In every spiritual state on the spiritual levels, there is the Inner Light and the Surrounding Light. But in our state, as long as we do not attain restriction and a Masach (screen), we can be assisted only by the Surrounding Light.
The force of the Surrounding Light depends on how much we value it, on our appreciation of the upper, of the next level, which means the Creator. But we cannot value Him. We were only given a couple of means by which we can develop an inner feeling of the greatness of the upper. The upper for us is the group, the teacher, and the books, meaning the study that tells us about the spiritual world and the Creator hidden behind all these means.
We begin to value the upper who is external to us by using all these means: the group, the teacher, the books, and the intention of attaining equivalence of form with the Creator in order to bring Him contentment. Although we don’t feel it for the time being, even if we just talk about it trying to feel it from time to time, we raise the greatness of the upper in us by that. Then at a certain point He becomes so important that He allows us to feel His presence next to us.
It’s because everything that is external to a person is the Holy Shechina, the Godly presence. But everything depends on how much we value Him. All the other rules of behavior in the group as to how we should speak, what to demand of it, and how to treat it, stem from this condition, from the need to value the upper.
Accordingly, the Surrounding Light shines upon a person. It is the real upper Light, but in the meantime it operates on the lower as the Light that Reforms, which means that it brings about changes in us by gradually bringing us closer to bestowal. Then finally it will give us the “restriction” and the Masach, which means the ability to work spiritually.
Then we will begin to understand where we are and what is happening to us, but at the same time, we have to work in faith above reason and value the upper despite all the problems the upper sends us and all the reasons for an opposite attitude. This is our work that is based on our great appreciation of the upper until we adhere to the posterior of the upper as if it were His face. Then we will see that it was never His posterior, but that He has always turned His face full of light to us. Thus we leave exile and reach redemption.
At first it was as if you were unconscious, but then you begin to feel that you are in exile, so, step by step, you begin to get closer to redemption and finally you leave exile and come into the Light. These are the levels of ascent according to your appreciation of the upper, and later your adhesion to Him.
We have all the means, all the roads are open, and everything depends on us. There is nothing else that we need. The Creator has given us every possible opportunity and everything else is up to the person. We will not be forgiven and there are no concessions from Above if we don’t do our work, since otherwise we will not build our spiritual vessels.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/8/13