Baal HaSulam “One Commandment”: There is no serving the Creator and keeping the Mitzvot (commandments) except in Lishma (for Her Name)—bringing contentment to One’s Maker. Yet, our sages have already introduced the practice of engaging in Torah and Mitzvot even in Lo Lishma (not for Her Name), since “from Lo Lishma he will come to Lishma”…
Initially, we cannot “just” become similar to the upper force . After all, it is completely giving, and to reach the same level, we too must bestow upon it. As in the example with the guest and the Host, if I want to grow up to the best, perfect state, then I should become like the source of creation.
The Host is filled with bestowal and love, and if I want to rise to His degree of eternity and perfection, then I have to achieve equivalence of form with Him. And it means to delight Him just as he wants to delight me. The wisdom of Kabbalah is intended for this purpose; the method allows, by means of the Light that Reforms, the drawing of the force that corrects us so that we achieve equivalence of form with the upper force, the Creator.
The first and only Mitzvah (commandment) that guarantees the achievement of the aspiration to attain Lishma, is to take responsibility to not work for their own needs, in other words, strictly following what’s necessary to provide for one’s sustenance. In the rest of the time, one will work for the public: to save the oppressed and every creature in the world that is in need of salvation and benefit.
Since this is the “first and only” principle, do not look for solutions elsewhere because there are no other options. It’s clear and certain that, first of all, one has to provide for his existence, and, as soon as his basic needs are met by all means, to take care of others’ well being. This is the correct form of similarity to the Creator.
By providing his basic needs, a person “fulfills” himself on the still, vegetative, and animate degree. We should be like nature on these three levels.
And the human degree that has been growing above the animal degree during, let’s say, a hundred thousand years, belongs not to the body; it’s all within. You will not see it with the material eye, it extends in the mind and feeling, in the inner development. And the person’s entire inner world must be turned to bestowal upon the other.
The earlier, “natural” degrees differ by treatment of the material, the method of communication. But the human degree is clouded, confusing, and incomprehensible to us. What is a “human being”? Sometimes when looking at a person, we say: “This is not a human, he acts like an animal.” Overall, however, we do not have a clear definition of clear external signs by which to identify a true human being. In what exactly is he different from an animal? The criteria are vague.
So, if today we are looking for an internal expression of the human degree, then we call it so by the future state, by the goal to which it’s directed. This is the form that must be turned, likened to the Creator, and then it will be called the “Human Being” (Adam). For now, this is a formal designation on account of future merits.
So, the first principle on the path to the goal is to work for oneself no more than as required by basic needs and to take care of others in everything else. This bar is now before you and if you do so on your own accord, then you will achieve equivalence with the Creator.
Moreover, basic self-care is also part of caring for the other, provided that you hold that intention from the very beginning. After all, “the end of the action is in its initial thought.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/22/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam