what was the problem?
Egypt fills the egoistic desires to their fullest. They never lacked anything there, except for one thing: to the extent that you are developed you feel darkness and sufferings, and enter the “seven years of hunger,” but it is spiritual hunger, a spiritual thirst, when there is nothing to revive your soul, but only your stomach. The desire to receive is full, but for the desire to bestow it is exile and death.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/11/12, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”