Baal HaSulam, “One Commandment”: It is hopeless to wait for a time when a solution is found for allowing one to begin the work of the Creator in Lishma. As in the past, so in the future—every servant of the Creator must begin the work in Lo Lishma, and from that achieve Lishma.
And the way to achieving this degree is not limited by time but by its qualifiers, and by the measure of one’s control over one’s heart. Hence, many have fallen and will fall, in the field of working Lo Lishma, and die without wisdom. Yet, their reward is nevertheless great, since one’s mind cannot appreciate the true merit and value of bringing contentment to one’s Maker.
In other words, everyone will be egoists within their “shattered” Kelim, and even though the incentive to discover the only power that is active in reality appears in them, in spite of all this, this power is their opposite, and they need to implement a particular transformation. “The way…is not limited by time,” which is to say that one shouldn’t expect this to happen by itself.
In the beginning, we have not yet departed from the ego. Many approach this and don’t finish. They are left without attaining the Upper Light that is discovered only within the Kelim of bestowal. However, “their reward is nevertheless great,” for, even if they worked Lo Lishma, in spite of it all, they made the effort to reach Lishma, “bringing contentment to one’s Maker,” and even though this was unconscious, this already is recorded to their merit.
In fact, the entire world acts for the good of the Creator. This is according to what is written, “… he that is banished be not cast from him” (II Samuel 14:14).
Everything reincarnates and gradually advances toward correction with the help of the Light that influences the shattered desire to receive more and more, and through its external layers, penetrates more deeply. Thus, the process advances, and it is clear that everyone fulfills the orders of the Light. There are no other participants in this action, rather only the Light and the desire.
However, when the Light acts in a form like this, the person submits to its activity unconsciously. He has no personal knowledge that is detached from the ego, and it is called “faith above reason.” He lacks the second level that is found above his egoistic desire. Above the knowledge of reception, he has no knowledge of bestowal. This is called “without his knowledge,” the substance of the desire is activated by the Light. This is how all people serve the Creator (they are servants of the Creator), without understanding this.
As usual, this stage is divided into four steps. In the first step, the person begins to work with his desire to receive, wanting to rise above it. He wants to control the desire, his thought, from a higher level, from above. He no longer wants to remain within the desire to receive anymore.
That is not how it is with us, for in our lives, we generally mistakenly assume that, if the person develops a desire above the previous desires within himself , then he will overcome himself. However, in fact, he simply trades one egoistic desire for another greater egoistic desire.
For example, I decided to stop smoking since this is harmful to my health. By means of this, I raise the importance of a healthy way of life relative to smoking. It could be that I will be healthier, and this is good. However, in regard to correction I simply have “traded a donkey for a cow,” which is to say that I am left in that same egoistic stratum.
The ascent begins when I act in accordance with the “point in the heart,” and with its help I begin to organize myself internally. Together with this, my intention still remains Lo Lishma, but it already has taken a step forward.
This stage is also divided into many levels that are divided according to the degree of trust. I could believe in the Creator one percent or more, or the entire one-hundred percent. That is how I organize myself according to the intention, Lo Lishma, rising a little above myself, strengthened within the group, suspended between the two worlds from time to time, inclining to one side or to the other side on waves of ascent and descent, but in spite of all this, I already am found in an intermediate state and rise to it across many steps.
In the meantime, our free choice is characteristic of these states, and after that, we pass by way of concealment and choice on higher levels, after the Machsom, but in a different form already. There is already work there with Klipot and Kedusha.
In general, everything that is above what is “unconscious” already is working with the help of the spiritual Lights and Kelim in all kinds of possibilities, and the person who does this must maintain a pure thought. It is forbidden for him to think about when he will reach the intention of Lishma. It is true that he now is found within the ego but he needs to think only about one thing: How in the current state that I have received from the Creator do I make the most of what I have been given? Even if he were to remain to the end of his days in this state of Lo Lishma, as much as the state is unbearable for him, in spite of all this, he builds his attitude according to what will bring more pleasure to the Creator.
Thus, the person clarifies the present egoistic intention, and in spite of all this, reaches Lishma precisely on condition that he values the present state of Lo Lishma as perfection if this gives satisfaction to the Creator. Precisely at this point, the intention of Lo Lishma is gradually clarified as being the level of Lishma.
Question: How is it possible to give satisfaction to the Creator within the intention of Lo Lishma?
Answer: The infant gives plenty of satisfaction to his parents, even if he just smiles at them. The Creator doesn’t need our intellect, understanding, or deep emotion, regardless of age. He needs loyalty, agreement, to the best of our ability. The infant is linked to his mother and father in a natural way and this is enough. On his own, he adds only a little smile, and this is worth everything in the world.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/22/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam