Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 65: You already know that there is an inverse relation between Lights and vessels: in the Kelim, the Higher ones grow first (see Item 62), which is why the first were more complete in the practical part than the last. But with the Lights, where the lower ones enter first, the last are more complete than the first.
Question: What is the meaning of the “practical part”? Does it refer to practical Mitzvot (commandments)?
Answer: These are Mitzvot that we fulfill between us on a physical level because our intentions are not yet sufficiently revealed. We don’t have a desire that is deep enough yet.
The same thing is also typical of the evolution of humanity. With time we gradually advance from physical work to mental work, to more delicate areas, whether it’s precise mechanics, nanotechnology, biology, etc.
This is already the work of the heavy vessels, those that have a great Aviut (thickness) of the desire. When you resist it, there is a whole variety of Lights that match the current depths of your ego. You begin to work with the Lights, with the intentions, with the delicate but strong vessels, like with a laser beam instead of manual instruments. Even the thought itself becomes a means that allows us to change the world, and we are already close to it.
Before, when we had a small desire we couldn’t penetrate the inner part of the world and discover all its components. Without a great evil inclination we couldn’t divide, classify, and organize it
There is the practical work and there is the work in our intention: the former is always in GE, while the latter is in AHP. As long as the vessels are pure, on the Aviut level of the root phase, phase one and two, there is an advantage to the actions. In other words, the intention in this state is called an action. It says: “Do everything that is in your power.”
This action isn’t performed manually, but the intention is small. In the meantime it isn’t supported by the great thickness of the desire and isn’t established on top of the resistance. I don’t establish an opposite intention to what is revealed inside me yet.
On the other hand, the real intention rides on top of the strongest desire on the third and fourth level of Aviut. This is where the real ego is concealed, against which I must work. It’s no small thing anymore. When a small child obeys his mother even when he doesn’t want to, it’s one thing, but if you ask a 15-year-old boy who already feels mature enough and overcomes the strongest inner resistance to do so, it’s a totally different thing. This is the difference between an action and an intention, and this has to do with both the Mitzvot of do and don’t do.
Question: So what, in this sense, are the physical actions that we perform in the group: duties, etc.?
Answer: These actions are also considered according to the intention. It says that Mitzvot don’t need an intention, which means the right intention of in order to bestow. But still everything is considered according to the intention, even if it’s egoistic for the time being but goal oriented.
“I want to reach the Creator.”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know, to be good.”
“But to be good is in order to bestow.”
“So I want to act in order to bestow!”
The truth is that I have no idea what bestowal is and I only say that I want it, but it’s enough in order to be part of the correction.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/27/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam