Baal HaSulam, Shamati #53, “The Matter of Limitation”: …This is the meaning of, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” This is so because during the Gadlut it is irrelevant to say that He gives them work to be in gladness, since during the Gadlut gladness comes by itself. Instead, the work of gladness is given to them for the time of Katnut, so that they will have joy although they feel Katnut. And this is a great work.
This is called the main part of the degree, which is a discernment of Katnut. This discernment must be permanent, and the Gadlut is only an addition. Also, one should yearn for the main part, not for the additions.
In our work, we reach an intersection a crossroads, a fork in the road, after which we already have to measure our states along the spiritual road, either inside our desire to receive pleasure or outside it. Everything depends on where we measure our state, our success, our continuous progress.
On the right line, we don’t notice the state we are in and accept every state as the perfect state. This means that we don’t take our feelings into account, no matter what the Creator sends us. We always measure everything according to bestowal, which means outside ourselves. On the left line it’s the opposite: I have no other thoughts but thoughts about myself and about what happens to me, and this is the only thing I worry about all day long.
Accordingly, the work along the two lines is different and it depends on what I demand in each state. If it is the right line, I demand to remain the way I am or worry only about how not to lose the direction to bestowal upon the Creator through the environment and through all of creation.
Here I work on my smallness in order to make myself as small as possible. I only want to bestow upon the Creator as much as possible and not to feel that I bestow or that He enjoys my bestowal. This means that I diminish the response in every possible way, cut off all the wires and all the ways by which I can get a response for my action of bestowal, which I try to increase as much as I can.
This kind of work is in maximum bestowal and zero reward. To the extent that I can perform clean calculations with regard to absolute bestowal without a reward, my spiritual level is measured accordingly (like Rosh-Toh-Sof). Thus I already stabilize myself and begin to mutually work with the Creator, as the Creator opens up more and more opportunities for me.
When I am stabilized on the previous level, I ask for more and more powers in order to increase my bestowal. Of course, I have to overcome my ego more and more in order to attain this and in order not to receive any reward in return. And what I do receive from the Creator I have the opportunity to turn into bestowal, and this is extra work in addition to this work. This is how we advance.
The problem is at the actual crossroads, the split that is created. This work is repeated on every level. As we ascend to the next spiritual degree, the shattered Reshimot (reminiscences) are revealed and I have to stand at this crossroads in order to be sure where the left line is and where the right line is. I cannot simply turn to the right and not look to the left at all.
This is impossible because one line is based on the other line. If I follow the right line correctly and reach a certain point, the left line also grows to the same extent, but I cut one line from the other, and so the “trunk” (Toch) and “end” (Sof) of my spiritual Partzuf are created. The place in which I calculate things is called “head” (Rosh). Thus I begin to build my spiritual Partzuf. This is practical spiritual work. This is all based on the picture of the world that the Creator depicts for me as a result of my attitude to reality.
Question: Where is the point of our independence in the drawing?
Answer: We are independent only at the crossroads, but it always exists. We have to constantly feel that we are at a crossroads, as it says: “They should seem new to you every day.” All the time we have to decide and always choose the right line, and instead of erasing the left line, we should advance me on top of it.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/2/14