Rabash, Shlavey HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder), Article, “The Love of Friends”: And although a person receives some thought and desire that he should leave his self-love, which comes to him by hearing what writers and books say, but this is a very small power, that doesn’t always illuminate this opinion for him, so that he will be able to consider it or use it permanently…
Question: Is the power of Kabbalah books so small?
Answer: Of course. It doesn’t depend on the books but on the person himself, or what we call the “user.” A person will not succeed by himself even if he has the source of the whole Book of Zohar. Nothing will help him, because by himself he has no vessel. His success doesn’t depend on the books but on establishing an attitude to others.
There are two forces active in nature: the desire to enjoy (to receive) and the desire to bestow. The desire to receive is the created being and the desire to bestow is the Creator. The created being is in the desire to receive here in our world. If he wants to be in the Creator’s world, he has to acquire a desire to bestow, which means to switch to the second nature.
In order to do that, two factors must be activated:
1. Connection. In our world a person connects with others in order to reach the second nature.
2. The Light that Reforms. It illuminates only in response to the efforts of a person who wants to connect with others and to acquire the nature of bestowal.
Besides that, we should aspire to bestow upon the Creator, although at the beginning we are not required to have such pure intentions, which will come later on.
So there is the necessary means in our world: the group that enables us to build an “infrastructure” among us, the right relationships, a vessel, albeit still flawed, but that demonstrates our desire to be corrected. Of course we discover that we cannot and don’t want to connect, that we are repelled by one another. We reveal the evil inclination and not the blissful feeling of brotherhood and complete joy. Brotherhood: On the contrary, we have to connect, sobbing fiercely about the extent that we hate one another! Embracing although we shudder with repulsion.
It is very good since by that you discover the shattered vessel. Then you will have the reason for crying and calling for the help of the Light that Reforms. And it comes because you study from the books of Kabbalists and want to go through the states they go through.
Thus we move from the level of the love of the created beings to the love of the Creator. Rabbi Akiva said “Love thy friend as thyself, it is the great rule of the Torah.” But that isn’t the end of the road yet. When you reach the first level of love, you worry about the fear: “Will I manage to love more? Won’t I lose what I have already acquired?” You have to act “from the other side.” After all, there are always two lines in the spiritual work and you are in between. So make sure that your love is accompanied by fear. Evoke the attributes of judgment—it is impossible without them.
Then, when you reach fear, you will acquire the “middle line”—the wholeness called bestowal or faith. This is already the end of the work, the fulfillment of love.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/14/12, Writings of Rabash