Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 33: And you must know that any contentment of our Maker from bestowing upon His creatures depends on the extent that the creatures feel Him – that He is the giver, and that He is the one who delights them. For then He takes great pleasure in them, as a father playing with his beloved son, to the degree that the son feels and recognizes the greatness and exaltedness of his father and his father shows him all the treasures he had prepared for him….
Question: How does this “playing” mesh with the suffering on the way?
Answer: When a person begins to work with spirituality, he divides himself into two parts. On the one hand, he wants to acquire the desire to bestow and on the other hand, he wants to correct his desire to receive upon which he builds bestowal. Therefore he suffers within the desire to receive and has pleasure within the desire to bestow.
Question: Is it possible to feel the “playing” before crossing the “Machsom”?
Answer: No. For the “playing” is a relationship with the Creator where I am connected with Him, where we are together in an embrace, in love, where He fulfills me. How is it possible to feel this within the damaged vessels? If the Creator were to be revealed before the “Machsom,” I would remain forever within the vessels for the sake of reception and would no longer succeed in escaping from the “Klipa.” Even at the time of the “Shevirat ha Kelim,” the pleasure doesn’t enter into the desire to receive for the purpose of reception, for its “Masach” was shattered previously. So the glass also begins to be shattered before the bullet strikes it.
The spiritual pleasure that is received for the sake of reception would suck me in forever. Drugs and various additional addictions in our world are only a small taste of it. After the restriction (Tzimtzum) the light can no longer enter into the vessel without the “Masach.” The moment that it approaches, even before its entry, the vessels is immediately shattered, for it’s not ready to receive, to feel it. And so it remains only a “Ner Dakik” (thin candle) whose goal is to correct the shattering.
The Light never enters the desire to receive. This is because the law of equivalence of form that preceded creation is latent in the thought of creation, and it’s the desire of the Creator that the creature will be like Him, which is to say, perfect.
Precisely from the shattering, from the distance, we reach the “playing.” The way begins from great yearning, from thirst. For the “playing” is not merely pleasure. This is to say, I am constantly in contact with Him, I “taste” Him, experience a wide variety of feelings on all sides and in all manners. The “playing” is not “light and cheap” pleasure, rather it’s something that we never cease to enjoy, we discover more and more new possibilities. But in the meantime we don’t know what the true pleasure from bestowal is.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/20/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam