Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 28: …And then we embark on a new kind of labor—to insert all that exaggerated will to receive in the form of bestowal. Then it is healed, because now it obtained equivalence of form. … It is only that in the meantime it has been given to the Klipot for purification. But in the end, it must not be a different body.
There is a desire to receive that was created by the Creator. It isn’t the desire that we all have to sustain our animal body, but a desire that is outside this world that was given to us in order to correct it, to correct our attitude to others.
Everything that is outside the attitude to others doesn’t count at all. Our “animal” part is characterized by desires for food, sex, family, money, respect, and knowledge. It doesn’t matter what form they take; they don’t count at all.
Education, culture, ethics and other values are part of our world only because we think about correcting a person’s attitude to such things by attributing some significance to them. But we were initially given a clear instruction: “Love thy friend as thyself.” It is a comprehensive, universal principle. This is the only thing we have to correct and the only direction we should aim at, regardless of all the other desires. It is in the attitude towards others that the “shattering of the vessels” occurred, and it is there that we discover the upper Light, the adhesion, by the correction.
Kabbalists say that we have to discover the egoistic desire in the mutual relations with others and to acknowledge the fact that it is all for my own benefit instead of the benefit of others. Everything is measured in relation to others, and it is according to this criterion that we call the desire to receive an “evil inclination,” as Kabbalists define it.
If my power is aimed at my self-benefit and not at the good of others, it is called the “evil inclination.” Now I need to turn it into a good inclination so that the same power, the same desire, will not be for my own benefit but for the benefit of others. Why is that? Because by that, we bring contentment to the Creator.
If I work this way, I summon the Light that Reforms, the force that corrects me by ascents and descents. Now I consider my good attitude towards others as an “ascent,” while in a “descent” I see that I am still against bestowal upon others.
I continue these clarifications, until all my desire to receive is actually “dead” and is incapable of anything. Then from the state of death, I revive it and reach the “resurrection of the dead,” and thus reach Gmar Tikkun (the final correction).
So everything takes place within my desire to receive that is aimed at others—individually and towards the environment, and generally towards the Creator. We should be aware of this in a strong and clear manner.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/9/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”