From Baal HaSulam’s article “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot”: …it is the path of Torah, meaning the extensive preparation one must make to prepare the purification of his body before he is actually rewarded with keeping Torah and Mitzvot.
This is talking about the so-called “preparation time.” A person comes to study Kabbalah, but he doesn’t yet understand where he is. He starts with some introductory lectures, then he gets acquainted with a group; he participates in various workshops and common work. If he joins a group, he picks up new values and attitudes from his group whether he wants to or not. This is how one’s preparation period begins; it lasts until one reaches a state called “Lishma,” meaning that the Reforming Light begins to impact him in a way that his desires are altered.
“Completion of the Path of Torah” stands for “asking for a miracle,” meaning enjoying the process of bestowal. One has to wish to rid himself of selfish interests. However, he has to aspire to this condition not because he wants to escape sufferings, but rather to become capable of bestowal. Giving must become one’s only pleasure. When a person rises above his egoistic desires, he is still preoccupied with various problems, but it will be for the sake of caring for others. He regards only this kind of behavior as “life.”
Once while driving with Rabash to a sauna, I asked him about the way to check my level of “Lishma.” He explained it to me as follows: “A friend of yours is returning an envelope with some money that he owed you. There is $1,000 in the envelope. You count the money and see that there is $999. You think it’s not a big deal and decide that most likely your friend simply miscalculated the amount and overlooked that it is short by $1. You think that it’s not even worth mentioning it to him. So, you seal the envelope and close the deal.
This is called “acting within reason.” If you count the money or if you are driven by any sort of calculation, it means that you are ruled by your mind. If you count the money, and still accept your friend’s estimation, (it’s obvious that he wanted to return the whole amount of $1,000), then you accept the envelope without any hesitations whether or not it contains the whole amount you are supposed to receive back. It means that you go beyond your own opinion and above your mind.
It doesn’t matter, how much your friend has returned to you. You accept any amount from him as if it is a thousand dollars; there is no minimum that you would accept. You don’t bring up any conditions, nor do you even think of his possible mistake. It is simply impossible! By accepting $999, you are $1 “above reason.”
If you open the envelope and see that there is only one dollar ($1) enclosed in it, but you still accept it as if it were one thousand dollars ($1,000), it means that your “faith above reason” is $999 worth. It is quite significant…
It is the kind of faith that doesn’t let you get anything in return. You take the Creator’s judgment or your friend’s estimation for granted; thus, you feel as if you received the whole amount back. You feel “as if” your friend returned to you the full amount of $1,000, 100%. This situation fulfills you and empowers you to rise from the level of “Lo Lishma” to “Lishma.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/12/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”