On the still, vegetative, and animate levels, the desire to enjoy acts instinctively by virtue of its nature. But the human being can act in the opposite way unnaturally because he is guided by his attitude to the host, by the feeling of his oppositeness. And thus it produces a contraction in his desire to enjoy as a guest, shrinking in shame at the sight of the loving and generous host.
Shame does not awaken in response to gifts on the still, vegetative, and animate levels, but if the human degree has started to develop in a person, he feels that shame, uncomfortableness, the duty to respond to the host’s love—to respond not to the feast but to the one who gives it! And this makes him contract.
You have to withstand the fulfillment you received and fill yourself with the feeling of the Giver, that is, the quality of bestowal and love from your side, or at least to wish it to such an extent that you would lose all taste for receiving the pleasure itself.
Pleasure remains in you, but you suddenly lose its feeling. It’s as if being in a strange place, you went into an empty room and saw a piece of delicious cake and thinking that nobody could see you, you picked it up and took a bite. And at the moment you’re enjoying its amazing taste, suddenly the host enters.
You are going through a variety of feelings … First, you are overcome with shame from what you took and you freeze with a piece in the mouth. But the owner suddenly says, “No, no, help yourself; I left it especially for you, knowing that you would come! Everyone wanted to take this most delicious piece with a buttercream rose and cherry, but I saved it for you.”
Now, instead of shame that you stole, took what did not belong to you, you are ashamed because you know how the host was thinking about you and deliberately saved the treat for you. He took care of you as the dearest person, letting everyone know. You feel his generosity and love and a different shame awakens in you, not that you stole, but for your oppositeness to the host who loves you.
The first shame was caused by your feeling yourself as the receiver relative to the host, and the second shame, by the feeling of the host as giving, loving, and this produces many new feelings in you and makes you contract and expand, that is, gives you the breath of life.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/11/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam