Baal HaSulam, Introduction to The Book of Zohar, Item 40: And I know that it is completely unaccepted in the eyes of some philosophers. They cannot agree that man, whom they think of as low and worthless, is the center of the magnificent creation. But they are like a worm that is born inside a radish and thinks that the world of the Creator is as bitter and as dark as the radish it was born in.
But as soon as the shell of the radish [of one’s egoism] breaks and it peeps out [comes out of the egoism, of the intention, “for his own sake,” and enters bestowal and love for others], it wonders [in awe of the upper world that it revealed] and says: “I thought the whole world was the size of my radish, but now I see before me a grand, beautiful, and wondrous world
This is what we feel when we discover a hidden treasure that was always in our possession without our knowing about it. Now we can open the gate and see what is happening beyond the limits of this world in which we have reached a blind alley. When the exit from it is discovered, we see before us a “grand, beautiful, and wondrous world.”
Question: What did the worm see when it came out of the radish?
Answer: It saw the sun, the flowers, and the blue sky. Imagine what a difference this was compared to the dark and bitter radish! We are like this worm when it is disclosed that the world is infinite, that death does not exist, that life here is worse than death, and that we’re in it. The world is revealed before us with absolutely different dimensions. We begin to see the world in a dimension of bestowal and love, and then its boundaries are changed.
We now perceive our world in a rather limited form and our possibilities within it are limited, our lives are so short. Suddenly all of these limitations disappear and the boundaries are expanded. Before then we existed within our ego, and there it was possible to receive only as much as it succeeded for us. But for the characteristic of bestowal that we acquire in place of the ego, there are no limitations and borders. Therefore we feel life as eternal and not limited by anything.
For this we only need to come out of the radish and see the true world.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 2/15/15