Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 10: …He has no interest in reception, only in bestowal, whereas the Klipot want nothing of bestowal, but only to receive for themselves, for their own delight, and there is no greater oppositeness than that. And you already know that spiritual remoteness begins with some disparity of form and ends in oppositeness of form, which is the farthest possible distance in the last degree.
In this world, pluses and minuses attract each other as do opposite poles of a magnet. For example, people who have opposing opinions usually are interested in talking with each other and comparing their points of view. This happens because our world is submerged in the egoistic nature of receiving.
As a result, we can get something from one another to the degree of our dissimilarity. If we were alike, what could we get from one another? Similarity doesn’t promise any benefits; we need others to receive “profits” from them whether it is money, respect, power, recognition, services, etc. One needs something that one doesn’t have, something that one lacks. This is why we bother dealing with others.
It explains why we are unable to understand relationships between the Creator and creation: The distance between them is tremendous and they have no chance to come closer. At the same time, we see numerous examples when opposites meet. This is a paradox: Two different people who have egoistic desires find ways to take advantage of each other; however two contrary desires (egoistic and altruistic) can’t unite because they repel each other.
Consequently, creation has no chance to approach the Creator unless it modifies its nature. It goes without saying that it’s impossible to change the desire to receive per se. So, the Creator made the intention far more important (basic) than the desire. Intention is something we can work with and eventually it can be changed. Spiritual distance between the Creator and us is delineated exclusively by the intention. Intention changes the essence of connection among us and makes us either similar or different.
“The Creator” is a giving desire; consequently, one has to “shield” one’s desire to receive with the intention to bestow. The desire by itself is only a “material,” whereas intention is a tool for transforming the very essence of our actions to bestow. Thus, we approach the Creator.
Still, how do the Creator and creation converge if they have similar poles? It contradicts the laws of physics in this realm. Why can’t those people who have points in the heart unite with each other in spite of the law of similarity of properties? What does convergence depend on? Is it contingent upon our qualities or does it depend on the way we are using them?
For example, two thieves can find common ground. On the other hand, today people are not ready to unite their efforts even if their cooperation promises obvious benefits. They prefer to earn less independently rather than receive more in somebody else’s company.
Now, it becomes even harder to unite since our egoism continues growing and we repel each other much more strongly. Each of us prefers detachment and isolation. There is a growing trend of working from home; it’s convenient both for employees and employers.
We don’t find pleasure in teamwork; it doesn’t appeal to us at all. At one point, women started to strive to get out of their homes and escape from their families. They wanted to find jobs and enjoy more freedom and now people of both genders wish for the opposite.
However, it’s not about returning to their families. Currently, too many people don’t have families. It’s not about going back to family life, but rather it’s a continuation of our path in reaching new levels of egoism that in their turn lead to even more detachment and loneliness. On one hand, we understand that our alienation is not good for us; on the other hand, it has become do difficult to establish contact with anyone. So, people choose to refuse the potential advantages of connecting.
It means that we have to give charm to the idea of unity. Our joint work has to be pleasant, interesting, attractive, and to bring us satisfaction. We have to work on creating these conditions, since nothing will happen on its own. In the end, who would mind working in a company of nice people even without being rewarded? If we enjoy somebody’s company, we would be willing to pay for this pleasure. The problem is that we don’t regard liaisons among us as attractive. It’s very hard to treat others well since our egoism is too strong and amicable relationships require too much exertion and energy.
We have to break many walls that separate us before others will believe that we are not lying to them, playing with them, or confusing them in some way, and that we are genuinely sympathetic. We are used to hypocrisy; our relationships with others are too “commercial” and are saturated in mutual contempt. We should really try hard to understand others more deeply…
In spirituality, similarity of properties brings us closer to each other and allows us to eventually attain revelation, whereas in the material world we take pride in “consuming” each other. In spirituality, togetherness is based on similarity of properties, although in this material realm our closeness rests on dissimilarities. On this material plane, two people unite only if they want to confront a “third party” or if they expect to obtain certain benefits from their association.
There is a law that states that without the intention to bestow, pluses and minuses attract each other; the intention to bestow reverses the situation and makes everything conditioned by the degree of similarity.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/5/13, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”