A vessel can only receive its material, the desire to enjoy. Otherwise there is no creation. But this creature makes actions of bestowal like the Creator, with an intention in order to bestow, but it bestows by means of its receptive vessel.
Either it receives in order to bestow or it doesn’t receive anything in its vessels in spite of all of its desire to receive, and this is called the degree of its bestowal.
For example, I’m invited to some celebration where they are using expensive cutlery made of silver and gold. I come to the party and the host says to me: “I know that you are a thief, but I ask you to hold back this time. I very much want you to be here this evening so I am asking you to be a man. You should know that I believe in you, don’t do anything shameful!”
I arrive and the whole evening I cannot eat even a crumb, can’t even taste a spoonful of ice cream or a sip of wine. This is because I am afraid that if I take some utensil in my hand, I will not be able to hold back and will put it in my pocket.
So the whole evening I don’t eat anything, don’t drink anything, don’t touch anything, and only walk around among everyone. But I made an effort to be in the spiritual world and I deserve a reward for my effort. That is, we start with stopping ourselves and not touching anything.
But this is very difficult work because I was hungry and thirsty and struggled with my desire to receive to steal some utensil! It was such a valuable asset, one stolen utensil would be enough for a whole year of the good life without poverty. If we steal a little spirituality, then it is possible to exist well in the physical world….
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/23/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam