The desire to receive, which we are in now, is bad. It is very good if we want to enjoy life, and it helps us as much as it can. But it becomes bad and cruel if a desire to bestow is evoked in us, and it doesn’t let us adhere to the Creator, to the upper level. The desire to receive places a Machsom (barrier) between the upper and us, which does not allow us to pass.
The tension, pressure, and yearning grow, and thus the vessels are formed. The vessels for attaining this upper level are not formed by the desire to receive that has turned into a desire to bestow, but are derivative of it. It is a result of the efforts and the sufferings, of the struggle between the spark of bestowal in a person and his desire to receive.
The spark struggles in order to adhere to the Creator, but it cannot do so since the desire to receive holds it by its feet and doesn’t let it break free. Then its exertion (for which the desire to receive is responsible since it held the “point in the heart” in its hands) becomes the vessel in which the unity of the next level is revealed.
This means that the desire to receive itself doesn’t become this vessel, it always remains restricted, but we work above it, by building our vessel above it, from the bricks of our exertion.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/25/12, “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”