Spiritual vessels are made of the desire to receive and its restriction, the Masach (screen), and the shame that is contained within it. The shame is for not being able to turn myself to bestowal and of being afraid to tie every state that I go through to the One who bestows.
When I rise after a descent from the sensation of evil and from that height examine the previous state, I see that it wasn’t bad. I understand that the descent was the preparation for the current ascent. I begin to love and to value the previous state and to be grateful for it since without that descent, I wouldn’t be able to ascend now.
This allows me to value my ascent even more since it comes to correct the previous flaws. So, I correct this ascent by my new attitude toward it and learn from this experience for the future. Now, I know that I must prepare myself for the next state, for the next descent, so that I will be able to control it as much as I can and to work above reason.
There are very few chances to work above reason in a state of ascent, but the descent helps us here. The descents are actually the most helpful states, not the ascents.
A person’s work is to be grateful for the past and thereby prepare for the future. We should always say that everything that has happened up until now, whether a conflict with the friends or whatever it may be, was done by the Creator and that there is none else besides Him. You must add all these states toward the revelation of the Creator to you whether it is in the form of His “posterior” if it is a descent or in the form of His “face” if it is an ascent.
In the future, we must be prepared for whatever happens. This is called total devotion. This is what we prepare ourselves for in the group through investing our efforts in it in mutual guarantee and mutual help, which eventually return to the person himself.
Everything depends on our preparation. If we sit idly and do nothing, we hardly will feel any descents and ascents, but only mild changes in our mood. However, if we prepare ourselves in the connection with the friends, then we will be able to manage the pace of our advancement and see all our advanced states positively: both the ascents and the descents.
It is harder to relate decisively to an ascent than to a descent. In fact, when we are in an ascent, we are under the influence of the pleasure that totally fills us and doesn’t allow us to clarify the state we are in and to control the desires.
During a descent, however, it is your desire that forces you to look for help and even for salvation. Therefore, as it is written, “Pharaoh has brought the sons of Israel closer to our Father in Heaven.” The desires that are revealed during a descent—in exile, in suffering and in feeling bad—are those that bring a person closer to the goal, while the ascents don’t really help us advance.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/2/13, Writings of Rabash