Rabash, “The Entrance into the Work”: The beginning of the work must be in Lo Lishma (not for its sake), which means that by believing in the Creator one will have a life of pleasure. This means that if he does this, which is called faith, then he feels elation and has higher mental powers than he has when he doesn’t perform this action.
It turns out that this is a unique quality by which he can taste greater tastes in quantity and in quality than he tastes when he performs other special actions that bring him pleasure… pleasures and unique qualities bring him limited pleasures in quantity and in quality. However, the unique quality of faith brings him greater pleasure in quantity and in quality. And all this is called Lo Lishma since his entire intention was only in order to attain a greater pleasure.
Only after he attains the level that is called Lo Lishma, is he rewarded with other phenomena and comes to a higher state. This means that he has no self-interest, but all his interests and thoughts are true. This means that his entire intention is only to annul himself in the true reality, feeling that he only has to serve the King since he feels the King’s supremacy and His importance.
Then he forgets, which means that he has no need to worry about himself in any way, since he annuls himself like a candle before a torch because he feels the Creator’s presence. Then he is in the state of Lishma (for Her sake), to bring contentment to the Creator, and all his worries and desires are as to how he can bring the Creator pleasure. And his own reality, which means the desire to receive, does not exist at all. Then he is considered one who bestows in order to bestow.
I think that you have already felt these two states at the convention. The first is when a person yearns to receive the spiritual pleasure for himself, whether he admits it or not, and does it only for self-benefit. By that he hopes to attain a good life in this world and in the next world, to gain more and change his fate for the better. In all his accounts there is only: “I, I, I,” and he cannot take himself out of the picture.
This happens unconsciously. Even if a person tries not to take himself into account, the moment he doesn’t succeed, he gradually returns to himself each time. Then he finds out that self-benefit, personal interest, was always in the spiritual picture he yearned for. So his participation in the group, the inclination to the Creator, the work, and the efforts depend only on his feeling that all this would pay off.
The realization that he operates only for himself is already a revelation. In the meantime he performs actions without the right intention, which means with his natural egoistic intention, and not in order to bestow by not detaching the action from self-benefit.
But thanks to such actions of Lo Lishma, he goes through four phases of development: 1. to receive in order to receive, 2. to bestow in order to receive, 3. to bestow in order to bestow, 4. to receive in order to bestow, and all this is in the state of Lo Lishma.
Thus he clarifies what is “allowed” and what is “forbidden” in Lo Lishma since these four states are the ones that determine the combination of his actions and his intention. But due to the fact that a person performs all these “malicious acts” because of his innate ego since he has no choice, the evil inclination created by the Creator, the upper Light constantly operates on him, and gradually bit by bit, takes him out of the slavery to the ego, cleaning him from the intention of in order to receive for himself.
He attains the level in which he begins to think about self-annulment, he feels a great measure of grace and attraction, he begins to value devotion and self-annulment, not under the pressure of sufferings, but because he values the attribute of bestowal itself more and more to such an extent that he eventually annuls himself.
If a person delves into this and works on this persistently, then after a short while he receives the attribute of bestowal from the Light: Then he forgets, which means that he feels no need to care about himself in any way since he annuls himself as a candle before a torch because he feels the presence of the Creator.
But he annuls himself not for self-benefit, but by raising the actual state of self-annulment. “Then he is in a state of Lishma, to bring contentment to the Creator, and all his worries and desires are as to how he can bring the Creator pleasure, and his own reality, which means the desire to receive, does not exist at all. Then he is in a state of one who bestows in order to bestow.
We began the clarifications of self-annulment in the Arava convention. We felt it in the general mass of the participants as one. Now we have to continue by focusing more on this point so that all the distances and the interruptions that come up in the time between the conventions will help us. They will provide us with the thickness that we need to annul in order to annul ourselves.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/24/13