Answer: First of all, the exile begins when we feel that the evil inclination disturbs us from connection. I yearn for the Creator and therefore I yearn for connection, but my nature is standing in the way and blocks it and so it doesn’t let me go forward. This is what actually happened among the sons of Jacob at that time.
And at the peak of the exile we see that Pharaoh wins, and so we find ourselves in the “Egyptian darkness,” under the enormous dominance of the “angel of death,” which leaves no hope. We are so eager to connect understanding that our entire life depends only on this, and simultaneously we see that it’s impossible.
And precisely from within this darkness the command is heard: “Leave.” And so the possibility of salvation is revealed to us. In a state of absolute powerlessness when there is no chance of salvation, when everyone is in despair, hopeless, only the Creator with His glory and by Himself and nothing else except that higher power brings us out to the light.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/06/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam