Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 101: Thus, as long as one has not attained Providence of the revelation of the face, the abundance of Torah and Mitzvot he has performed makes his concealment of the face much heavier. This is the meaning of, “the Creator hides Himself in the Torah.”
Indeed, all that heaviness he feels through the Torah is only proclamations by which the Holy Torah itself calls him, awakening him to hurry and give the required measure of labor, to promptly endow him with the revelation of the face, as God wills it.
The closer a person gets, the more distant he feels that he is. But he also understands that this distance is given to him on purpose so that he will hurry to complete the necessary sum of his exertion. But a person who doesn’t have the right connection, who doesn’t advance correctly, simply feels the “hardening of the heart” increase, which eventually throws him off track.
We should understand this difference clearly. Both feel the “hardening of the heart,” the one who advances correctly and the one who does not advance correctly. But they interpret it differently and feel their state differently. The one who is advancing correctly is connected to the teacher, to the group, to the Creator, to the study, and doesn’t miss a chance; he is constantly looking for ways to tighten the connection, the mutual guarantee. He understands that only by adhesion to the environment will he be able to discover the Creator inside it.
Thus he feels support. The more he discovers the evil in his attitude towards others, the more it pushes him to connect with them and obligates him to demand from himself and from others to tighten this connection. He envies the success of others who advance and is frustrated when he compares himself to them, but it pushes him to connection and correction.
However, a person who does not advance correctly, which means that he doesn’t look for bestowal and connection with the environment in order to discover the goal of creation in it, but rather aspires for personal success, he cannot receive support from the environment since he hasn’t established this support. Then he feels that this path is not for him. It seems to him that others don’t understand anything, that they are dealing with nonsense, and it is impossible to reach this goal. Eventually he leaves the group.
So we should pay close attention to whether or not we are building the right connection with the environment that must constantly support us. When a person falls, the environment helps him rise, and when he is full of strength, then he has to invest it in the environment, building up “stock” there, thanks to which he will later receive help.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/23/12, “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”