Answer: On the levels of the still, vegetative, and animate nature, sweetness is the truth and bitterness is a lie. People constantly clarify this point. We can see it especially with small children and when they grow up it becomes more concealed. The lie blurs the clarifications and they don’t seem so prominent any more.
It turns out that I can exert myself and seem like a real warrior, dedicated to some abstract idea, but it is all a lie. This abstract idea, this sublime cause simply seems so sweet to me and so I am prepared to do everything in my power to attain it. All our clarifications are aimed only at attaining sweetness. Actually we are not ready to lift a finger until the Upper Light enables us to do so which is called “faith above reason,” the force of bestowal.
Until then there is no way we can do anything if we don’t see any benefit in it for our desire to receive for the sake of sweetness. I can change one benefit for another thanks to the understanding, the recognition, the envy, the passion, the respect, the influence of the environment, the popular attitude, and out of the fear of what people may say about me and whether my friends would justify me.
All this affects my behavior, but only because my values change and what seemed to be bitter before doesn’t seem so anymore. It is because now I know that if I use this bitter thing, I will be awarded with the support of my environment, so it doesn’t seem so bitter anymore, but rather is felt as sweet.
The sweetness I feel from the environment that tells me how great I am, what a hero, and the fact that everyone wants to be my friend is now added to the bitter taste that I have felt. It turns out that I feel sweetness on a totally different level of taste. But still it is sweetness for which it is worthwhile to make an effort, and so I change.
It seems that I go through certain changes and corrections and that I ascend, but it all takes place in my desire to receive and nothing actually changes. The real change can only be by the Light that Reforms. When a person receives it, he feels what a change really is.
Therefore it is said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Without tasting, we don’t see anything. You think that you are changing, but in fact, the changes are only on the level of this world. You may become more “human” and worry less about your corporeal body, but it is all thanks to your desire to enjoy that is simply more complex, deep, and egoistic, on more refined and disguised levels of the ego.
Everything is simple for a small child. If something is sweet, he wants it, and if it is bitter, he doesn’t want it. But a grownup can cope with bitter taste, and if it is justified and valued by society, he feels this bitterness as sweetness. Then he already thinks that he is big and special and that he has already corrected his taste, but in fact, he is still the same egoistic child but more cunning and corrupt.
This is how our life passes until we finally arrive at the recognition of evil. Thanks to all these changes, we turn the tastes that are bitter for a baby into sweetness for a grownup, but they do not contribute it to anything. We don’t reach the fulfillment of our desire this way.
On the contrary, we reach a point where the desire is totally empty and we have no means of changing ourselves in order to feel a certain pleasure. Thus humanity finally reaches a barrier, a critical point, where it has to decide that it needs the upper force that will change our reality and change us.
This means that we need the Light that Reforms, but people don’t know that it exists and so we have to explain to them that it is possible to change this reality and to rise together by the new consciousness that allows us to reach sweetness instead of the bitterness through the connection between people. There, in this connection we feel a new life.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/13/13,Writings of Baal HaSulam