When we go through a series of ascents and descents we wonder why we need all this. After all, it is said that we “add in Holiness and don’t subtract.” So actually this is a very logical question.
Our problem is that we don’t understand that evil doesn’t exist. In spirituality we check everything with regard to the Creator. There are 125 levels on our way to Him and the ascent to each of them begins when I receive additional egoism, which is gradually growing.
Suppose I am on level 1 before level 2, accordingly my ego has to grow and the state I am given is called “night.” It says in the Torah “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” So everything begins from the evening.
First I need to get additional Aviut (thickness) and discover a new layer of desire in me. In fact this is precisely the level that I will ascend to and, which in the meantime, stands before me like a wall. So this new Aviut is called a descent.
But the descent is a decrease in the importance of the spiritual path in my eyes. This is how the Creator “hardens Pharaoh’s heart,” and at the same time says to me “Come to Pharaoh.” I only need to understand that all this is just in order to raise me.
Moreover, I have actually already risen, since “evening” is actually the revelation of the new corrupt vessels that belong to the next level. Now I only lack the correction that begins at “midnight.” Starting from the “evening” until “midnight,” a new desire to receive is revealed in me, then there is the correction of the vessels, and eventually I receive the Light, starting from dawn, the sunrise of a new day. So is this a descent?
Rabash gives us an example: If you are hungry and you are given a sack of wheat grain and you are angry since you cannot eat them, you are right. So use them correctly. Now you have something to prepare food from, a fulfillment.
On the other hand, if you receive ready-made food for your soul, you will not have the feeling, understanding, and adhesion. You will not understand what is essential and will not be able to develop.
So we constantly rise. There are no descents; everything depends only on our attitude towards what is happening. If you see a descent like an old wise man who is looking for new deficiencies on his own, in order to rise higher through them, to acquire wisdom, then “night” doesn’t seem as a descent to you. But in order to do that you need to have a group, a fixed daily schedule, and to use all the necessary means to support you along the way.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/6/13, Shamati #26 “One’s Future Depends and Is Tied to Gratitude for the Past”