Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”: However, prior to being rewarded with inverting the desire to receive in us through Torah and commandments, into reception in order to bestow, there are strong locks on those gates to the Creator, for then they have the opposite role: to drive us away from the Creator. This is why the forces of separation are called “locks,” since they block the gates of approaching and drive us away from the Creator.
But if we overcome them so they do not affect us, cooling His love from our hearts, the locks become doors, the darkness becomes light, and the bitter becomes sweet. Over all the locks, we receive a special degree in His Providence, and they become openings, degrees of attainment of the Creator.
We should see only the forces that operate on us in every event in our lives. It doesn’t matter how they operate since they are all meant to push us towards the Creator, to discover and to adhere to Him.
If a person works together with these forces and cares for his physical needs only to the extent that it’s necessary for the existence of his animate body, dedicating everything else for the needs of his soul, then by trying to clarify these forces and to criticize them, he discovers that there is nothing coincidental in this world and that everything happens only so that he will adhere more strongly to the Creator.
He reaches a state in which he finds himself not facing the forces that separate him from the Creator, who is on the other side. But when he hears an invitation from the Creator: “Come to Pharaoh!” This means that the person and the Creator stand together side by side, stepping forward against Pharaoh together, while these forces step forward against them. The Creator says to a person: “Hold my hand and we will go together!”
This is a very important point a person has to clarify in his life, as he clarifies where he is with respect to the Creator and with respect to the obstacles. Are he and the Creator on the two sides of the obstacles; that is, do the obstacles separate the person from the Creator? Or does a person annul himself and adhere to the Creator, so then he finds himself in His arms, or holding His hand, like a child next to a grown up, and then both of them face the obstacles, as it says: “Come to Pharaoh!”
Then the work changes since he holds on to the forces that come in order to strengthen the adhesion between them, to connect the person to the Creator. It’s like a dog that barks at a child, thus forcing the child to cling to his mother or father out of fear. That is, if a person is on the same side as the Creator who invites him to go to Pharaoh together, then these forces are immediately felt as help. Then Pharaoh operates in order to bring them closer together, and this is the whole difference.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/29/13