All of us are parts of a single desire, a Kli. There are no previous properties in this desire except for a small spark, an implicit memory of our previous state called a Reshimo that is within our lowest, beastly desires.
Thanks to this spark, I can rise to the next level in which a Reshimo is discovered on an even higher level, and so on.
A Reshimo is the impression of the next spiritual state, which is completely broken. In other words, I have drives toward something higher, yet they are directed so that I will derive pleasure from this situation, I will conquer it. Even though this is a movement towards something higher, the movement is egoistic. This means that on the one hand, my Reshimo yearns for the higher state, yet on the other hand, it is egoistic. What can be done?
If the main thing for me is to abstain from the ego, I must close the Reshimo and not advance anywhere. After all, the moment I yearn for something further ahead and realize it, I begin to yearn for an even greater egoistic activity. After all, on every level the more that I advance, I am dealing with greater ego.
Why doesn’t this stop me? It is because it is not me who corrects my ego; it is the work of the Light. It is up to me to place myself only under its influence. And the more that I yearn for spirituality with even more envy, force, and perseverance, even if this is egoistic, at the same time, if I place myself under the influence of the Light, this is what is needed.
Accordingly, advancement towards a spiritual state is composed of two opposing components. On the one hand, even greater egoistic desires are revealed in me, but on the other hand, I put them under the Light that illuminates them. In this way I am seemingly found in two opposing states. Qualitatively, I am opposed to the Light more and more. Yet simultaneously I summon it upon myself through greater effort.
The contrast in all aspects between the quantitative and qualitative relationship confuses us. However, this is done intentionally so that we will accept the conditions of the next level and maintain them by playing with this level.
Baal HaSulam writes in Shamati 12: The essence of one’s work should be how to come to feel taste in bestowing contentment to one’s Maker.
Where in me is this? What kind of a taste can I feel in bestowal? Is it egoistic or altruistic? I don’t even know. How can I influence the Creator and what do I get from this? Since all that one does for oneself distances him from the Creator due to the disparity of form, do I get some kind of result out of this situation? After all, I also yearn for the Creator. Even though I can repeat a thousand times that I am doing this in order to bestow, these will just be words.
However, if one performs an act to benefit the Creator, even the smallest act, it (the deed) is still considered a Mitzva (commandment, precept), meaning a correction of oneself.
Hence, one’s primary exertion should be to acquire a force that feels taste in bestowing, which is through lessening the force that feels taste in self-reception. In that state, one slowly acquires the taste in bestowing. Meaning that we must reach a state in which when we give something, we enjoy.
All of our group work is said to gradually bring us to this. In the beginning, we advance under the influence of a broken desire, meaning with the help of signs of respect, praise, appreciation, and knowledge. When we try to be nice to each other and we enjoy this, it is because then we look great and respectable in the eyes of society and in our own eyes.
But if we continue to play with this, we acquire completely different characteristics, since depending upon our actions (our intentions are certainly broken), the Light that Reforms will shine on us and we will begin to change under its influence.
This is exactly what should always be our basis: How can we act such that at every moment, we are under the greatest influence of the Upper Light? This is what must determine our deeds, thoughts, and intentions at all time: how to act in the best way inside and out so that the Light will radiate on us as much as possible.
We must be concerned about this at all times, even though this concern could also be incorrect. After all, what seems to me to be correct today will turn out to be wrong tomorrow since all of our desires and flirtation with the Upper Light are egoistic and opposed to the characteristic of the Light. Yet this is not taken into account.
We are found in a state that is absolutely opposed to the Ohr Pnimi (Inner Light) which later comes to us. However, we are found in full accommodation with the Ohr Makif (Surrounding Light).
Obviously I am an egoist and am constantly trying to put some kind of characteristic under the influence of the Light to correct it for my own benefit. Even though my corrections are egoistically directed towards myself, the Ohr Makif doesn’t look at this and even shines on me according to my egoistic efforts and corrects my ego.
This is a tremendous characteristic of the Upper Light! After all, when it left the shattered Kli, it underwent this change itself. It doesn’t take into account the present state of the Kli, rather it looks towards whatever the next state can bring.
So the main thing for us is to try as a little child would and the Light will correct everything. The more that we act according to the Upper Light, the greater are the corrections that we get from it. This is precisely the transition from Lo Lishma (not for her name) to Lishma (for her name), from for myself to for the sake of the Creator.
Hence, one’s primary exertion should be to acquire a force that feels taste in bestowing.
It is difficult for us to speak about this now, since in the meantime, we have an egoistic taste of bestowal, meaning we are beginning to enjoy it. For me, there must be some kind of indication, sensation, and internal standard. I must give more to enjoy more, and if I give less, I enjoy less. I must measure everything, otherwise I will not be able to feel my actions and I will be under some kind of anesthesia in which I do something but don’t feel it.
How can I bestow and feel pleasure at the same time? Because then everyone would agree to bestow. Whatever difference there is between reception and bestowal, the main thing is that I will have enjoyment at the time that I act. In the meantime, we don’t understand this. At the present time we only act on one plane. No matter what we do, we are only receiving.
Gradually the Ohr Makif carries out a change in us such that we truly begin to bestow. We come out of ourselves into an empty void that we don’t feel, and yet together with this, we enjoy it.
Why all of a sudden do we feel that we are giving to an empty void? This is because in the transition from work for my sake to work for the sake of others, I don’t feel the other person. The idea is that now I feel him within myself and build a relationship with him according to his distance or closeness. To the degree that he is close to me, I want to give to him egoistically, or otherwise I don’t feel him. I am not ready to carry out even a single action for his sake.
When a spiritual revolution takes place in a person, he first feels the others as insignificant. In other words, his previous feelings and actions disappear and others begin to appear. This is similar to birth, when the body of the newborn begins to operate autonomously and takes upon itself to do everything that the body of the mother previously did for it.
A similar revolution happens to us. We receive an understanding of spiritual work, the possibility of giving outside of myself. This is something that is really unbelievable! And everything is thanks to the Ohr Makif, which at the time of the shattering went out of the Kli and is found to be surrounding it, meaning surrounding us. In this manner, it can bestow to us.
From the Sochi Convention 6.10/14, Lesson #2