Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar“:If one’s intention in the Torah and Mitzvot is not to benefit the Creator but oneself, not only will the nature of the will to receive in him not be inverted, but rather, the will to receive in him will be much more than what he was given by the nature of his creation.
Question: Is Baal HaSulam speaking about us here?
Answer: Yes and no. First the desire to receive must be revealed to its fullest. This is because a person can only correct the flaws that are in him. But until one acquires a Masach (screen), the desire grows in different manners: either by pleasure or by pain. In the second case, it grows wanting to avoid pain, and this pressure directs its growth in a certain direction, in the direction that is “anti-sufferings.” As for the pleasure, it grows by “swallowing” them and always remains in a double deficiency.
Then, during the time of preparation, when we yearn for connection and love, the desire grows in an opposite direction in order to constantly supply material for correction. On the whole, the growing of the desire doesn’t stop or retreat, it always moves forward.
Question: What is the difference between desire that grows opposite to the goal and desire that grows in a goal oriented manner?
Answer: Suppose that there is a nice place where everyone is given presents. There is a railroad that reaches this place and I can get there by train.
I may be moving backward while I believe that it is good (!) until I hit something and discover that I have chosen the wrong way. By discovering a minus (-), I am left with a question (?): So what should I do now? Then I gradually begin to move forward. This is the long path of suffering. After all, I make a detour before discovering that I have been going in the wrong direction. Yet in the process, my desire to receive grows.
I may be drawn forward meter by meter through the 125 degrees; again my desire to receive grows making the road increasingly harder. Let’s say that it isn’t a flat rail track anymore but an ascent up a mountain that becomes increasingly steeper. There, at the top of the mountain, is the King’s palace, and the road to it may be difficult, but it moves straight to it without any detours.
Answer: The parameters are the group, and, within it, self-annulment and connection. Practically speaking, there are no other means by which you can surely check and measure your steps.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/3/13, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”