Baal HaSulam, “Concealment and Disclosure of the Face of the Creator”: In this manner, of course one does not see the good face of the Creator; that is, if he believes that the Creator is the one who does these things to him, either as punishment for transgressions or to reward him in the end. This follows the verse, “whom the Lord loves, He corrects,” and also, “the righteous begin with suffering, since the Creator wishes to eventually impart them great peace.”
Yet, one does not fail in saying that all this came to him by blind fate and by nature without any reason and consideration. Rather, one strengthens in believing that the Creator, with His Guidance, caused him all that. This is nonetheless considered seeing the Creator’s back.
This is the single concealment, the state a person who is in the process of spiritual advancement is found. He has not reached revelation yet, but he feels a certain process and attributes his problems to the Creator.
The problem is that he cannot justify the Creator and the feeling of suffering is the indication for that. On the one hand, if a person could justify the Creator, he wouldn’t feel suffering. On the other hand, it is impossible to feel suffering and to be grateful for it. If you suffer, it means that you feel bad. In our world it is possible to feel one thing and to say something else, but in spirituality there is no such thing: What you feel is what you “say.” If you suffer internally then no theatrical gestures and external smiles will help you.
This is why I feel bad and this state is called single concealment. So what ties me to the Creator? An unclear feeling that it is Him operating behind all this. It isn’t clear, because that would negate the bad feeling. If the Creator is revealed, I receive pleasure, and if he is concealed, I receive suffering. But in this case, the suffering isn’t so great that it can detach me from the Creator and I can justify it.
Our vessel is divided into two parts: GE and AHP. As a consequence, we are affected by two types of Lights: Hassadim and Hochma. So it turns out that I can still justify the Creator although I feel that He doesn’t treat me well. I attribute this feeling to the account of previous sins or to the account of the future reward, and so for the time being I accept the suffering.
There is a whole set of mutual relations concealed here. The good seems bad and I suppose that I deserve it because of my previous sins, or that I will receive a future reward for these sufferings. In my mind I justify the Creator as much as I can, and although I feel suffering, I still acknowledge that they come from Him and not from some external factors. No matter who trips me, I depict the Creator behind it.
This is quite a high level and if a person holds on to it, it becomes a springboard to something much greater. I wish we could permanently be in this state by perceiving that everything, both the good and the evil, come from the Creator, and that there is none else besides Him; that no foreign force controls us and neither does blind faith. His Providence may seem bad, but I justify it by my previous sins or the future reward. The Creator is like a good father who teaches and raises me correctly.
On the other hand, the concealment here is also since I expect some reward for my suffering: that they will either detach me from my previous sins or that they will help me acquire the future pleasure. The Creator doesn’t actually need these sufferings, not as a way to atone for my sins and not as a reward for my good deeds.
Still, in this state a person wants to reach bestowal, appreciates it, and holds on to the right direction towards it. At the same time two forces operate on him: The concealment that stems from his uncorrected desires and some illumination from adhering to the back side of the Light.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/2/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam