However, prior to being rewarded with inverting the desire to receive in us through Torah and Mitzvot, into reception in order to bestow, there are strong locks on those gates to the Creator, for then they have the opposite role: to drive us away from the Creator.
This is their role, like flirting, to tease the desire, to increase it and to ignite it more and more so that it will want more and more. The deficiency is increased by the rejection, and thus we reach a strong enough desire in order to break through the gate.
This is why the forces of separation are called “locks,” since they block the gates of approaching and drive us away from the Creator.
But if we overcome them so they do not affect us, cooling His love from our hearts, the locks become doors, the darkness becomes light, and the bitter becomes sweet. Over all the locks, we receive a special degree in His Providence, and they become openings, degrees of attainment of the Creator. And those degrees that we receive on the openings become halls of wisdom.
With the help of these movements—rejection and coming closer to the gate, and again repulsion approaching again—we pump ourselves up so we will have the strength to break through. And then the locks that become the openings.
Of course, the first opening is the most difficult to break through.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/13/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam