Question: Why is it written in The Zohar that a single rose with thorns is selected rather than all the other roses without thorns?
Answer: There are souls who exist without feeling a need to advance towards a goal. And there are souls who advance toward the goal of creation, which is that they want to transform their intention from “in order to receive” to an intention “in order to bestow.” For this they require thorns, like a rose, which is to say sufferings from their condition in the present state. They need to establish that this egoistic state is bad, and that the state of bestowal and love is good.
They receive a motivation to advance either from natural evolution, which pushes all of humanity forward like an evolutionary steamroller that forces development, or we need to create an environment like this for ourselves that will show us how much our state of “in order to receive” is bad and how much more preferable and good for us it would be for us if we were in a state of “in order to bestow.”
Thorns are forces that obligate the person to change his nature. Without them there would be no changes. Therefore it is impossible without thorns, and the question is only about who builds the thorns. This would be either the Creator, according to the program of natural evolution, called “beito” (in its time), or the person himself who wants to hasten his development and advancement and shorten the time; therefore he creates a society that will show him how much his development lags behind everyone else. So due to jealousy of others, he will pursue them.
These are also “thorns,” but others that are more useful and intentional. There is a particular sweetness to them because the person receives support from his environment. Development under the influence of these thorns is good and rapid and is done by the environment.
And someone who doesn’t have an environment like this doesn’t have thorns like these to help his development. The development of the person is done only by the environment on condition that he participates in his own development. For with this he begins to understand the program of the Creator, the plan, the thought of creation. It is specifically this which we must perceive, since Israel is called “Li-Rosh- I have a head” (a permutation of the letters of “Israel”), therefore we must acquire this knowledge, the goal, of this entire system before me, so that I will transform to be its house master, resembling the Creator.
The third state, which is the completion of correction, is separated from the first state, which is the beginning state of creation, in that we construct a head, intelligence, understanding, and awareness for ourselves. The Creator wants us to perceive His actions, as it is written: “From your deeds we will know you.”
Therefore we cannot advance through the thorns that come to us from nature, from the steamroller of evolution, rather solely and only if we ourselves design for ourselves an environment, that will “poke” us all the time. This will signify that we are developing ourselves. This is called the hastening of time, achishenah (I will hasten it) when “I awaken the dawn.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/03/13, Writings of Rabash “Shlavei HaSulam”