Baal HaSualm, Shamati, article 9, “What are Three Things that Broaden a Man’s Mind in the Work.” The Holy Zohar interprets what our sages had written: “Three things broaden one’s mind. These are, a handsome woman, a handsome abode, and handsome Kelim (Vessels).” It says, “A handsome woman, this is the Holy Shechina (Divinity). A handsome abode, this is one’s heart; and handsome Kelim, these are one’s organs.
We must explain that the Holy Shechina cannot appear in its true form, which is a state of grace and beauty, except when one has handsome Kelim, which are the organs, elicited from the heart.
This is about our vessels, which are desires that must be transformed since we currently don’t use them correctly; we use them for our own benefit. A “woman” that is handsome to the desire to receive is ugly for the desire to bestow and must be transformed not to be graceful or beautiful, but modest, which means that she is totally in Hassadim. A “handsome abode” is the whole human heart and “handsome vessels” are the external desires.
This is how the five levels of our vessels are termed. The vessels are corrected by envy, lust, and honor, the attributes that take a person out of the egoistic world by evoking him to rise to new values.
Today, it is not in our power to perceive and to identify any aspect of spiritual life. We cannot attain such values, discernments, levels of attainment, feelings, and understandings. However, we can “expand our mind,” which means to start bringing the attributes of bestowal into the desire to receive.
How can we fulfill this? The point is that bestowal is essentially an intention and not a desire. Therefore, it is possible if I first stop working with the desire to receive and restrict it. As of today, it isn’t the place in which I receive pleasure or sufferings. I “close” it, and this attribute isn’t in me anymore.
Then, I develop the option to receive something on the side: “I will use you now as I see fit.” When different pleasures come along that I previously used to receive in this desire, I reject them now one by one, from the smallest pleasure to the biggest one.
What do I need this for? Is it because I am simply “on a diet?” No, I reject the pleasures because I want to resemble the Creator. This means that I must recognize the importance of the Creator and not receive anything. I receive this recognition of importance from the group, and I begin to value the Creator, the attribute of bestowal. Then, I really don’t use my desire to receive. Let the pleasures come, above my desire. I want to develop and to build the desire to bestow above it.
Thus, I already stabilize the human image inside me, the image of Adam that resembles (Domeh) the Creator. I use my desire to receive, the pleasure, the group, and the force of the Light that comes and fulfills all this as means to bestow upon Him.
Bestowal upon the Creator is the means that allows us to bring Him contentment. Is that the goal? No, that is also a means. The goal is to attain adhesion with Him since it is that which He really enjoys.
This turns into the means to attain a higher goal along our way, and it is so until we reach the end.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/23/13, Shamati #9