Question: When I come to pray out of total despair, do I need to ask that I will change, or do I need to ask that a friend will advance spiritually?
Answer: Prayer is called a desire in the heart, the uncontrolled yearning of the heart. I can say whatever I want, nothing will help, and it’s just all movement of the lips. I could dance, cry, or roll on the ground; this also yields no results. The main thing is what I am feeling in the depths of my heart.
A desire is called heart and the fourth phase of my desire is what is most concealed from me. Sometimes when it is revealed I tremble from what is there. And this aspect is felt by the Light, contacts it, because it’s like the four letter name of the Creator.
The last phase is actually found in contact with the upper phase Keter. A yearning for connection appears in it which is opposite that of “Keter”: It either wants to control it completely (in which case this phase is called “Pharaoh” who wants all the Light held within itself), or the opposite, it wants to resemble “Keter,” the characteristic of bestowal.
We have no control over this phase, in fact we don’t sense it and don’t feel it. Here all kinds of practical actions are required! This is not just sitting and meditating; the wisdom of Kabbalah doesn’t recognize this! All this doesn’t exist! You can go deeply into yourself, think that you could have all kinds of intentions, but all these are internal investigations that are ultimately determined by preliminary work and work that follows. These investigations are compulsory only to understand what I have attained, how much I can feel who I am at the present moment.
Therefore, if we truly want to summon the surrounding Light onto ourselves, action is required; as a result, the influence of the Light gives form to the right yearning of our desire in its latest aspect. As it is written, “The Creator puts the prayer in my mouth.” Even if the person is not thinking about anything, but mechanically carries out what is necessary, in the end, it will result in his most normal thoughts transforming into the most wondrous thoughts.
And the opposite is also true. The warning exists: “His wisdom exceeds his actions.” This is not allowed! It is believed that when a person’s wisdom exceeds his deeds, he kills himself spiritually. All kinds of philosophies, intentions, thoughts, and studying from morning to night is not good. Our world is a world of action. We are found in the last phase of the world of Assiya, translated as “action.”
From the St. Petersburg Convention “Day Two” 7/13/13, Lesson 3