Baal HaSulam: “The Essence of Religion and its Purpose”: The sweeter the fruit is at its end, the more bitter and unsightly it is in the earlier phases of its development. And so it is with the animate and speaking types: for the beast, whose mind is little at its end, is not so wanting while it grows. Whereas man, whose mind is great at his end, is very wanting while developing. “A day-old calf is called an ox”; that is, it has the strength to stand on its own legs and walk, and the intelligence to avoid hazards on its way.
But a day-old infant lies seemingly senseless…
Thus, we have thoroughly shown the conducts of His Providence in our world, which is only a purposeful Guidance. The attribute of goodness is not at all apparent before Creation arrives at its completion, its final ripeness. On the contrary, it rather always takes a form of corruption in the eyes of the beholders. Thus you see that the Creator bestows upon His creatures only goodness, but that goodness comes by way of purposeful Guidance.
First it must be clear that we are in an evolutionary process. This is what we see in the world. Besides, it is clear that although our evolution leads to better states, the process of getting there can involve troubles and problems that actually spur us to develop. We also see this in the still, vegetative, and animate nature.
We see everything along the way in the form of different pressures from all sides—disturbances, disappointments, worries—but this is how the evolutionary process takes place. Baal HaSulam gives the example of a fruit that at first is bitter but becomes sweet when it’s finally ripe. It’s the same with a person who is born powerless and mindless and then grows above the animate level.
This shows that the phases we go through along the developmental path are opposite from what awaits us at the end when we attain the goal. Therefore, Baal HaSulam says that there is none wiser than the experienced. And this wise experienced one is only a Kabbalist who has already been through all the phases of development and has attained their complete form. Only such people can tell us about what happens along this path.
Thus we understand the answer to the main question about our development: How can we be sure that the Creator is absolute good? It’s because He precedes everything and doesn’t need anyone. In that case, if He controls and manages the world and does everything, if there is none else besides Him, then how can it be that we suffer? Why do all the created beings and the whole world suffer, although the Creator bestows all that is good?
The answer is that we are under a purposeful guidance that leads us to the goal by sufferings, because otherwise we would not be able to move forward. When we reach the goal, we will reach the good state that is actually attained at the end and not at the beginning or in the middle of the way. What’s more, the phases of this path are actually meant to confuse and to deceive us by concealing the final outcome.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/29/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam